Friday, March 5, 2010

Great Short Story

Marko, the Munchkin Wrangler, has put a wonderful short story up on his page.  I'm definitely putting him on my list of authors to watch out for.

I've been hooked on military SF since I found my step-father's copy of Starship Troopers.  Read it through twice in one night.  Been re-reading it every so often since then.  I had a first sergeant once who was the biggest geek I've ever seen who also had a combat drop star on his jump wings and a Ranger regiment combat patch, and he required all of his NCO's to read Heinlein for professional development.

David Drake caught my eye when I saw a Hammer's Slammers book in the PX in Germany, and I've read everything I can find of his since then.  Even though I love the Slammers series, my favorite of his is Redliners.  It's a lot less about the technology and more about the people and the impact that combat has on them.  Less deux ex machina than the Slammers, even if Drake uses the Slammers to retell wonderful historical stories, such as the Nika Riots and the Odyssey.

I recently read Freehold by Michael Z. Williamson.  It's a good story with a real focus on the development and evolution of the main character.  It's highly political, and has a bit too much sex in it, but it made for really engrossing reading.

Of course, Roberta X. has her "I Work on a Starship" series, which are excellent short stories that I'd love to see printed in dead tree format so I can give them to my kids.

Speaking of something I pass onto my kids, Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International was a quasi-military SF yarn that I liked so much, I bought a copy for Junior Bear for Christmas. 

My favorite military SF occurs in the 'next century' kind of timeframe.  Maybe we have FTL drive and all the other high-tech goodies, but it's not a smooth 'let's go' kind of thing that's been around for centuries. People in the stories are still people with all their warts and cracks, not totally together self-actualized wonderkinder.  Technology may have changed, but it's still as buggy and cantankerous as it is today.  I grew up reading and watching Star Trek, but as an adult, I've lost a little interest.  After actually being in the military and seeing how unevenly things work in the real world, I find it hard to suspend my disbelief enough to get into something where everything mostly works.  And in the event that something does break, it's fixed in a couple of hours by people who intuitively know what's wrong and don't have to spend hours or days reading through manuals to find out what that !@#$!@# unpublished error code means.

Not to say I don't watch Star Trek, though.  Hey, I'm still a geek.

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