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Michael Barnes
August 18, 2022
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Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

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Scout Board Game Review

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The Split - Review

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July 21, 2022
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David Weber/Honor Harrington series & John Ringo?

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14 Jan 2011 12:36 #84637 by Dogmatix
As I mentioned in the 5 favorite sci-fi novels list, I'm a big fan of David Weber's books based on the Starfire game's universe. He's decent with character development, but his strength is, without question, military action--particularly naval action (both 'space navy' and, based on what I just read in Armageddon Reef, 'oar and sail' stuff too). In the case of the Starfire stuff, I also really like that none of them *feel* like game-related books. E.g., when I read most of Gav Thorpe's Warhammer 40k stuff, I feel like I'm reading a B-grade session report for a long 40k campaign--like I can just about see the die-rolls between the lines of text. Weber's stuff is nothing like that.

So, that said, I'm just finishing up the pair of Bolo books Weber wrote (had no idea that so many authors had picked up where Laumer left off 40 years ago) and am trolling around for something new. Anyone here read the Honor Harrington series? Thoughts?

Also, I see Weber has collaborated with John Ringo on a series (March something). I've never read any of Ringo's stuff but he seems to be another star in the military sci-fi constellation. Anyone have thoughts on Ringo's stuff. His Freehold series (I think that's what it's called) looks a bit like Weber's style but with a focus on ground-pounders. Anyone read any of his stuff and have any recommendations? If I use Hammer's Slammer's as the baseline on my scale for ground-pounder military sci-fi (decent characters, strong action, but not exactly "literatuuure" here), where would Ringo rate?

In short, where should I spend my $1/book (+ shipping) for beat-up used copies on the Amazon marketplace?

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14 Jan 2011 13:01 #84641 by Chapel
I've read most of Keith Laumer bolo novels way back when. I haven't read any of Weber's books as of yet. The Honor Harrington series looks pretty cool. I'm kind of weird when it comes to Military SciFi, as I like my authors who write it to have a military background. Then the feelings expressed in talking about how military life, even in space are more realistic to me. Laumer was a military man, as well as The Forever War author Joe Haldeman, in which he expresses his Viet Nam experience into the book itself.

David Weber, well, hard to tell if he can capture that feeling, not ever experiencing it.

I know, kind of weird, but so be it.

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14 Jan 2011 13:06 #84642 by Bernie
The 1632 books are pretty awesome. I have ah huge library of Ringo, Webber, and David Drake. Sometimes when you get a baen book in hardcover they give you a disc with a ton of books on it. You could also check online at www.baen.com/library/ to look at thier free stuff to give you a better idea.

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14 Jan 2011 13:42 #84648 by Dogmatix
Chapel wrote:

David Weber, well, hard to tell if he can capture that feeling, not ever experiencing it.

I know, kind of weird, but so be it.


Not that weird to me as I hear that a lot from guys at work (defense contractor and all that) regarding the modern military fiction crowd (Clancy, Brown, Bond, etc.). I don't actually know anything about Weber's background, but I actually assumed he had been a (probably peace-time) navy rating of some sort based on some of the day-to-day drudgery that filters into his books. The plus for me is that focuses more on character rather than being a hardcore hardware guy (I get really bored by military fiction authors--sci-fi or otherwise--who clearly spent their teen years jerking off with copies of Jane's Defense Weekly instead of Playboy...)...

Leon: Thanks for the tips. The 163x series was kind of a cypher to me. But, if you're comfortable talking about Drake, Ringo, and Weber in the same breath, it sounds like I'd be comfortable grabbing almost anything and giving it a shot.

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15 Jan 2011 12:50 - 15 Jan 2011 12:52 #84785 by dysjunct
I've read most of the Honor Harrington books. I'm not a huge military sci-fi buff but they are mostly entertaining. You have to be willing to revel in the cliches.

- Harrington herself is an infallible ice-queen with a stick up her ass, who is the best person in the room at everything. She also has a stupid and boring cat who's supposed to be cute, and she's quirky because she likes hot chocolate instead of coffee. If only she could get lucky in love.
- The first novel involves Harrington taking a backwater post and turning a ragtag bunch of misfits into an elite fighting force who believes in themselves, coincidentally right before the backwater post gets suprise attacked by bad guys that no one saw coming except every reader ever.
- The politics are ridiculous. The bad guys are a People's Republic where everyone is on the dole and people constantly whine about how their rights are being violated and everything is unfair. The good guys are a constitutional monarchy where freedom and justice rule over all, and everything is a strict meritocracy except who's in charge. But that's okay because the people in charge are good and wise. Imagine if Lee Greenwood was English instead of American, and every PA system in the UK was constantly blasting his songs.

That being said, they're surprisingly good reads. I thought I'd hate the first one but read it on a recommendation and ended up sticking with the series for about 8-10 books before losing interest.
Last edit: 15 Jan 2011 12:52 by dysjunct.

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16 Jan 2011 14:21 #84909 by Bernie
They are authors in the "would not call them good books but by god I love to read at least one series by them". the 16xx books are fun. Not always realistic or of the sense making, but fun. Drake's Lt. Leary books are also a fun romp. I don't read much of Ringo's solo work but have read some his joint efforts.

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16 Jan 2011 14:49 #84912 by Dogmatix
I will say that internal and external politics are not Weber's strong suit in anything I've read to date. I think that whole People's Republic nonsense is little more than a straight nod to Keith Laumer. Laumer used the PR model in an awful lot of his stuff, which kind of makes sense since he was a former State Dept. wonk writing during the height of the Cold War.

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