13 November 2006

Military Science Fiction Classics

I ran across this listing of military science fiction (MSF) "classics." Although a couple are golden oldies, like First Lensman, many are much younger. Normally, I wouldn't consider work from the 80s and 90s "classic," but hey, MSF didn't evolve into a truly marketable sub-genre until the late 80s, though it was birthed in the 50s. Check out Del Rey's 2001 anthology, The Best Military Science Fiction of the Twentieth Century, for a great compendium of shorts.

Anyway, MSF happens to be one of my favorites, and it's always interesting to compare older works with those being published today. How the market doth drive readers' tastes!

Wiki has a definition of military science fiction that I would agree with except for the interplanetary/interstellar conflict part. I think MSF can occur at a global level too without bringing in star systems or galaxies. Anyone else have an opinion?

If I compiled a MSF reading list, it would have to include Herbert's Dune (yes, that could be considered sociological too), Heinlein's Starship Troopers (Casper Van Dien's and Denise Richards' acting in the movie did NOT improve on the original story so, don't go there), Card's Ender's Game, and Drake's Hammer's Slammers. I'd add in books from Burroughs' Mars series and McCaffrey's Pern series too.

Anyone else have a list of "classic" MSF every other fan should read?


Betsy Dornbusch said...
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Betsy Dornbusch said...

I didn't think I liked military science fiction until I saw your list. I also liked Dune, Starship Troopers, and Ender's Game. I would think Timothy Zahn's Conqueror's series would fit in there nicely, too. Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers author Robert Buettner wrote a very good book, Orphanage, that many have compared to Starship Troopers.

lesleylsmith said...

Don't forget the Hugo and Nebula Award winning 'The Forever War' by Joe Haldeman.
And I believe 'Forever Peace' by Joe Haldeman also won the Hugo. Ooh, I can think of other award winners with military aspects:
'A Fire Upon the Deep' by Vernon Vinge,
'The Uplift War' David Brin,
'Ender's Game' by Orson Scott Card (did you say that already?), and
'The Healer's War' by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. There's probably more.

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