This Page

has been moved to new address

Five Great Veterans Day Reads

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
body { background:#aba; margin:0; padding:20px 10px; text-align:center; font:x-small/1.5em "Trebuchet MS",Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; color:#333; font-size/* */:/**/small; font-size: /**/small; } /* Page Structure ----------------------------------------------- */ /* The images which help create rounded corners depend on the following widths and measurements. If you want to change these measurements, the images will also need to change. */ @media all { #content { width:740px; margin:0 auto; text-align:left; } #main { width:485px; float:left; background:#fff url("") no-repeat left bottom; margin:15px 0 0; padding:0 0 10px; color:#000; font-size:97%; line-height:1.5em; } #main2 { float:left; width:100%; background:url("") no-repeat left top; padding:10px 0 0; } #main3 { background:url("") repeat-y; padding:0; } #sidebar { width:240px; float:right; margin:15px 0 0; font-size:97%; line-height:1.5em; } } @media handheld { #content { width:90%; } #main { width:100%; float:none; background:#fff; } #main2 { float:none; background:none; } #main3 { background:none; padding:0; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } } /* Links ----------------------------------------------- */ a:link { color:#258; } a:visited { color:#666; } a:hover { color:#c63; } a img { border-width:0; } /* Blog Header ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #header { background:#456 url("") no-repeat left top; margin:0 0 0; padding:8px 0 0; color:#fff; } #header div { background:url("") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 15px 8px; } } @media handheld { #header { background:#456; } #header div { background:none; } } #blog-title { margin:0; padding:10px 30px 5px; font-size:200%; line-height:1.2em; } #blog-title a { text-decoration:none; color:#fff; } #description { margin:0; padding:5px 30px 10px; font-size:94%; line-height:1.5em; } /* Posts ----------------------------------------------- */ .date-header { margin:0 28px 0 43px; font-size:85%; line-height:2em; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#357; } .post { margin:.3em 0 25px; padding:0 13px; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:1px 0; } .post-title { margin:0; font-size:135%; line-height:1.5em; background:url("") no-repeat 10px .5em; display:block; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:0 1px 1px; padding:2px 14px 2px 29px; color:#333; } a.title-link, .post-title strong { text-decoration:none; display:block; } a.title-link:hover { background-color:#ded; color:#000; } .post-body { border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:0 1px 1px; border-bottom-color:#fff; padding:10px 14px 1px 29px; } html>body .post-body { border-bottom-width:0; } .post p { margin:0 0 .75em; } { background:#ded; margin:0; padding:2px 14px 2px 29px; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:1px; border-bottom:1px solid #eee; font-size:100%; line-height:1.5em; color:#666; text-align:right; } html>body { border-bottom-color:transparent; } em { display:block; float:left; text-align:left; font-style:normal; } a.comment-link { /* IE5.0/Win doesn't apply padding to inline elements, so we hide these two declarations from it */ background/* */:/**/url("") no-repeat 0 45%; padding-left:14px; } html>body a.comment-link { /* Respecified, for IE5/Mac's benefit */ background:url("") no-repeat 0 45%; padding-left:14px; } .post img { margin:0 0 5px 0; padding:4px; border:1px solid #ccc; } blockquote { margin:.75em 0; border:1px dotted #ccc; border-width:1px 0; padding:5px 15px; color:#666; } .post blockquote p { margin:.5em 0; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments { margin:-25px 13px 0; border:1px dotted #ccc; border-width:0 1px 1px; padding:20px 0 15px 0; } #comments h4 { margin:0 0 10px; padding:0 14px 2px 29px; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; font-size:120%; line-height:1.4em; color:#333; } #comments-block { margin:0 15px 0 9px; } .comment-data { background:url("") no-repeat 2px .3em; margin:.5em 0; padding:0 0 0 20px; color:#666; } .comment-poster { font-weight:bold; } .comment-body { margin:0 0 1.25em; padding:0 0 0 20px; } .comment-body p { margin:0 0 .5em; } .comment-timestamp { margin:0 0 .5em; padding:0 0 .75em 20px; color:#666; } .comment-timestamp a:link { color:#666; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } .paging-control-container { float: right; margin: 0px 6px 0px 0px; font-size: 80%; } .unneeded-paging-control { visibility: hidden; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #profile-container { background:#cdc url("") no-repeat left bottom; margin:0 0 15px; padding:0 0 10px; color:#345; } #profile-container h2 { background:url("") no-repeat left top; padding:10px 15px .2em; margin:0; border-width:0; font-size:115%; line-height:1.5em; color:#234; } } @media handheld { #profile-container { background:#cdc; } #profile-container h2 { background:none; } } .profile-datablock { margin:0 15px .5em; border-top:1px dotted #aba; padding-top:8px; } .profile-img {display:inline;} .profile-img img { float:left; margin:0 10px 5px 0; border:4px solid #fff; } .profile-data strong { display:block; } #profile-container p { margin:0 15px .5em; } #profile-container .profile-textblock { clear:left; } #profile-container a { color:#258; } .profile-link a { background:url("") no-repeat 0 .1em; padding-left:15px; font-weight:bold; } ul.profile-datablock { list-style-type:none; } /* Sidebar Boxes ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { .box { background:#fff url("") no-repeat left top; margin:0 0 15px; padding:10px 0 0; color:#666; } .box2 { background:url("") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 13px 8px; } } @media handheld { .box { background:#fff; } .box2 { background:none; } } .sidebar-title { margin:0; padding:0 0 .2em; border-bottom:1px dotted #9b9; font-size:115%; line-height:1.5em; color:#333; } .box ul { margin:.5em 0 1.25em; padding:0 0px; list-style:none; } .box ul li { background:url("") no-repeat 2px .25em; margin:0; padding:0 0 3px 16px; margin-bottom:3px; border-bottom:1px dotted #eee; line-height:1.4em; } .box p { margin:0 0 .6em; } /* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { clear:both; margin:0; padding:15px 0 0; } @media all { #footer div { background:#456 url("") no-repeat left top; padding:8px 0 0; color:#fff; } #footer div div { background:url("") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 15px 8px; } } @media handheld { #footer div { background:#456; } #footer div div { background:none; } } #footer hr {display:none;} #footer p {margin:0;} #footer a {color:#fff;} /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { padding:0 15px 0; }

