A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Godless Sodomite Fiction’ tag

Robert Buettner’s Orphan Series

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I’ve been promising to do more posts on Godless Sodomite Fiction and thus far failed to deliver much. Well I’m going to help correct that slightly right here and right now. For those of you whom like military science fiction I present you with a great series written by Robert Buettner called the Orphan or Jason Wander series (Yeah it doesn’t really have a series title like The Lost Fleet or Vampire Earth series. Also note that the link isn’t a referral link.). For the purposes of this post I’m going to call it the Orphan series to make life easy on me.

Buettnet’s Orphan series consists of five books: Orphanage, Orphan’s Destiny, Orphan’s Journey, Orphan’s Alliance, and Orphan’s Triumph. The entire series follows the life of Jason Wander who starts as a new military recruit in book one and ends up retired at the end of the series.

I’m not going to go through each book, that’s up to you if you decide to read the series. But I do have to go through Orphanage to establish a groundwork upon which to write about the series. Although there are going to be slight spoilers they will consist of nothing more that can be obtained by reading the back of the book’s cover.

Anyways Orphanage is a tribute to Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. The stories are very similar and that’s by plan not a lack of originality. An alien species had parked its butt Ganymede and decided to start throwing really large rocks at Earth. The rocks are guided and the alien race has the ability to render our nuclear weapons inert. Needless to say Terra gets pummeled pretty hard. Enter Jason Wander, a kid with no real outlook on life. As is typical in a book an event happens that changes his life (Because that’s what makes a book interesting and worth reading). See Jason is a fuck up and keeps appearing before a specific judge. The judge gets sick of seeing Jason’s ugly face and finally gives him a choice, join the military or go to prison. Jason chooses the first option and enlists in the army.

Meanwhile the aliens keep hating on Earth. Eventually Jason’s family is killed leaving him an orphan (Clever huh? I bet you didn’t see that coming when you read the name of the series.). Shit happens and eventually he finds himself recruited for a mission that is heading to Ganymede to fuck the alien’s collective shit up. The mission consists only of soldiers who are war orphans and hence are felt to be the most pissed off and therefore qualified to kill alien scum.

That’s the premise of the first book. Needless to say Buettner’s tribute to Starship Troopers is beautifully executed and he adds enough of his own ideas and story elements to make Orphanage a great book that doesn’t feel too much like it’s idol. In the next four books the story comes into it’s own.

One of my pet peeves in books is poor pacing. I’m not a fan of boring parts in books and very often stop reading a story for quite some time because I hit a lull. Buettner shows an amazing skill for proper pacing. The end of each chapter leaves something interesting to be unlocked in the next one. I always found it hard to put these books down because the answer to something I was dying to know seemed to lay on the next few pages. When I obtained me answer an new puzzle would present itself and I found myself having to read more yet. Putting down these books and going to sleep required an act of extreme will.

Buettner also does an excellent job on character development. Too many series end up having characters stagnate in later volumes. The Orphan series seems to always manage to further embellish characters without making it appear over the top. Jason goes from being a worthless punk kid to a grown man capable of accomplish his work. Other characters are given equal amounts of attention as well. It’s rare for me to have strong memories of side characters but I can rattle off the names and general situations involving almost all of the major side characters in this series.

Of course being a science fiction godless sodomite fiction series there are plenty of gadgets and gizmos. The practicality of the advanced technology mentions written by Buettner impress me. The soldiers in the series wear powered armor called Eternads. The armors contain water purifiers, water storage systems, air conditioners, heaters, oxygen generators, and even a pad on one arm for wiping snot from your nose. All of these features of powered by a battery that recharges itself via the movements of the person wearing the Eternad. Because of the nature of the aliens being fought the guns later in the series fire flechette ammunition.

Being this is a military science fiction series geopolitical politics comes into play. Many events from Jason’s career are brought to light including those involving being a military “consultant” for other countries. This is more important of an event at the series progresses but I can’t really expand on it without giving away plot points and spoiling some of the series.

I really like Buettner’s portrayal of soldiers. He’s very Heinleinesqe in that he has a positive portrayal of the foot soldier. It’s a nice change in pace from many stories that portray soldiers as wanton killing machines with the IQ of a wild boar. I do appreciate this aspect of the series.

Anyways the series is a great way to spend some quality time reading. I urge you to take a look at the first book if you’re into science fiction of any kind.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 15th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

How Did I Miss This

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OK I’m going down the nerd fanboy road here. But the novel cover art for Vampire Earth: March in Country was revealed. Here it is:

Once again great cover art. Nothing like having a guy with a gun on the cover to let you know this novel doesn’t involved vampires that sparkle. Oh and here is the summary that’ll be on the back of the book:

Known for writing “in the vein of Well’s War of the Worlds”* E.E. Knight continues his national bestselling Vampire Earth novels featuring Major David Valentine. His army builds solid alliances in the name of freedom—but the opposition’s wrath is just as strong…

The race is on to claim the area between the Ohio River and Tennessee, emptied by war and disease after the human effort to establish a Kentucky Freehold failed. What’s left of the resistance is hiding out in the tangle of central Kentucky hills—leaving the powerful, well-organized Kurian vampires the opportunity to fill the void.

