The Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Military SF Part II

By Richard C.

It’s Military SF part II, and important questions remain. Like what about the role of women here, both as authors and characters? If you made it to Seattle’s February Potlatch convention – a small, literary speculative fiction event – you might have seen a session called Women Ruin War – The Gendering of Military Science Fiction. Their question? “What do women bring to telling stories of war and soldiering?”

Their answer and mine? A lot.

Valor's ChoiceTrading in DangerOn Basilisk Station

For a tremendous tale of adversity try On Basilisk Station. Economic incentives are driving governments to war as soldier Honor Harrington’s will to succeed crashes against a military machine trying to ruin her career. She has the military acumen and persistence to demonstrate her worth as a officer, and perhaps best of all, an alien feline-esque companion on her shoulder. If you like book 1 and a nice long series, then you’ll love how David Weber gives you 14 sequels.

The Mirror EmpireAncillary Justice

Publishers weekly commends Elizabeth Moon for her strong heroines and interstellar naval adventures. In Moon’s book Trading in Danger, the space academy unfairly cuts short Kylara Vatta’s military career, but her talents come in handy when colonial warfare hits close to home.

God's War

Just like “Black Jack” Geary from yesterday’s post, Staff Sergeant Torin gets zero R&R after a devastating battle in Valor’s Choice. Instead, Torin’s mission takes her to the planet Silsviss, home to a militant lizard-like people and a likely future war zone with an even greater enemy. It’s civil war hovering over the plots of both Ancillary Justice and The Mirror Empire. The former, Ann Leckie’s 2014 Hugo and Nebula award winner, is filled with not just deception and intrigue, but a curious personal pronoun ambiguity. It’s very much worth getting on the hold list! Finally, more than any other SF book I’ve read for this blog post, God’s War responds  unapologetically to any lingering question of what women contribute to the field. I put it last, but read it first.

Do check in tomorrow for Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Military SF Part III!

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