Author Topic: Anyone know good sci-fi military fiction to read after "All You Need Is Kill?"  (Read 395 times)

Offline x4000

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That one just ends too soon. :)

I really like Edge of Tomorrow, and the book All You Need Is Kill, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, that it is based on.  I've not read the manga, or anything else by Sakurazaka.  I'm interested mostly in some other form of sci fi war series along those lines, which gets down and personal with the experiences of the main character.  It's the second time I've read this one, and once again I'm looking for something kinda-sorta similar.

Armor, by John Steakley, is another really good one.  The first half and the last third, at least.  There's a bunch of interludes about other characters that are not super duper interesting, although what they discover and their reactions to the main character are interesting.

I enjoyed The Forever War and Forever Peace, but don't really have a desire to read those again.  In general I feel like Joe Haldeman has cool ideas and I like reading his stuff, but somehow I'm just not that inclined to do so a second time.

A fair bit of the Vorkosigan Saga falls under this sort of banner, although it's a lot more lightweight and space-opera-y.  I've read most of those at least once, and probably will again, but not for a number of years.  Cryoburn was absolutely terrible, and so I have't yet read Captain Vorpatril's Alliance even though I have that; I've never been that big a fan of Ivan, except as kind of a sidekick to Miles. Reviews seem to indicate that Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen is substandard as well.

Obviously I've read and loved Ender's Game (and loved the rest of that series, though not the Shadow series or the newer Ender In Exile or similar).

I'm looking for something more gritty.  Somehow I've never managed to get around to Starship Troopers, but my understanding is that is more on the overall war and the incompetence of bureaucracy rather than any one particular soldier's experiences.  Please do correct me if I'm wrong.

I figured this was a good crowd to ask. :)
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Offline BadgerBadger

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I've always felt the book Starship Troopers was a work of political philosophy with a few action scenes thrown in to demonstrate points. It's almost certainly not what you want.

Offline x4000

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That's kind of what I thought.
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Offline Aklyon

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Have you looked at The Lost Fleet series? Not sure if it fits what you're looking for exactly, but its the first thing I thought of as far as mil scifi goes.

Offline x4000

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Hilariously, I already have that in my kindle library.  I should pull that up and give it a go. :D
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Offline Toranth

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Not a lot of English military fiction I can think of that is like All You Need is Kill... most are more epic, heroic, and have far fewer discussions of food in them.

Glen Cook's Black Company series is fantasy milfic, but other than not being scifi it comes close.

David Drake's works, especially the Hammer's Slammers series, is gritty military fiction alright - but it may be darker than you prefer.  His later works (The General series, Belisarius, or the RCN series) are much less dark, while still getting into the dirty details of the military.  A LOT of his stuff is closely based on real historical events, updated to scifi environs, with all the relevant details to provide a bonus for history buffs, too, when they recognize stuff.

David Weber has done a bunch of milfic, but it tends to be much more epic, heroic, and light-hearted.  Not Vorkosigan levels, but still - not gritty.

John Ringo's books tend to be more epic adventure than pure milfic, but the Council War series is fairly military centric, just... an odd mix of scifi and fantasy, and adventure and milfic.  He's an author you need to be careful with, though, some of his other books go off onto religious or gun/porn/gun porn tangents that can ruin an otherwise good story.

All three of these authors (Drake, Weber, Ringo) have some free ebooks available from the publisher, at the Baen Free Library.

I have a Marko Kloos ebook sitting in my milfic folder, but even looking at the cover, I can't remember much about it.  That's another author, though, that does milfic centered on an individual.

One popular milfic author I cannot recommend to you is Tom Kratman.  He can write a good military story, but most of his books are political treatises with a story attached.  Unless that's what you are looking for, I suggest reading something else.

Offline Draco18s

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Not having read any of the titles mentioned, I can only sort of take a stab in the dark, but here goes:
(Sequels/series name in parens)

  • A Fire Upon the Deep (A Deepness in the Sky, Children of the Sky) -- space opera-y, but has some really solid and personal characterization
  • Blackout/All Clear (Oxford Time Travel series) -- holyshitballs batman, this one is intense (have you ever wondered how St. Paul's Cathedral survived the blitz?)
  • Sundiver (Uplift universe)  -- Sundiver is to Uplift as The Silmarillion is to Lord of the Rings, not quite so historical, but it sets the stage. Startide Rising is probably my favorite)
  • Century Rain -- This one is a standalone novel that did some very interesting things, I wish it was part of a series, or even a universe
  • Doughnut (by Tom Holt) -- there is nothing I can say about this one that doesn't need to be wrapped in 437 layers of spoiler tags
  • Bitter Seeds (The Coldest War, Necessary Evil) -- Who doesn't like WW2 with demons and supermen?

Offline x4000

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Awesome!  Thanks guys. :)

- Black Company sounds like it could be interesting; I'll give it a look at least.

- David Drake's stuff being dark doesn't particularly bother me.  It might mean I only want to read it once through, but I enjoy that sort of thing.

- John Ringo sounds like not quite my cuppa, yep.

- And thanks for the warning about Tom Kratman.  I enjoyed reading Xenocide and Children of the Mind, which were basically thought experiments with a bit of plot.  But overall it takes a lot for me to get into that.  If it's actual nonfiction and interesting, then cool; but dressing it up as fiction does not help it go down, for me. ;)

- A Fire Upon the Deep sounds like it could be fun, at any rate.  I enjoy space opera from time to time for sure, it's just not what I was looking for right now.  Having a recommendation for actual GOOD space opera is a nice thing to have, though. :)

- The whole time travel series by Connie Willis is something I absolutely love.  Some of her others, like Passage, I really enjoyed.  Others less so.

- Uplift isn't something I'm familiar with, I'll have to peer at it.

- Century Rain certainly has you piquing my interest.

- Doughnut even more so, already, heh.

- Bitter Seeds sounds pretty fascinating. :)
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Offline Aklyon

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Quote
Belisarius
Great books. Good to know someone else has read them and their Romans-reverse-engineering-indian-gunpowder thing.

Offline Draco18s

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- A Fire Upon the Deep sounds like it could be fun, at any rate.  I enjoy space opera from time to time for sure, it's just not what I was looking for right now.  Having a recommendation for actual GOOD space opera is a nice thing to have, though. :)

No worries.  And it's probably only half space opera. One group  of characters gets stranded on a planet having to deal with the locals, while another group is trying to rescue them (while a good portion of civilized space is collapsing).

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- Uplift isn't something I'm familiar with, I'll have to peer at it.

Basic idea: every civilized race in the galaxy was uplifted to sentience by another race. And then serves a 1 million year period of indentured servitude.  This has been going on for two billion years.  Then humans arrive on the scene and are like, "No, we uplifted ourselves..." and gain immediate patron status because they'd already uplifted chimps and dolphins. Quite a few races are not happy about that and are willing to go to war over it (mostly to gain humans as clients).

More space opera-y than A Fire Upon the Deep, less so than The Dreaming Void trilogy.

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- Century Rain certainly has you piquing my interest.

- Doughnut even more so, already, heh.

- Bitter Seeds sounds pretty fascinating. :)

All three are great.  And if I had to pick one to follow up a spacey close-personal narrative, I'd probably suggest Bitter Seeds.  That said, Century Rain is relatively short and stands on its own quite well, so it might be worth doing as an intermediary between two series.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 08:51:17 AM by Draco18s »