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Customer Discussions > Science Fiction forum

Need some recommendations on Military sci fi books

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Showing 1-25 of 124 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 4, 2011 6:15:27 PM PDT
C. Stynes says:
Hi i would love it if i could get some recommendations on which military sci fi books that i could read since i have totally run out of recommendations myself and amazon keeps on recommending books that i have already read =( . I really like books with strong female characters ie: the Serrano Legacy by Elisabeth moon or the honor harrington books by David weber

Here is a short list of the some of the series that i have read and really enjoyed

Everything by Elisabeth moon
Everything by Chris Bunch
Lost fleet books by jack Campbell
Kris Longknife books by Mike shepherd
Confederation books by tanya Huff
First 4 Posleen War books by John Ringo
The Galaxy unknown books by Thomas DePrima

Posted on Apr 4, 2011 6:25:27 PM PDT
M. Jordan says:
In the Balance: An Alternate History of the Second World War (Worldwar, Volume 1)

Great series on the 3rd installment myself.

Posted on Apr 4, 2011 7:17:24 PM PDT
Here's an earlier thread on the same subject--lots of good recommendations:

Posted on Apr 5, 2011 10:54:28 AM PDT
K. Harris says:
In Fury Born,& The Path of the Fury by David Weber

Posted on Apr 6, 2011 2:16:26 AM PDT
C. Stynes says:
Thanks K.Harris they sound interesting will give them a look :)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2011 2:49:13 AM PDT
Akela says:
I'd also recommend Weber's The Apocalypse Troll, which is a standalone and a great read.

And - nec plus ultra - the whole Dorsai cycle by the late Gordon Dickson. I simply don't know any better military SF. Though it is more stragetic (rather than just shooting) and has tons of philosophy in it - depends if you want more sheer action or more strategic thinking and devious military plots from your military SF. Gordon used some ancient and famous battles and brilliant tactical tricks for his plotting - I personally love that.

Posted on Apr 6, 2011 7:39:53 AM PDT
C.J. Cherryh's Alliance-Union books usually have very strong female characters and have a lot of military elements.

- Downbelow Station
- Merchanter's Luck
- Rimrunners

Posted on Dec 22, 2011 8:19:58 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Sep 20, 2012 10:02:38 AM PDT
Tigger Boy says:
"IN HER NAME" by Hicks
"GLORY AND EMPIRE(Traci Ganner) by Jeffreys
ANNE MCCAFFREY= many many books , many strong females,(THE Rowan,Nimisha's Ship,etc,etc)
MICHELLE SAGARA=Cast in Chaos(Chronicles)

Posted on Dec 22, 2011 3:43:51 PM PST
I highly recommend "THE FOREVER WAR" by Joe Haldeman and of course the classic "STARSHIP TROOPERS" by Robert Heinlein. Those two books are in my opinion the best military science fiction books ever written. I have spoken with Joe Haldeman before and he said he wrote "THE FOREVER WAR" as a response of his generation (Vietnam) to Heinlein's generation (WWII) - so I recommend reading "STARSHIP TROOPERS" first and then "THE FOREVER WAR". Don't worry - the novel "STARSHIP TROOPERS" has almost nothing in common with the campy sci-fi movie made in the 1997.

Posted on Dec 22, 2011 3:53:42 PM PST
Kelly says:
Starship Troopers may have been the worst movie adaptation ever. Both of Arlene's books are excellent - there is a newer one in that vein that is the start of a series, or at least a common setting - "Old Man's War"... I think the name was Scalzi. He mentions ST in the afterword as well... though in this case, the powered armor is bioengineered bodies. The consciousness of old people, both men and women, is transferred to them. You are not enlisted until age 75....

