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The Complete Hammer's Slammers: Volume I Paperback – October 6, 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: Complete Hammer's Slammers (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; 1ST edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439133093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439133095
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Drake was attending Duke University Law School when he was drafted. He served the next two years in the Army, spending 1970 as an enlisted interrogator with the 11th armored Cavalry in Viet Nam and Cambodia. Upon return he completed his law degree at Duke and was for eight years Assistant Town Attorney for Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He has been a full-time freelance writer since 1981. Besides the best-selling Hammer’s Slammers series, his books for Baen include the popular Leary of the RCN series, with seven volumes so far: With the Lightnings; Lt. Leary, Commanding; The Far Side of the Stars; The Way to Glory; Some Golden Harbor, When the Tide Rises and In the Stormy Red Sky. His “Lord of the Isles” fantasy novels for Tor are genre best sellers. Among his other Baen titles are Ranks of Bronze, All the Way to the Gallows, Redliners, and many more.  

More About the Author

The Army took David Drake from Duke Law School and sent him on a motorized tour of Viet Nam and Cambodia with the 11th Cav, the Blackhorse. He learned new skills, saw interesting sights, and met exotic people who hadn't run fast enough to get away.

Dave returned to become Chapel Hill's Assistant Town Attorney and to try to put his life back together through fiction making sense of his Army experiences.

Dave describes war from where he saw it: the loader's hatch of a tank in Cambodia. His military experience, combined with his formal education in history and Latin, has made him one of the foremost writers of realistic action SF and fantasy. His bestselling Hammer's Slammers series is credited with creating the genre of modern Military SF. He often wishes he had a less interesting background.

Dave lives with his family in rural North Carolina.

Customer Reviews

Lots of great story ideas.
Fred Henry
All in all, I highly recommend these books for anyone who enjoys military sci-fi.
Blake Field
David Drake is excellent at the armor he writes about.
D Crowder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Utah Blaine on March 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first in a three volume compilation of all the Hammer's Slammers stories (short stories, novellas, and novels) written by David Drake. Hammer's Slammers is a fictional mercenary armored regiment that is hired out by various organizations, planetary governments, commercial interests, etc. to fight their battles. The Slammers typically provide the mobile muscle for any indigenous forces and have proven decisive in a large number of campaigns. The unit's name is derived from that of its commander/owner, Alois Hammer. The backdrop is based on the authors own experiences in the 11th ACR in Vietnam. This first volume is largely a collection of short stories, and the Slammer's universe is both complex and highly entertaining. The stories generally don't center on one (or a few) main character, but describe the exploits of various elements of the Slammers at different times and places. The unit is very similar to a modern ACR in the US Army. There are heavy tanks, lighter and faster recon vehicle, artillery, etc. The firepower of the Slammers is awesome, and that firepower is often, but not always, decisive. In the Slammerverse, there are a large number of mercenary units (that often fight one another), but the Slammers are widely regarded as the best. There is a certain moral ambiguity among the Slammers that I found particularly enjoyable. For the most part, they don't really care which side of a conflict they fight on, and they try not to get too emotionally attached. The Slammers generally don't want to harm civilians, but if the civilians take up arms against them, the gloves are totally off.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Blake Field on January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
David Drake is a veteran, and he writes like one. If you have read even one of his Hammer's Slammers stories, you will need no introduction to the universe about which he writes. All of the stories are collected in the three volumes, and they are all very good. His writing style is very straightforward, and not overly wordy. He tends to write in the way that I imagine one of his characters would speak.

One of the cool aspects of the Complete series is the insertion of small chapters that describe various aspects of the Drake universe that I do not believe are described elsewhere, such as the development of powerguns, the ascension of tanks on those battlefields, the emergence of the mercenary "trade system" and other things. Also included are illustrations that give you an idea of what some of these vehicles look like.

All in all, I highly recommend these books for anyone who enjoys military sci-fi.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rook056 on February 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a new follower of the Hammer's Slammers, I was suprised that I enjoyed this book. It's a collection of short stories that revolve around the wars that a futuristic mercenary compony fights. Hammer's Slammers is a mechanized regiment under the command of Alois Hammer. In the Hammerverse, advanced weapons are too expensive for most governments to maintain on a normal basis. Thus the use of mercenary companies.

The characters from each story are from various backgrounds such as a recruit, veteran, retired soldier, and alien among others. There are also sections that explain the technology, history, and other element unique the setting which tie into the following short story.

The style of the stories are character driven. In some of the stories it would be easy to replace the sci-fi tech with modern weaponry to get a realistic feel. The main appeal of this book is the emotional and introspection the characters feel when faced with the grim realities of war. I was surprised that the stories didn't revolve solely on the leader of Hammer's Slammers. The varied points of view from the stories also create a broader depth to the universe that Hammer's Slammers takes place in and is a good starting point for the setting created by David Drake.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Voted Quimby on May 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I ordered the three volumes of the Complete Hammer's Slammers several years ago, interested enough to roll the dice on buying all three books before reading any of them. It was a friend's recommendation, and he had yet to steer me wrong.

Admittedly I was skeptical. A lot of authors published under Baen have failed to blow my hair back, and the cover art had a kind of cheesy Heinlein-wannabe aesthetic going on that really kind of put me off. I was delighted to find that Drake's work was nothing so crass. This is a book that neither revels in glorious battle nor stands on a mountain-top making sanctimonious declarations. It is largely apolitical, although the politics of this future society figure prominently into the stories.

Slammers is about the soldiers. This book is closer to Tim O'Brien than it is to David Weber; deconstructing the perspective of ground troops against a science fiction backdrop highlights familiar characteristics that can be found in the work of O'Brien or Mark Bowen or Tim Hetherington. Interplanetary colonies and hover-tanks do surprisingly little to distract the reader from the intense accounts of combat or the quiet dread of a night patrol.

The interaction between Drake's soldiers takes center stage, revealing poignant glimpses of morality, loyalty, and professionalism, often accompanied by fear and despair. The Slammers are never heroes, though sometimes their actions are heroic. They are never monsters, despite their cold approach to their contracts (The Slammers are a mercenary unit). One individual is never defined by another. This book exists in a murky world of gray morality, where dehumanizing conditions somehow reveal a deeper picture of humanity.
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