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Posted: 9/6/2023 1:48:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: Fulcrum-5]

Some of the best MilScifi/Men's Adventure stories, evah.

Whether the (comparatively few) entries by Pournelle himself (including the two Mote books), the big Sparta-oriented novels written by S.M. Stirling (with Pournelle as "coauthor"), or the various guest stories in the Warworld anthologies (set on a specific shithole planet in one corner of the CoDo universe).

The main section, set in the alternate timeline (was a Future History, until the USSR fell) CoDominium Era (from 1990 to 2090-ish), has the CoDo (a US-USSR alliance that governs Humanity off-Earth, and keeps all the other nations in their place) overseeing the spread of Humanity onto ~80 worlds, after the discovery of the Alderson Drive (Battletech/Starfire-like Jump Points, but you've got to travel across the System between the Alderson Points, so it takes about a year to travel from Earth to the farthest colonies).

Because the CoDo stifles all scientific research (lest any non-US/USSR nation get a leg up on the Big Kids), and most colonies are established and run on the cheap.....tech is kind of limited on the colonial frontiers.  That means the CD Marines (who were built up from the French Foreign Legion, whom the CD took over) run around with weapons and (non-electronic) equipment that looks like it came from the Cold War.  7mm Battle Rifles, MGs, mortars, and light howitzers.  The odd tank, if they are lucky.  All supplied by light choppers and mules/steamboats (advanced MANPADS means there's really no air support or heavy air transport).

After the honeymoon phase is over, around 2060 or so, the "Patriots" start gaining power in the US and USSR.  Since they still hate one another, they start undermining the CD, whose government (the Grand Senate, which is 50/50 US/Soviet) has to react to the possibility that the CD will eventually collapse and WWIII will break out (vastly nuclear, so goodbye Earth).  So various CD factions start making plans to save something of Humanity.....only they tend to get in each others way as they squabble for control.  This squabbling often takes the form of using CD Navy/Marine assets to seize control of resources or planets.....or using mercenaries (formed from disbanded CD Marine regiments or from colony planets who export mercenaries to pay for their military buildups) to do the same.

One of these mercenary units is Falkenberg's Mercenary Legion, lead by former CD Line Marine personnel.  

CoDominium era

Warworld series

Mote in God's Eye series

Anyone else a fan?
Link Posted: 9/6/2023 9:31:13 AM EST
Hey, don't go all crazy eddie on us.  
Link Posted: 9/8/2023 10:49:07 PM EST
I have read much of his solo and collaborative work and enjoy it.

IIRC, reading mote back when I was ten or so the characters all basically had iPhones/iPads and wireless internet connectivity,
Decades before it occurred.

It was a pretty subtle tech item in the book,
But much closer to what developed IRL than most Sci Fi and the 70s and precious eras.

Has anyone read it more recently that can comment?
Link Posted: 9/8/2023 11:41:00 PM EST
I've read the Mote series and at least one of the War World books.

Don't forget "King David's Spaceship"!
Link Posted: 9/11/2023 7:38:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: Fulcrum-5] [#4]
One bit I always liked is that, unlike most scifi, in the CoDoVerse, most "habitable" planets are complete shitholes.  Too cold, too dry, too hot, weird weather, high/low gravity, etc.  Haven, Tanith, Churchill, Fulson's World, etc.  All shitty.  The "Earth-equivalent"/garden worlds are few and far between (Sparta, Xanadu, Friedland, etc)....and were largely spoken for (Sparta's pretty much the only one that had to deal with BuReloc, and that was mostly Bronson's doing).

The odds of any real-life "Earthlike" planet (roughly Earth-size/mass, in the liquid water zone, etc) having an environment comfortable for homo sapiens is pretty remote.  Imagine trying to colonize a planet that's got a weird axial tilt....and constant 150kph winds.

The cute part about Tanith is that Pournelle flipped the script.  It's a swamp/jungle planet, so classic scifi would have it as more primitive than Earth.....but it's the opposite.  Tanith is a much older ecology than Earth, and the flora and fauna have a much more evolved set of tricks.....so most Earth plants and animals can't survive there (the local stuff outcompetes them).
Link Posted: 9/13/2023 11:11:31 PM EST
Yeah.  Think about it.

Let’s say an our galaxy has 300B stars.
So, maybe 3B star systems capable of supporting life as we know it.
So, maybe 30M star systems with a planet in the right place to support life as we know it.
So 300K planets were life as we know it developed.
3K planets were sapient/sentient life developed.
Maybe 30 planets where life progressed to or beyond us without being killed off somehow.

In a galaxy 100K light years in diameter, and 1K light years tall.

Not going to bump into a lot of places for us to be comfy.

Link Posted: 9/18/2023 11:27:58 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Z09SS:
I've read the Mote series and at least one of the War World books.

Don't forget "King David's Spaceship"!
View Quote

One of those cool oddball stories where there really isn't a "bad guy" but rather than two protagonists in conflict.
Link Posted: 9/29/2023 4:16:04 PM EST
I have read The Mote in God's Eye and thought it was great.
Link Posted: 1/1/2024 4:25:34 PM EST
The Mote and The Gripping Hand remain two of the best SciFi books I've ever read.  I think Pournelle's science focus was a great balance to Niven's weirdness.  It took me years to read the Ring series, simply because I couldn't pronounce some of the characters' names in my head.  i like the Mote books because they seemed to really tackle some of the hard stuff in Sci Fi, like having the messenger guys that lived and worked under sustained G  being short, squat and strong and having cargo ships that pospped into a solar system use rail guns to send their cargo to the receiving planet. There's more that I liked about them, but would get carpal tunnel typing it all out.  

the books series of Legends of Heorot was great, too.
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