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2011 9:49:30 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2011 9:52:03 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 24, 2011 11:07:35 AM PST]

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 10:30:24 AM PST
As someone mentioned, try John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" series--currently consists of "Old Man's War," "The Ghost Brigades," "The Last Colony," and "Zoe's Tale." The last of those is essentially a reworking of the third book from a different character's point of view--an interesting idea that mostly works. Overall, a great series.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2012 11:18:42 AM PST
TO: C. Stynes

RE: "Hi i would love it if i could get some recommendations on which military sci fi books..."

Below are a few books that I would heartily recommend:


Worldwar: In the Balance
A Novel by Harry Turtledove
From Pearl Harbor to panzers rolling through Paris to the Siege of Leningrad and the Battle of Midway, war seethed across the planet as the flames of destruction rose higher and hotter.
And then, suddenly, the real enemy came.
The invaders seemed unstoppable, their technology far beyond human reach. And never before had men been more divided. For Jew to unite with Nazi, American with Japanese, and Russian with German was unthinkable.
But the alternative was even worse.
As the fate of the world hung in the balance, slowly, painfully, humankind took up the shocking challenge . . .

Worldwar: Tilting the Balance
A Novel by Harry Turtledove
An alternative World War II takes an unexpected turn when a race of lizard-like space aliens sweep down to conquer Earth, causing the Allied and Axis forces to combine atomic bomb technologies.

Worldwar: Upsetting the Balance
A Novel by Harry Turtledove
Communist China, Japan, Nazi Germany, the United States: they began World War II as mortal enemies. But suddenly their only hope for survival--never mind victory--was to unite to stop a mighty foe--one whose frightening technology appeared invincible.

Far worse beings than the Nazis were loose. From Warsaw to Moscow to China's enemy-occupied Forbidden City, the nations of the world had been forced into an uneasy alliance since humanity began its struggle against overwhelming odds. In Britain and Germany, where the banshee wail of hostile jets screamed across the land, caches of once-forbidden weapons were unearthed, and unthinkable tactics were employed against the enemy. Brilliantly innovative military strategists confronted challenges unprecedented in the history of warfare.

Even as lack of fuel forced people back to horse and carriage, physicists worked feverishly to create the first atomic bombs--with horrifying results. City after city joined the radioactive pyre as the planet erupted in fiery ruins. Yet the crisis continued--on land, sea, and in the air--as humanity writhed in global combat. The tactics of daredevil guerrillas everywhere became increasingly ingenious against a superior foe whose desperate retaliation would grow ever more fearsome.

No one had ever put the United States, or the world, in such deadly danger. But if the carnage and annihilation ever stopped, would there be any pieces to pick up?

Worldwar: Striking the Balance
A Novel by Harry Turtledove
At the bloody height of World War II, the deadliest enemies in all of human history were forced to put aside their hatreds and unite against an even fiercer foe: a seemingly invincible power bent on world domination.
With awesome technology, the aggressors swept across the planet, sowing destruction as Tokyo, Berlin, and Washington, D.C., were A-bombed into submission. Russia, Nazi Germany, Japan and the U.S. were not easily cowed, however. With cunning and incredible daring, they pressed every advantage against the invader's superior strength, and, led by Stalin, began to detonate their own atom bombs in retaliation.
City after city explodes in radioactive firestorms, and fears grow as the worldwide resources disappear; will there be any world left for the invaders to conquer, or for the uneasy allies to defend?
While Mao Tse-tung wages a desperate guerrilla war and Hitler drives his country toward self-destruction, United States forces frantically try to stop the enemy's push from coast to coast. Yet in this battle to stave off world domination, unless the once-great military powers take the risk of annihilating the human race, they'll risk losing the war.
The fatal, final deadline arrives in Harry Turtledove's grand, smashing finale to the Worldwar series, as uneasy allies desperately seek a way out of a no-win, no-survival situation: a way to live free in a world that may soon be bombed into atomic oblivion.


Colonization: Second Contact
A Novel by Harry Turtledove
Twenty years after the Allied and Axis forces had united to repel marauding extraterrestrial invaders; the social unrest of the 1960s threatens to ignite global war, a situation that is further complicated by the arrival of an alien colonization fleet.

