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Old 05-11-2009, 07:36 AM
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Default OT - Book (Fiction) Review/Recommendations Thread

Since we are a pretty well read group I thought we could share our opinions on any books we read recently. As the header indicates any subject books are allowed for review not just Post Apocalyptic. Please feel free to post anything you think might be of interest to our users.

If any book spurs a vigorous discussion I will spawn a new thread and put the links below.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:02 AM
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  • The Last Centurion- John Ringo
  • The Stand- Stephen King
  • Alas, Babylon- Pat Frank
  • The Third World War and The Third World War, The Untold Story- Sir John Hackett
  • Team Yankee by Harold Coyle
  • Red Army and The War in 2020 by Ralph Peters
  • Arc Light by Eric Harry
  • World War Z by Max Brooks (not the Zombies, but the struggle of governments to make decisions in crisis)
  • Down to a Sunless Sea by David Graham
  • The Last Ship by William Brinkley
  • Lucifer's Hammer by Niven and Pournelle
  • Red Storm Rising- by Tom Clancy
  • The War That Never Was- by Michael A. Palmer
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Old 05-11-2009, 03:16 PM
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Mentioned above:
Read most of those listed, but most have been out for a while, just commenting on the recent novels

The Last Centurion- John Ringo Read this a little while back. A light EOTWAWKI scenario, but a good story

World War Z by Max Brooks The story was good, but not very accurate on military matters.

The Last Ship by William Brinkley Just got around to reading this a a few months ago, depressing to say the least.


Recently Read:
Airship Nine by Thomas H. Block Very similar story to The Last Ship, with EOTWAWKI scenario just as bleak

Proud Legions by John Antal Modern Korean war scenario
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:06 PM
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Read most of the above, but here's a few more:

Trinity's Child (from which the movie By Dawn's Early Light was based)

First Clash: Combat Close Up in World War III-the Canadian 4th Mech Brigade vs. the Russians in West Germany (there was a sequel but I haven't found it-yet)

Trial by Fire and The Ten Thousand: two more by Harold Coyle

The Warbirds and Force of Eagles by Richard Herman

Choosers of the Slain, Sea Strike, Sea Fighter, and Target Lock by James H. Cobb (the Amanda Garrett books)

World War III-the novelization of the 1982 Miniseries with Rock Hudson as the President and Brian Keith as the Soviet Premier.
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:28 AM
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Brother in the land : Robert Swindells. Story of survivors of a nuclear war in the UK. Written as a book for teens/young adults, but still very very good. Try and pick up an early copy before the ending was rewritten for a 'happy ending'.

War Day : Whitley Streiber & James Kunetka. Story of a journey across America in the aftermath of a limited nuclear war. Great read.

Children of the Dust : Louise Lawrence. Story of 3 generations of survivors after a nuclear war in the UK.

I'll add some more later.
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerCCW UK
Brother in the land : Robert Swindells. Story of survivors of a nuclear war in the UK. Written as a book for teens/young adults, but still very very good. Try and pick up an early copy before the ending was rewritten for a 'happy ending'.
I think we've posted about this before and I've been wondering ever since, which version I read (we're talking probably more than 20 years ago).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerCCW UK
Children of the Dust : Louise Lawrence. Story of 3 generations of survivors after a nuclear war in the UK.
I second this one.

My first suggestion for this thread is - Anything written by Peter Hamilton. The man is a sci fi god.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:37 AM
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The only real difference between the two versions of the book is that the newer version adds an extra chapter with them reaching another settlement. I preferred the open ending of the original version.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:26 AM
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How could I forget!

The entire Dies the Fire series from S.M. Sterling!
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:54 AM
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WEB Griffin's Brotherhood of War and Corps series

Vortex and Red Phoenix by Larry Bond

Any of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan / John Kelly novels (as my handle suggests I'm obviously a Clancy fan)

Frederick Forsyth - Fist of God (set in Gulf War I); the Afghan (a sequel of sorts to Fist of God); The Negotiator (read this one pretty much in one go on a transatlantic flight and thoroughly enjoyed it)
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:39 AM
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More similar tastes Rainbow - I was going to recommend Vortex and Red Phoenix Other fiction I'd recommend includes ;

No Man's Land : Barry England. Set in Australia in the aftermath of an unspecified apocalyptic event.

The Forever War : Joe Haldeman. Epic novel of a future war spanning centuries. One of my favourite pieces of sci fi ever.

Protect and Defend : Eric L Harry. Another great read from the same author as Arc Light.

