7 Best Military Sci Fi Books Update 05/2022

There aren’t just a lot of space battles and cigar-chomping armed combat in the best military sci-fi (although those are fun). The most interesting books also look into what it’s like to be in the military and what combat can do to a person’s mind.

A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo – 2000

The Galactics show Earth extraterrestrials. They tell world leaders that another alien race, the Posleen, is coming, and they’re bringing a bad book cover with them. This is how the story starts. In Ringo’s Legacy of the Aldenata series, A Hymn Before Battle is the first book. There are already twelve books in the series, and there are at least two more that are in the works.

“Extremely impressive first book… done with skill, verve, and wit.”

-Booklist

A Talent For War by Jack McDevitt – 1989

After his uncle died, Alex Benedict starts to look into a mysterious project his uncle had been working on. He gets drawn into the history of a war between humans and another species that lived near them. He finds out things that could change the way humans run the world.

One of the best science fiction mysteries is called “A Talent for War,” and it’s good. In fact, it’s probably best to think of it as a mystery in a far-fetched setting. If you want to go on a wild, spaceship-exploding adventure, this isn’t the place for you. Then again, if you’re curious about how the military might be different after 10k, this book might be for you. Some people say this is not McDevitt’s best work. It is, however, one of his most well-known works, and it sets the stage for a number of well-reviewed sequels.

All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka – 2004

All You Need Is Kill (All You Need Is Kill: Official Graphic Novel  Adaptation): Sakurazaka, Hiroshi, Mamatas, Nick, Ferguson, Lee:  9781421560816: Amazon.com: Books

Y Ndo Izu Kiru is the name of the book. All You Need Is Kill has been made into manga, a comic book, and the movie Edge of Tomorrow.

When the alien Mimics show up, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits who are put into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill, just like everyone else. Keiji dies on the battlefield, but each morning, he is born again and has to fight and die again and again until he dies again. On his 158th incarnation, he gets a message from an unknown person. The female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch sends it. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape, or is she the person who will die with him?

Armor by John Steakley – 1984

Armor shares some things with Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, like the use of exoskeletons in the military and insect-like alien enemies. It focuses more on the psychological effects of violence on humans than on the political aspects of the military, which is the main point of Heinlein’s novel, which is about the military.

Felix is an Earth soldier who is covered in body armor designed to protect him from Earth’s most formidable enemy, a bioengineered, insectoid alien horde. If you were in a battle, your mind would be wiped out. Felix, on the other hand, has internal mechanisms that help him and his soldiers survive.

Dauntless by Jack Campbell – 2006

Dauntless is the first book in a six-book series called The Lost Fleet. There are also seven spin-off books.

Amazon.com: Dauntless (The Lost Fleet, Book 1): 9780441014187: Campbell,  Jack: Books

Capt. John “Black Jack” Geary has a lot of stories that are well-known to everyone who goes to school. For his brave “last stand” in the early days of the war, he was thought to be dead. It’s been a century since Geary woke up from a survival hibernation. He reluctantly takes command of the Alliance Fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndic. The hero worship around Geary disgusts him, but he is still a man who will do his job even if he doesn’t like it. When the Syndics took the Alliance’s hypernet key, he knew it was the Alliance’s only chance to win the war. That’s what Geary has to do. To do that, he has to live up to the “Black Jack” legend…

When John G. Hemry, a retired Navy officer, goes by the name “Jack Campbell,” it’s a fake name.

Death’s Head by David Gunn – 2008

When Sven Tveskoeg, an ex-sergeant who was demoted for insubordination, was sentenced to death, he was a vicious killer who had a strong sense of loyalty to the people he worked for. Untrained but fierce intelligence. A genetic makeup that is 98% human and 8% something else, but not sure what it is In some ways, that “something else” might explain how quickly his body can heal even the most severe injuries or how he can communicate with fearsome aliens who have natural fighting skills that often outperform the technology of their human enemies. OctoV may have been interested in Sven because of his unique skills. It gives Sven a new chance at life when he is chosen to be part of OctoV’s elite Death’s Head enforcers. It’s the latest battleground between the OctoV and the Uplifted. Sven is sent there with a kyp, an illegal symbiont that he can’t have. A military disaster awaits him there. It will take all of his courage and firepower to get through it. But there is also a much more dangerous fight going on. This fight will draw the attention of the United Free. When Sven thinks about what it is like to be a piece in a game, he thinks about how often pawns get killed. But Sven isn’t anyone else’s sacrifice. Even a pawn can defeat a king.

Death's Head: (Death's Head Book 1): Gunn, David: 9780553818710:  Amazon.com: Books

People who have tried many times to get in touch with David Gunn, his publisher, his agent, or any of the many businesses he has worked with have all failed (attempts by others, not by me). There are rumors on the internet that there is no real David Gunn. Instead, his real name might be John Courtnay Grimwood, and he hasn’t served in the military at all. They came from a forum on the internet. This must be true, because all of the above came from there. First-time novelist Gunn, a Brit who has served his country by taking on mysterious military or espionage “assignments,” writes a far-future shoot-’em-up with a perfect antihero. Those who are looking for hard-bitten military SF will be let down. Those who like schlock that doesn’t make fun of itself will be very happy.

Magazine: -Publishers Weekly

Forging Zero by Sara King – 2013

Amazon.com’s description of this book starts with the sophisticated subtlety of a weasel that just made its way through a grain silo full of cocaine. This is how the Amazon.com description starts:

It’s the “overwhelmingly popular #1 best seller.” It’s also one of the best-rated military science fiction books on Amazon. In spite of the hype, Forging Zero is a good, fast-paced “you are the chosen one” game with well-drawn characters.

Joe Dobbs is 14 years old and lives in a post-apocalyptic world after a huge alien invasion of Earth. Joe is the oldest of the children who were taken from humanity’s ruined planet and sent to serve in the alien Congressional Ground Force. He becomes the unwitting center of a millennia-old alien struggle for independence. In the beginning of Joe’s training, one of the mysterious and prophetic Trith shows up. He gives Joe a chilling prophecy that has been waiting for millions of years: Joe will finally break Congress, an alien government that has been in place for billions of years. The Trith can’t lie. But first, Joe has to go through boot camp.

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