Colonization: Down to Earth
A Novel by Harry Turtledove
Arriving in the midst of World War II, aliens have conquered half the Earth and are threatening to exterminate all life on the planet if they don't get their way.

Colonization: Aftershocks
A Novel by Harry Turtledove
Set in the same universe as the Worldwar series, this installment brings us to Earth in the 1960s, where four superpowers rule: the United States, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and the extraterrestrials of the Race.
The following book is a continuation of the Colonization story, even though it is not considered to be a part of that series.

Homeward Bound
A Novel by Harry Turtledove
With his epic novels of alternate history, Harry Turtledove shares a stunning vision of what might have been-and what might still be-if one moment in history were changed. In the WorldWar and Colonization series, an ancient, highly advanced alien species found itself locked in a bitter struggle with a distant, rebellious planet-Earth. For those defending the Earth, this all-out war for survival supercharged human technology, made friends of foes, and turned allies into bitter enemies. With its extraordinary cast of characters-human, nonhuman and some in between- "Homeward Bound" is a fascinating contemplation of cultures, armies, and individuals in collision.

Below are some excellent military SF books by Ian Douglas:


Semper Mars

The Year is 2040. - The Marines have landed on Mars to guard the unearthed secrets - of an ancient and dangerous alien race: - Ourselves. - Scientists have discovered something astonishing in the subterranean ruins of a sprawling Martian city: startling evidence of an alternative history that threatens to split humanity into opposing factions and plunge the Earth into chaos and war. The USMC -- a branch of a military considered, until just recently, to be obsolete -- has dispatched the Marine Mars Expeditionary Force, a thirty-man weapons platoon, to the Red Planet to protect American civilians and interest with lethal force if necessary.

Because great powers are willing to devastate a world in order to keep an ancient secret buried. Because something that was hidden in the Martian dust for half a million years has just been unearthed... something that calls into question every belief that forms the delicate foundation of civilization...

Something inexplicably human.

Luna Marine

The revelations on Mars -- a half-million year-old legacy of the vanished star-traveling Builders -- have fed the flames of catastrophic war. A beleaguered United States and its Russian and Japanese allies struggle to hold their own against the indomitable forces of the enemy United Nations. The bloody conflict that has swept over the home planet now rages across the blackness of space -- with the U.S. Marine Corps in the vanguard, leading the charge as always. But Mars is not the sole repository of alien wonders. The Earth's moon hides unsettling mysteries of its own-and dangerous secrets pointing toward an unstoppable threat advancing from somewhere beyond the solar system. And as scientists on both sides race to utilize technology they have only barely begun to comprehend, the UN makes the opening move in a gambit that could end the hostilities quickly and decisively by bringing about the death of millions...without the aid of alien-inspired weaponry. A bad situation worsens by the nanosecond. And that means it's time to call in the Marines -- to make a life or death stand on the gray shores of Luna.

Europa Strike

2040: Ruins of ancient civilization uncovered on Mars reveal startling truths about the creation of humankind. - 2042: In the gray dust of the Earth's Moon, an extinct enslaving race left behind more answers, more questions...and a grim warning. - 2067: As Earth's warring factions clash in space for scraps of alien technology, a strange artifact lies trapped beneath the ice-locked oceans of Europa: a machine that holds the key to the final human destiny.

It is called "The Singer" for the eerie tone it emits. An artificial intelligence built eons ago, it may ultimately solve the mystery of the vanished alien races responsible for the birth and development of humanity. But after decades of war, the hostile nations of Earth care more for power than for knowledge. And now all that stands between the coveted Al and an all-out Chinese assault is a vastly outnumbered contingent of U.S. marines, dug in beneath the baleful red eye of Jupiter. As terrifying events light years distant begin to converge---with confrontation imminent and annihilation inevitable---a secret history of creation and doom must at long last be contended with...if humankind is to finally claim its glorious heritage among the stars.