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Five Great Veterans Day Reads

Today is Veterans Day here in the United States.  It's also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world in memory of the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.  Regardless of which country you're from, today is a sacred day where we recognize the sacrifice men and women in the armed forces, and their families, make to keep us safe.  So from me, to all of you, thank you.  Seriously.

To commemorate the day, I thought I'd put together a list of five of the best Science Fiction & Fantasy reads that give us an insight into what our soldiers go through.  Sure, you'd be better off reading All Quiet on the Western Front or Dispatches, but we like our SFF, right?  Without further ado:

The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie

Where most war novels are about the conflict, or the individual, Abercrombie's latest novel is about the ties that bind the men and women together on the front lines.  The brotherhood in arms is on full display here.  He also grapples with concepts of bloodlust, cowardice, and ambition.  Craw's story is particularly difficult to read as an aging veteran who can't walk away.  His obligation to his commanding officers and his squad are the excuses he uses to justify continuing to do the only thing he's ever been good at.

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

I'm sure you're saying, "No shit, Justin."  And you're right.  Forever War is about as obvious as it gets in this category, but that doesn't make it any less true.  This is sort of the seminal novel of military science fiction.  Haldeman tells his futuristic war story through the lens of his experiences in Vietnam.  It's about the institutional support to produce productive soldiers, but the lack of same for those who return home alive.  It's also a pretty killer early hard science fiction novel that looks at what faster-than-light travel really means.

Germline by T.C. McCarthy

Rarely have I been so moved by a novel as I was reading McCarthy's debut.  Germline is about an embedded reporter who finds himself broken by war, subsequently addicted to it, and his journey to rebuild himself on the other side.  Despite some first time author hiccups, McCarthy writes with an emotional rawness that screams, 'I know what I'm talking about.'  Although not a Veteran himself, the author is a former CIA analyst and has suffered from PTSD.  All of that adds up to it being the most personally poignant "war" novel I've ever read in genre fiction.

The Folding Knife by K.J. Parker

First of all I steadfastly refuse to ever make a list on this blog that doesn't include a Parker novel.  So there's that.  Beyond that, this is the 10,000 foot level war novel.  It's not about war really at all.  It's mostly about economics and politics, but that's what going to war is all about, or at least that's part of what Parker is trying to say.  Pessimistic perhaps, but a reality more often than any of us would like to admit.  Parker is talented writer of the highest order, and all of those powers are on full display here.

Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson

Alright, so this is kind of cheating since it's really 10 books, but no one asks questions like Erikson does.  His books explore the human condition better than any others I've read in genre fiction.  From Deadhouse Gates where Erikson reminds us that there are things worth fighting for that are bigger than ourselves, to The Crippled God where he shows that sometimes the only thing we have to fight for is each other, I can't think of a better message to send on Veterans Day.

Honorable Mentions: Gates of Fire by Stephen Pressfield (not SFF), Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole (hasn't been released)

What did I miss? I'd love to hear feedback on what everyone else thinks would make for great Vet Day reads.

Labels: , ,


At November 11, 2011 at 7:35 AM , Blogger Mad Hatter Review said...

Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades would be perfect. Also, the Shadows of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky has a lot of military influences.

At November 11, 2011 at 3:15 PM , Anonymous Mihir said...

I would think Glen Cook's Black Company series also deserves a honorable mention.

At November 15, 2011 at 10:59 AM , Blogger Pabkins said...

Oh nice - I've got a few of these on my to read list. I like the rec's that Mad Hatter and Mihir stated - those are on my to read also....never enough time...grrr

Pabkins @ Mission to Read


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home