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Subject: Favorite Military Science Fiction Character
pragmatist    9/6/2002 10:47:40 PM
It is great to see the choices for Favorite MSF book. There are so many great titles from which to choose. How about Favorite Military Science Fiction Character? I'd say my personal favorite has become Miles Vorkosigan from Lois McMaster Bujold's Vor Lord series. But my other favorites have to include: (in stream of consciousness order) Andrew Wiggens, Juan Rico, Jack Ryan, Conrad Schwartz, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, Paul Atriedes, Willard Phule, Sam Damon, Lazarus Long, Johnny Tremain, "The Mule", Honor Harrington, Jack Holloway, Rick Galloway, James Tiberius Kirk, Manual O'Kelly Davis, Nicholas Seafort, "Wiz" Zumwalt, Nathan MacKinnie, Harry Redington, Matthew Brooks Dodson, Horatio Hornblower .... .... others?
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mike_golf    RE:Hammer vs. Falkenberg-eon to mike_golf   4/1/2004 9:10:29 AM
Have you read Falkenberg's Legion yet where he takes on an armor brigade with his infantry and wins? Awesome battle. But, I see your point. I will say it is made clear in the Falkenberg books that if he hadn't pissed off a CoDO Grand Senator he would have achieved flag rank. I realize, as an ex-cavalryman, that it is sacrilege for me to choose Falkenberg over Hammer, but what can I say? I read "West of Honor" (the first Falkenberg book) long before I read any of the Hammer books. Johnny Christian is probably my favorite military sci fi character.
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patb1962    RE:Hammer vs. Falkenberg-eon to mike_golf   4/1/2004 11:35:42 AM
Falkenberg is better because he wins against longer odds. It is pretty clear in Hammer's Slammers that the Tanks are nigh on indestructable.
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eon    RE: West of Honor, etc.- eon to mike_golf   4/3/2004 11:45:46 AM
I see your point, too, MG. As i peck, I am roughly 2/3rds through "West of Honor". Johnny Christian handles the local governor much better than Hammer would (he of course would simply have Steuben arrange a "change of management"). After I finish this one, "The Mercenary" is next. (And just how do you do that smiley-face, BTW?)
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Horsesoldier    RE: West of Honor, etc.- eon to mike_golf   4/3/2004 11:57:12 AM
>>After I finish this one, "The Mercenary" is next.<< I'd recommend the hardcover "The Prince" -- it's a compilation of West of Honor, the Mercenary, Prince of Mercenaries, Go Tell the Spartans, and Prince of Sparta. I think Amazon carries it new for about $20. The last two, about Sparta's civil war, are excellent fictional depictions of low-intensity, counter-insurgency operations. Of course, they're all good.
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eon    RE:Hammer and indestructible panzers-eon to patb1962   4/3/2004 11:58:52 AM
I'm not so sure they are "indestructible". Confession time; I build models in my spare time, ranging from aircraft to SF subjects to (yes) armor. (I prefer 1/72 and 1/76 scale- they take up less space.) And once upon a time, I "reverse- engineered" a 270-tonne panzer from the descriptions in Drake's stories. It ended up as being roughly 1.5x the size of an M1A2 or Challenger 2 in all dimensions. And even assuming iridium or laminate (Chobham) armor I could see points where (if I were the tank's commander) I wouldn't like to think about a "buzzbomb" hitting. In one story, Drake describes in fairly nasty detail the demise of Danny Pritchard's command tank when an ATGW hits the turret ring- and from Drake's descriptions, I'd class a "buzzbomb" as being roughly equal in armor-penetration to a Hellfire. Or as Dr. Who once said, "The word 'indestructible' is too much like the word 'unsinkable'." "So, what's wrong with 'unsinkable'? Dr. Sullivan (RNVR) asked. "Nothing" the Doctor replied, "as the iceberg said to the Titanic."......
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eon    RE: West of Honor, etc.- eon to Horsesoldier   4/3/2004 12:01:52 PM
Thanks for the info. My copies are the Berkley paperbound editions of twenty years ago, and I don't have either of the two "Princes". I'll check it out. Cheers.
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mike_golf    RE: West of Honor, etc.   4/3/2004 7:20:21 PM
The best thing about the compilations is that Pournelle added some "interludes" to them which gives a lot more details on parts of Johnny Christian's career and childhood that are otherwise missing as well as more background on the CoDominium and its politics. If you are enjoying these books try Pournelle's Janissaries series as well. A company of CIA mercenaries is kidnapped by aliens in the 1970's. They are taken to a planet with technology roughly on par with Europe in the middle ages (knights, castles, etc.) and have to conquer the planet. How would you handle that with 100 men and the light weapons of the 1970's that you could carry with you? The smiley face is a colon, followed by a dash, followed by a right parentheses. Like so, take the quotes away: ":"-")". Enjoy.
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mike_golf    Pournelle's Janissaries   4/3/2004 7:22:02 PM
Rick Galloway, Mercenary Captain, is almost on par, in my ranking of favorite sci fi characters, with John Christian Falkenberg, by the way.
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Heorot    RE: West of Honor, etc.- eon to Horsesoldier   4/5/2004 12:23:21 PM
Another good Pournelle title is "A Spaceship for the King". The hero is a similar character to John Christian. As it has no sequels, it's not so well known, but worth the read.
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eon    RE:Pournelle's Janissaries-eon to mike_golf   4/5/2004 1:12:56 PM
Believe it or not, I read the Janissaries novels before I discovered Pournelle's other series. I have both the original and "Clan and Crown", in the trade pbs from long ago. In a lot of ways, they remind me of two novels by another of my favorite military SF authors, H. Beam Piper; "Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen" and "Uller Uprising". If you like the Janissaries, you might like them, too, especially Lord Kalvan. P.S. thanks for the how-to on Smiley :-)...
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