Star Corps

In the future, - earth's warriors have - conquered the heavens. - But on a distant world, - Humanity is in chains ... - Many millennia ago, the human race was enslaved by the An -- a fearsome alien people whose cruel empire once spanned the galaxies, until they were defeated and consigned to oblivion. But a research mission to the planet Ishtar has made a terrifying -- and fatal -- discovery: the Ahanu, ancestors of the former masters, live on, far from the reach of Earth -- born weapons and technology ... and tens of thousands of captive human souls still bow to their iron will. Now Earth's Interstellar Marine Expeditionary Unit must undertake a rescue operation as improbable as it is essential to humankind's future, embarking on a ten-year voyage to a hostile world to face an entrenched enemy driven by dreams of past glory and intent once more on domination. For those who, for countless generations, have known nothing but toil and subjugation must be granted, at all costs, the precious gift entitled to all of their star-traveling kind: freedom!


When called to do battle many light years from home, the 1st Marine Interstellar Expeditionary Unit rose to the challenge -- and now thousands of enslaved humans have been freed from the alien yoke. But Earth is twenty-one years older than the home planet they originally left, and the Marines need time to retrain and readjust -- time they do not have, due to the bizarre disappearance of a detachment of their brothers- and sisters-in-arms. It is a mystery, but there is a starting point: an ancient wormhole threading through the Sirius system. Whatever waits on the other side must be confronted, with stealth, with force, and without fear -- be it an ancient enemy or a devastating new threat.

The Marines are heading into the perilous unknown . . . and what transpires there could reshape the universe for millennia to come.

Star Marines

With the planet's fighting men and women deployed across the galaxy, battling in the noble cause of enslaved humanity, the insidious Xul have reached across space to devastate the unsuspecting Earth with asteroid fire. Without warning, a once majestic world is reduced to near-rubble, and the very future of humankind is in dire jeopardy. - Interplanetary leaders are on the brink of abandoning Earth and its colonies to an overwhelming enemy. But Brigadier General Garroway of the Marine Interstellar Expeditionary Unit is unwilling to concede defeat, not as long as there's a single marine willing to give his or her life in defense of their embattled home world. The ultimate battle is about to be waged, with breathtaking new attack technology, an ancient code of courage, and the help of an ally race that once inhabited the Earth, in a war that will alter the universe forever . . .


Star Strike

Planet by planet, galaxy by galaxy, the inhabited universe has fallen to the alien Xul. - Now only one obstacle stands between them and total domination: the warriors of a resilient race the world-devourers nearly annihilated centuries ago . . . - A power vast, ancient, and terrifying, the mighty Xul have lost track of the insignificant humans hundreds of years after devastating their home world -which has enabled the United Star Marines to operate unnoticed and unhindered. A near-autonomous intergalactic policing force, they battle in defense of an Earth they may not live to see again. Now, following the trail of a vanished twenty-fourth-century transport, they are journeying through an unexplored stargate to the edge of an unknown galaxy many light years from their sun. For the last, best, and only chance to defeat the tyrants of the universe may at long last be at hand . . .

Galactic Corps

War is forever - The people on Earth no longer remember how the human race was nearly obliterated centuries earlier during the terror visited upon them by the merciless Xul. But the Star Marines, thirty thousand light years from home, know all too well the horror that still lives. - In the year 2886, in the midst of the intergalactic war that has been raging nonstop for nearly a decade, the unthinkable has occurred. Intelligence has located the gargantuan hidden home world of humankind's dedicated foe, the brutal, unstoppable Xul. The time has come for the courageous men and women of the 1st Marine Interstellar Expeditionary Force to strike the killing blow. But misguided politics on an Earth that no longer supports their mission could prove the Marine's greatest enemy-as they plunge bravely into the maelstrom of conflict . . . and into the heart of a million-year-old mystery.