Major David Valentine knows a small group of fierce, freedom-loving allies who would be glad for a chance to settle the rich lands. But they’re over three hundred miles away, with hostile aliens, and vicious human slavers standing between. There’s only one way for them to cover the distance before the Kurians settle in: a desperate dash by hijacked rail, followed by a harrowing river journey.

Valentine unites friends old and new in the effort–but the Kurian Order won’t easily yield the blood-soaked Kentucky soil.

Anyways I can’t recommend the Vampire Earth series enough. It’s a great post-apocalyptic novel that puts a creative spin on the vampire lore. If that isn’t enough there is enough action to keep most people very satisfied. March in Country should be released in July.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 18th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

The Lost Fleet Series

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You know it’s come to my attention that I have an entire science fiction category and I hardly use it. This most certainly was not my intention. I’ve been planning on doing more science fiction reviews and after the previous story about the religious zealots not like the genre I thought I’d start posting more science fiction content. I’m going to start with a brief introduction to a science fiction series know as The Lost Fleet.

The Lost Fleet is a series penned by John Hermy under the pen name Jack Campbell. Why he used a pen name I’m not sure since the series is incredibly good. The basic premise is this, it is far into the future (When else?). The human race has not only developed faster than light travel but we’ve colonize many worlds. Eventually human colonized space was controlled by two entities; the Alliance and the Syndicate Worlds, or Syndics.

Of course if there are two super powers you know there has to be a war. That’s where this story takes place, a century into a war between the Alliance and the Syndics. The series follows the exploits of Captain John “Black Jack” Geary. At the beginning he is recovered by an Alliance fleet inside of Syndic territory. See life sucked pretty hard for Captain Geary, he was there at the first battle of the war. Unfortunately for him his ship was destroyed and he had to eject into a stasis pod where he sat for 100 years.

Anyways the fleet reaches the Syndicate home world where shit hits the fan and through circumstance out of his control Captain Geary becomes the head of the fleet. Being a captain who has held the rank for 100 years he’s the highest ranking officer in the fleet, fancy that.

The series, comprising of five books with another due this year, follows the fleet on their journey back to Alliance space. There are a few elements that really set this series apart from others though. First of all this is more of a naval fiction in space series. As I mentioned the series follows John Geary who becomes the fleet captain, which means a lot of logistics are used.

The biggest way to see that this is a naval fleet series is during the battles, which are masterfully done in my opinion. Everything is taken into consideration. The author details a navigation system where everything is measured relative a system’s sun. You either go towards the star, away from the star, or move up and down relative to the sun’s equator. All navigation on done with this mechanism and it’s a mechanism that makes sense (A opposed to made up sectors and quadrants that are never explained).

A lot of attention to detail is made for the fights. For instance the effects of relativity are a problem due to the speeds at which battles happen. Computers are required to fire ship based weapons during fleet confrontations because no human has the required reflexes. Fleet formations and their proper uses are also explained in detail.

It certainly shows that the author was a naval officer. A lot of people always ask why science fiction ships are controlled by the navy when they aren’t at sea. It’s not because they have nothing else to do, it’s because they understand how to manage large fleets of ships that are staffed by hundres of personel.

Anyways I’m getting side tracked here. The fleet has to deal with more than just combat. Unlike many science fiction series the fleet in question here doesn’t have infinite resources. They have limited fuel, ammunition, repair supplies, food, etc. Captain Geary spends a good amount of time on such logistics and their consequences.

The books are very well paced. I can say I plowed through the currently released five in no time at all and nowhere did I feel there was a lull in the books. Pacing is difficult in a series where everything isn’t based around action, and Mr. Hermy does an excellent job of it. He manages to deliver a great amount of detail without going overboard. The situations he places the fleet in are generally unique enough where you don’t feel you’re reading about the same problems over and over again. Any series that extends past three books usually ends up repeating itself, this is not the case though.

One criticism about this series is the opening of each book does a recap of the previous books. The author has stated he does this on purpose so a reader can pick up any book in the series and be able to get into the story. With that said I’d recommend starting from book one, Dauntless. Although each book does a recap such summaries can’t really give all the details by their nature.

This series is very well done and a refreshing break for the usual slew of science fiction space marine stories. It’s good to see not everything in the future revolves around space marines.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 13th, 2010 at 10:18 am