The Hunters : James Salter. A novel about early jet pilots in Korea.
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerCCW UK
No Man's Land : Barry England. Set in Australia in the aftermath of an unspecified apocalyptic event.
I'm going to have to go looking for this one. Sounds good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerCCW UK
The Forever War : Joe Haldeman. Epic novel of a future war spanning centuries. One of my favourite pieces of sci fi ever.
Agreed. Haldeman was a Vietnam vet and it shows in his descriptions of how soldiers feel when they come home from a war and find that things have changed while they were gone.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:42 AM
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No Mans Land doesn't specificaly say its in Australia, it was the name of a river that tipped me off. It never states what happened, merely referring to it as 'The Event'. I enjoyed it, although its not really typical end of the world post apoc writing. Concentrates on one man and his efforts to save himself and a small group, both from marauder types and from the new government. I recommend it as something slightly different, but its a good read even if you're not looking for something post apoc.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:23 PM
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I can heartily recommend the Sharpe series of books - quite a bit different from the films. I've just finished the entire series in chronological order. Richard Sharpe is a bastard, but a magnificent one

Death of Grass (aka No Blade of Grass) is pretty good. Sort of post-Apoc, but where the apocalypse is the devastation of the worlds grass based food stocks (rice, wheat etc) by a plague.

And I can't let a thread like this go by without mentioning a couple of my favourite sci-fi/cyberpunk books - Hardwired and Voice of the Whirlwind by Walter Jon Williams.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:07 PM
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While trying to find a "like new" used copy of Team Yankee on Amazon (read it as a teen but stupidly got rid of it when the U.S.S.R. collapsed...), I discovered that there's apparently a graphic novel version of the story. Anybody ever seen it?

For great cyberpunk, check out the originator, William Gibson's Neuromancer. Count Zero is also pretty good.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:38 PM
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I agree that Gibson is a great author, and anything in the Cyberpunk genre by Bruce Stirling is also good. Another excellent author in the Cyberpunk genre is Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash is one of his and I really liked it).
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:57 PM
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I've got the Graphic Novel of Team Yankee: very well done, and faithful to the novel. Only things missing are the several scenes showing the Russians' POV. Other than that, nothing's missing.
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Old 05-15-2009, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Wiser
I've got the Graphic Novel of Team Yankee: very well done, and faithful to the novel. Only things missing are the several scenes showing the Russians' POV. Other than that, nothing's missing.
How's the artwork?
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:43 PM
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[QUOTE]First Clash: Combat Close Up in World War III-the Canadian 4th Mech Brigade vs. the Russians in West Germany (there was a sequel but I haven't found it-yet)[QUOTE] The book or CF battle plan is was based on?
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:52 PM
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Raellus: The artwork is excellent.

rcaf_777: The book, as I understand it, was originally written as a training tool by Kenneth Macksey, but was released as a future-history book sometime in the mid '80s, about the time Red Storm Rising came out.
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:11 AM
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Wolf and Iron by Gordon R Dickson to me describes the T2K, or more accurately a post apocalyse world, very well.
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Old 05-16-2009, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Wiser
Raellus: The artwork is excellent.
Cool. I'll have to find a copy somewhere.

Leg, is that the same author who wrote the Dorsai books? I read a few of those in high school.
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Old 05-16-2009, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
Leg, is that the same author who wrote the Dorsai books? I read a few of those in high school.
I loved the Dorsai books when I was a teenager. Thanks for reminding me Raellus.
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
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  • Red Army and The War in 2020 by Ralph Peters
I really enjoyed Red Army when it came out - a real antidote to the "our technology and better training is going to trounce their brute force" attitude of so many other books from the period. The books hypothesis is essentially what if the Russian Army performed pretty much as intended against NATO in Europe?

Looking him up on Amazon he also writes ACW detective fiction as Owen Parry as well as more factual military / political analysis (I'm assuming this is the same guy). I'll be keeping a look out for War In 2020.

Off the WWIII / EOTWAWKI genre I've particularly enjoyed reading a couple of thrillers by a Swedish author Stieg Larsson, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and The Girl Who Played With Fire - I'm mortified that the final volume, The Girl Who Kicked Over A Hornets Nest will not be translated into English and published until January 2010.

I'd also highly recommend A Sense Of Honour by James Webb about cadets at Annapolis in the closing days of Vietnam (Webb also wrote Fields Of Fire, a fictionalised memoir of his tour in Vietnam which is extremely good) and Something To Die For which revisits one of the central characters from A Sense Of Honour when he is serving as CO of an MEU operating in the Horn of Africa.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:23 PM
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I've recently read two novels about the post-apoc backround, one of them discovered thanks to this forum. The first one is "The road", by Cormac McCarthy. Strangely I was planning to buy it trough Amazon after reading a recommendation from Kato but while I was bored in the queue of the supermarket I realized that the unknown novel exposed in one desk near the cashdesk and titled “La carretera” was, in fact, “The road”. Ah! The fate and its own strange mechanisms...Ok, here you have the original thread:
http://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?t=142
And, as Kato stated, 5 out of 5 mushrooms clouds... Only small advice: Don’t expect to find any explanation about the cause of the apocalypse. Just read the book, suffer (and enjoy).