Semper Human

The Final Conflict - Chaos has erupted throughout the known galaxy, threatening countless colonies and orbital habitats -- as the Associative struggles vainly to keep the peace. Extreme measures are called for in these times of dire crisis, and the Star Marines are awakened from their voluntary 850-year cybe-hibe sleep. But General Trevor Garroway and his warriors are about to discover that the old rules of engagement have drastically changed...

The end begins with an old-style assault on rebels at the Tarantula Stargate. But true terror looms at the edges of known reality. Humankind's eternal enemy -- the brutal, unstoppable Xul-approaches, wielding a weapon monstrous beyond imagining. Suddenly not only is the future in jeopardy, but the past is as well -- and if the Marines fail to eliminate their relentless xenophobic foe once and for all, the Great Annihilator will obliterate every last trace of human existence.

Posted on Feb 24, 2012 1:07:41 PM PST
D. Pettiner says:
Hammers' Slammers. Dorsai series (Dickson) Honor Harrington series (Weber). There are several other good military fiction series, but my memory fades......

Posted on Mar 3, 2012 5:33:14 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Mar 3, 2012 5:44:59 PM PST]

Posted on Mar 3, 2012 5:49:56 PM PST
Nikki says:

Tour of the Merrimack series by RM Meluch - this has Togas in Space. And swords in spaceships, with super creepy aliens. Very cool.
Clone series by Stephen L Kent (or maybe Steven)
Redliners by David Drake - I've read this one a few times, and it never gets old.
Orphans series by Robert Buettner
Empire of Man series by David Drake, David Weber
Germline by TC McCarthy Embedded by Dan Abnett
Age of Gods series by James Lovegood - not really "science-y", but pretty cool anyway

OK, I'm having trouble with my tablet. Weird things are happening, and I even deleted my post. Sorry.

Try Laura Reeve's series. I've not read it, but I've heard good things about it.
Also, while neither are military SF, The Liaden Universe series and SL Viehls doctor books are very good.

Posted on Mar 3, 2012 7:11:13 PM PST
Lois Mcmaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series. Start with either _Shards of Honor) or _The Warrior's Apprentice_

Posted on Mar 3, 2012 9:09:53 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 3, 2012 9:19:06 PM PST
The Jason Wander Orphanage series by Robert Beutner. Orphanage, Orphan's Destiny, Orphan's Journey, Orphan's Alliance, Orphan's Triumph - although I liked the first book Orphanage the best. There is also a new series, Orphan's Legacy. This series is set a generation after the Jason Wander books. I have not read the new series yet.

Posted on Mar 3, 2012 10:08:09 PM PST
This isn't my typical genre, but I enjoyed Children No More by Mark L. Van Name. It's the fifth book in the Jon and Lobo series. I plan to read more, but this was the first one I ever picked up. I was able to follow the story just fine, even jumping in at the fifth in the series.

Posted on Mar 4, 2012 11:14:56 AM PST
Nikki says:
Oh! I really like Mark L van Names series! I forgot all about them though. He has a new one coming out, called "No Going Back". The Jon & Lobo series isn't really military, although it does fit into the category somewhat.

Jon is the ultimate secret of the universe, and he can't allow anyone, ever, to learn his secret. He is a good man, but is conflicted about helping others, because if he's caught, they will learn his secret. And if that happens, it will change the universe.

Logo is a hyper-intelligent spacecraft, built for fighting. They make an interesting duo.

I definitely recommend reading this series, and am glad SL Wallace mentioned it. I think I'll go read them again.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2012 3:41:34 PM PST
>The Jon & Lobo series isn't really military, although it does fit into the category somewhat.<

The one I read gives background into his military-ish training and deals with the issue of child soldiers. Like I said, I haven't read the others yet but plan to soon.

Posted on Mar 5, 2012 5:50:14 AM PST
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Posted on Mar 5, 2012 12:21:32 PM PST
The Lost Fleet Series, starting with: Dauntless (The Lost Fleet, Book 1) is good, honest old-fashioned Space Opera.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2012 12:37:33 PM PST
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Initial post:  Apr 4, 2011
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