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

4.4 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Fans of Drake's edgy stories of a mercenary tank regiment in a future not all that different from our present will rejoice that Night Shade is issuing the entire series in three volumes. Drake, a Vietnam vet who served in the Blackhorse Regiment, uses prose as cold and hard as the metal alloy of a tank to portray the men and women of Hammer's Regiment as neither cartoon heroes nor propaganda villains but as competent professionals trying to survive in a deadly business. His bad guys are typically the politicians and extremists who think that war can be desirable and positive when it's merely sadly necessary. In "The Butcher's Bill," we see how every line trooper makes policy regardless of higher wishes, while "Hangman" shows the ethical dilemmas facing a soldier of conscience. If the 21 stories collected here present an episodic account of the Slammers' history, that's because this is the way that the line soldier experiences a campaign. In his depiction of combat, Drake (The Way to Glory) rivals Crane and Remarque. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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.  
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Product Details

  • Series: Complete Hammer's Slammers (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439133093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439133095
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
HAMMER'S SLAMMERS are a mercenary Army regiment, operating in the 28th Century, who sell their services to the highest bidders on the diverse outlying human colonies, most of which are in constant conflict... sort of like futuristic Hessian mercenary soldiers of the 18th Century.

Here are brief reviews of the more substantial stories (mostly short stories, except where noted) from THE COMPLETE HAMMER'S SLAMMERS (VOLUME ONE):

*** UNDER THE HAMMER (1974) - Details a newbie Rob Jenne's first day among Hammer's Slammers - and he ends up having to learn fast.

**** THE BUTCHER'S BILL (1974) - If you hire the Slammers to get the job done, don't expect them or Sergeant-Commander Pritchard to play around when things get tough.

*** BUT LOYAL TO HIS OWN (1975) - Tells how the Slammers regiment got their start, and introduces Joachim Stueben, Colonel Hammer's smallish personal bodyguard - who has a prediliction for killing.

*** CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE (1978) - A young lady has to learn to kill quickly, and then chooses to join up with the Slammers, rather than go back with her now-husbandless villagemates.

***** CULTURAL CONFLICT (1979) - A remotely stationed platoon of Slammers meets up with an intelligent race of dense forest tree-dwellers, which leeds to a different kind of conflict with immense ramifications to all parties.

*** 1/2 HANGMAN (1979) Novellete - Danny Pritchard is now a Captain, and highly-trusted element of the Slammers. He doesn't approve of the casual voilence of Stueben, but will get the job done when called upon.
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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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Format: Hardcover
The first in a proposed three volume compendium of Dave Drake's HAMMERS SLAMMERS material, this one will be convenient to have. It is likely that the buyers will, at least in many cases, have already read what it contains, but having the tales together, in a hard-back format, will be a good thing.

The Slammers are, as Dave once said himself, "the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment with ray-guns", and are notably inspired by what Dave saw and heard while he was with the Blackhorse Cav in Vietnam and Cambodia some few years ago. Some of the best tales available to bring the violence, confusion and sometimes ambiguity of who the "good guys" are in combat to the reader.

If you have read Dave's Slammers material before, you'll enjoy having it pulled together into this anthology and will want the book. If you haven't, you owe yourself the pleasure of getting this book of tightly written, fast moving stories of what combat does to those who have the "privelege" of experiencing it.
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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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