Kruiser's (Almost) Daily Distraction: Military Sci-Fi Book Club Time

(Kruiser’s Permanote Description: This column is intended to be a lighthearted, short-form way to frequently connect with our cherished VIP readers. Sometimes it will be serious. Sometimes it will be fun. Sometimes it will be a cornucopia of intellectual curiosities and fascinations. OK, maybe not so much the last one. Anyway, as this is a departure for me, I’m including this explanation at the top of each post for a while. Also, non-subscribers can see the first couple of paragraphs so I am in desperate need of filler until we get to the private stuff (subscribe here). Please remember that there is a standing invitation to ask me anything in the comments. Once a week, I’ll answer.)

Shame-Free Science Fiction

Back in early February, I wrote one of these ADD posts about a classic science fiction anthology I was reading at the time. I’ve got the next volume of that anthology series cued up but I’ve recently jumped into a couple of other series that I’m greatly enjoying. Both are in the military sci-fi genre, which I’m suddenly hooked on in ways I never imagined I’d be.

As I lamented in the earlier post, much of today’s sci-fi uses climate change hysteria as a launching point for a tedious morality play that never fails to bore. Thankfully, neither one of these series — which come from two different eras — subject the reader to that hell.


I was nudged in the direction of the older of the two series by some of the comments from the post I did in February. A couple of people mentioned The Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. I’ve long wanted to read Pournelle, so I put it on the list. When I went looking on Amazon for him, I was intrigued by the synopsis of Janissaries and decided to try that first. Part sci-fi, part history book, Janissaries follows a group of U.S. military operatives who are abandoned by the CIA while doing some dirty work for the agency. Before they’re overrun by the enemy, visitors from another world rescue them and whisk them off to the moon.

They’re then tasked with taking charge of a primitive Earth-like world and getting the locals to plant and harvest a drug crop that can only grow once every 600 years. There’s plenty of action but what’s really interesting is that the two books I’ve read so far gracefully weave in a lot of military history from Earth.

I don’t want to give away anything. That should be enough to hook you.

The other series is written by a German author named Marko Kloos. I had read the first two installments of his Palladium Wars series and greatly enjoyed them so I decided to try out some of his earlier stuff while waiting for the third one to be published. I opted for Terms of Enlistment, which is the first book in his Frontlines series. I was both reading the book and listening to it on Audible and I finished it in two days, which is unheard of for me. It was almost like watching an action movie.

For the moment, I’ve decided to just bounce back and forth between these two series. It should make for a fun summer.

I do so enjoy these book club posts and I’ve still got suggestions from the last one on my “To-Read” list but I always welcome more!