And, as a “bonus track”, the trailer of the film. Personally I’ve found it too long and it seems that the director has added some clues about the cause of the end of the civilitzation...so...only for precaution...read the book before see the story trough the eyes of others...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbLgszfXTAY

The other book I’ve read is “Wasteland, stories of the apocalypse”, about 20 short stories, gathered together, all of them playing with the end of the civilitzation. This book is more in the sci-fi genre. Some of its stories are settled far away in the future, thousands of years after the collapse. Others are about the collapse process itself. It’s possible you will find here some story you have previously read. In my case, I’ve found one story from Orson Scott Card and its book “The Folk of the Fringe”.
A recommendation: “When Sysadmins ruled the Earth”.

The links to Amazon for more information:

http://www.amazon.com/Wastelands-Sto.../dp/1597801054

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Cormac-Mc.../dp/0307265439
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:17 PM
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I love The Road. I'm manly enough to admit that it's the only book that's ever made me cry- both times I read it!

Based on recs from this forum, I just read The Forever War (military-themed sci-fi) and was not disappointed. Great book; very creative. So much of what goes on in the novel is relatable to what's going on with America's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I plan on reading Heinlein's Starship Troopers soon for the pro-war counterpoint.

I'm currently rereading Neuromancer by William Gibson. Great near-future sci-fi. It's amazing how prescient it seems.
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:36 PM
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I recently finished reading World War Z, also as a result of reading recommendations here. Loved it. The author is obviously no military expert and he got a few things wrong about military hardware that the characters making the comments would have got right but it was good story telling.
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
I love The Road. I'm manly enough to admit that it's the only book that's ever made me cry- both times I read it!

Based on recs from this forum, I just read The Forever War (military-themed sci-fi) and was not disappointed. Great book; very creative. So much of what goes on in the novel is relatable to what's going on with America's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I plan on reading Heinlein's Starship Troopers soon for the pro-war counterpoint.

I'm currently rereading Neuromancer by William Gibson. Great near-future sci-fi. It's amazing how prescient it seems.
I liked “The Forever War” and I prefer it to “Starship troopers”. I remember that the controversial about if “Starship troopers” was (or not) a pro-war novel was a good material for our chats in the pub. As an anecdote, we had the great luck that the library of the the Universitat Polit├â┬Ęcnica de Catalunya (Polytehcnic University of Catalonia), had a large section devoted only to science-fiction novels. This university even has its own contest for sci-fi short stories that produce one yearly publication with the better jobs. With the guidance of a good friend (both of us studied in that university) I discovered great novels like Neuromancer (your mention of the book has remember me the sci-fi library of the University).

About Heinlen, I’ve recently read “Farmer in the sky”, about the colonists of a new settlement in Ganymede. A very good book about adaptation, survival and about the choice of left behind everything you know except for 26 kg of equipment and begin a new life in an unknown world.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:40 PM
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Ralph Peters, the author of the superb Cold War era novel of WWIII, Red Army (written from the Soviet soldier's POV), is putting out a new novel which looks like it could provide some inspiration for T2K (all iterations) campaigns. It looks like it's about a post-nuclear exchange conventional war where the fighting as devolved to a decidedly low-tech level. I haven't read it yet so I can't give it a review but it looks pretty interesting and I really enjoyed Red Army.

It's called The War After Armageddon. Here's a link to Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/076...pf_rd_i=507846

BTW, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I'm just now reading Starship Troopers for the very first time. I'm enjoying it so far. I also just finished reading Ender's Game, another sci-fi novel exploring war in the far future. It's targetted at young adults but I found it pretty intense and mature in tone and content. Both it and Forever War are essentially anti-war novels so it's interesting to read Heinlein's novelistic counterpoint.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:31 PM
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I also just finished reading Ender's Game, another sci-fi novel exploring war in the far future. It's targetted at young adults but I found it pretty intense and mature in tone and content. Both it and Forever War are essentially anti-war novels so it's interesting to read Heinlein's novelistic counterpoint.
If you like Ender's game then you've got a lot of reading ahead of you because there are a bunch of novels set in the same universe which come afterwards. I've read four of them and I'll get to the rest eventually. All good so far.
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:24 AM
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Has anyone tried this? It came up as a recommendation for me on Amazon - evidently it's pretty recent.

http://www.amazon.com/One-Conrad-Wil...0432766&sr=1-4

Malcolm
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