Scifi space battle novels whats your favorites?

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Takaholic
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Postby Takaholic » Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:01 pm

Faulkenburg wrote:After reading through these posts, I think all of you would like The Lost Fleet: books by Jack Campbell. They reminded me a lot of the David Weber books which were based on the Starfire Game. (The full title of the first book is The Lost Fleet: Dauntless) (There is also :Fearless and :Courageous in the series. Now that I think about it these would make a great fit for the VBAM system... :wink:


Add me to the fans of the Lost Fleet series. I started listening to audiobooks of the series a few weeks ago to get the feel of the series, and have bought the books to add to my personal library. I sent the author of the series an email which he responded to. I noted that completing the situations he had set up in 6 books didn't feel right (6th book due out next year.) His reply was that the situation with the fleet returning to Alliance space would be completed with the 6th book, but they're planning a follow on series to deal with some of the external problems discussed in the books.

I started scanning thru the books, taking notes and hope to set up a VBAM scenario for Captain Geary fans.

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Postby XSiberia » Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:18 pm

The Vorkisaganseries has some good-but-brief space combat scenes. However, some very excellent ruminations on the tactical and strategic implications of military conflict in a universe navigated by wormhole connections.

The Algebraist by Ian M. Banks also features a brief but fascinating take on space combat fought at relativistic speeds during an STL interstellar voyage. The Revelation Space novels are similarly low on the pew-pew factor but filled with engrossing big ideas about what space combat might be like (particularly vis-a-vis the advent of universal turing devices).

Best I've read so far is the already oft mentioned HH and other Webber products/collaborations--at least for pew-pew.

For my money, though, there isn't a whole lot out there. Most of the best naval combat I've found is for the age-of-sail or modern genres. Scifi authors have a challenge to deliver high-concept physics/technical thought, stylistic readability and the grit/tactical tension--few manage to do it all (and often grit/tactical tension is the first to go).

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Postby Gareth_Perkins » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:53 am

Peacekeeper by Laura Reeve

A very enjoyable read - I'm looking forward to the second book. Her take on electronic warfare in particular seems very interesting (as it's a field typically handled in an extremely weak fashion, within the book this probably explains why their superweapons (temporal distortion [TD] weapons - knock systems out of reach for FTL ships possibly by knocking out the FTL-beacon, or possibly by totalling the sun - no-one knows yet, and data from the one real detonation is taking 15 years to arrive - its due a few months after the story starts, with the STL ship to deploy a new beacon arriving shortly afterwards) are required to use a manual (no AI or computer control) launch by treaty).

It doesn't give away many hints about space battles and battlefield technology beyond that, but it does offer an extremely plausible explanation as to how you might easily limit the scope of a VBAM scenario.

Essentially systems need a beacon for FTL ships to travel to them, the beacons are supplied by the (one) alien race encountered, and are not currently understood (and the aliens really hate TD weapons - they are the driving force for treaty negotiations between the two major powers). The beacons are placed by STL generation ships (only just STL, but nevertheless), taking years of travel to set up.
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Re: Scifi space battle novels whats your favorites?

Postby Vandervecken » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:19 am

Reviving this topic in case something new has been published in the last 2 years, and if any newer people to the Forums, (Like Me), have any Favorites.

Startide Rising - by David Brin: Has a wonderful Battle in it.

Protector - by Larry Niven : Also has a great short battle around some very hazardous 'Space' terrain.

Earthlight - by Arthur C. Clarke : Has a silent deadly little scrap between the revolting colony fleet and the Earth forces that just felt like what combat really might be, where Space is like the deepest ocean, and warships are like hunter-killer subs. Only a chapter or two, but I'll aways remember it.

All three of the above books are in my top 10 Sci-Fic books , so getting to the battles is as sweet as the battles themselves.

Many space combat games have Forums with fan Fiction. I recommend anyone with some spare time waiting for VBAM 2E to go to the Starfire Design Studio site, click on Community (their boards), then Click on Starfire Fiction, then the Nemesis Campaign, written by Procyon. Read everything and get hooked. (You don't need to know the Starfire system at all.) It's a campaign that he writes up about his family's campaign. Some of the battles he has written really needs to be published. Stuff we can aspire to match if we are talented, lucky, and have lots of time. There are a few other really cool campaigns there as well. Then check out other game 's boards, there is a lot of hidden talent out there.

<edited a few spelling errors.>

P.S. Favorite Ground Battles books: Bolo by Keith Laumer, Tactics of Mistake by Gordon R. Dickson (a Dorsai Novel), Starship Troopers by Heinlein, Armor by John Steakley, Either of the 2 Battletech trilogys by Michael A. Stackpole (his Star Wars novels are pretty good too !). Just from the top of my head.
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Re: Scifi space battle novels whats your favorites?

Postby Vandervecken » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:37 am

Oooh ... and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

cause sometimes ya just gotta let the battles be fought by the best people ... (Urkkk)
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Re: Scifi space battle novels whats your favorites?

Postby countercheck » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:54 am

Excession by Ian Banks has wicked strange space battles.

Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise by Charlie Stross have interesting takes on what space combat might become, and how militaries might need to adapt.

Bujold is amazing, but her Vorkosigan books aren't about the tactics or tech, really, they're entirely society and character driven (which is what makes them so good, really).

I'm totally off David Weber now. Missile spam isn't interesting to read, and the tech explanations have become incoherent, not to mention I hate his characters. I'll still read what other people write in his universe, though.

David Drake is still pretty good. He's got one schtick, but he's a good enough writer that I'll read it anyway. In general, I prefer Hammer's Slammers to Lt. Leary, but we're talking space battles, so, Leary. Actually Starliner has an interesting take on space combat too.

I have a soft spot for Star Wars from my childhood, but most of the prose is so bad, I can't stand to revisit it. Except for Aaron Allston's Wraith Squadron books. They're just hilarious good fun combined with super star destroyer hunting.

Come to think of it, I can't think of any other sci fi battle novels I could recommend. My taste in sci fi has gotten increasingly hard, and my taste in writing increasingly narrow, and there are very few well written hard sci fi novels with epic space battles. Maybe I should write one. Though narrating the AI computing missile intercepts might not be much fun. Everything would have to happen in orbit, where distances are short, things happen fast and there's terrain. Probably only a few ships. The beginning of a shooting war that would end up in interstellar missile spam, but right here, there are just a few gunboats. That could be fun.

Oh. Not true. Blindsight by Peter Watts. It's uneven, but very, very cool.

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Re: Scifi space battle novels whats your favorites?

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:02 pm

Earlier this year I read Through Struggle, The Stars by John Lumpkin and enjoyed it. It has a limited scope to its story, with action limited to a few locations and protagonists, but it was still a good read.

I have a stack of books sitting here waiting for me to read them. I have a habit of buying books right before my annual August vacation, but then only get a handful read. The rest get held over to be read during the year (doubtful due to schedule) or for the next year's vacation.
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Re: Scifi space battle novels whats your favorites?

Postby murtalianconfederacy » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:15 am

After looking at my previous reply a few years ago, I must admit that I've enjoyed both the Lost Fleet and the Starfire books mentioned previously--although the last two books of the Starfire universe (Exodus and Extremis) weren't particularly up to the standard of the earlier books.
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Re: Scifi space battle novels whats your favorites?

Postby aelius » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:02 am

You might want to check out the Star Carrier series by Ian Douglas.
Its a sort of hard sf series with rampant nanotech and man machine interface and at least a couple of big battles per book.
But it is full of big ideas and has a high wow factor. I especially like his take that aliens are, well alien. Just figuring out how they communicate is a chore.
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