I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a big fan of the military sci-fi writings of John Ringo.
I like his books. He writes some great fast-paced military sci-fi, with a great sense of humor, AND is rare among similar writers by including geek-culture references everywhere.
Tell me, how many other military sci-fi writers do you know that would have continuous in-jokes from the webcomic Sluggy Freelance? Or write an entire section of a book (not in this series) poking fun at other well known sci-fi writers based at a convention?
I love serious military sci-fi, I really, really do. Some of my favorites are David Drake, David Weber and William C. Dietz.
John Ringo brings his own special touch to the genre, though. It’s good military sci-fi with a, well, he doesn’t take himself very seriously. Love him or hate him, he’s got a sense of humor and it comes through.
What John Ringo hasn’t brung in years is a serious payoff in the Posleen War saga.
I’ve been following his Posleen War saga for a long damn time now. Eleven books to date over ten years, each one a big read with lots of great stuff. The entire thing is more serious in overall tone than most of his other works. It’s nothing less than the absolute invasion and dominance of Earth by alien invaders, and the centuries long struggle for humanity to survive and fight back. Still touches of the Ringo humor, but very gritty.
I read ’em, I love ’em, but it’s been a struggle.
Why a struggle?
Eleven books, and the first ten built up more teasers, glimpses and plot hooks that I thought possible outside of The Wheel of Time. John Ringo created, developed and grew great main characters, then took them in different directions, never to meet again.
Time after time… everything kept spreading out. Just like the real universe, the story kept expanding, leaving all these damn things hanging there, unresolved for the reader.
I love the books, but I’ve been feeling battle fatigue. When the hell was he finally going to wrap some of these things up, PARTICULARLY the personal relationships, and everyone getting focused on hunting down and killing the true evil scheming manipulative bastards in the story?
Seriously. It’s been ten books of everyone killing alligators across the galaxy, but nobody really getting to grips with draining the damn swamp!
They’re great books, but after ten in the series, I was ready for some resolution.
I picked up the latest book, numero eleven, wondering what fresh hell this would bring, and finally… FINALLY it’s all coming together.
Not just one or two things getting resolved, either. I’m halfway through Eye of the Storm, and he’s already nailed down and brought to fruition the plot hooks left dangling from damn near all ten previous books. All of it.
We’re doing nothing but going forward now, and I for one am nothing but happy for it.
I know it’s silly, but after a while of reading any series, much like watching a TV series, no matter how good it is, I want some things to wrap up, I want things to change, I want the entire story to move forward.
I don’t want Star Trek, I want Babylon 5. I want growth, change, and a journey. And, eventually, I’d like to see a destination get reached.
There it is.
Now that there is finally a book that wraps some of the deepest emotional issues up and advances the story in cool new directions, I’m once again delighted with it. I feel like I held in there, and now I’m being rewarded.
Here’s hoping the books continue to deliver, ’cause so far, they’ve really kicked butt. And just knowing that, yes Virginia, there is an eventual payoff, makes the whole thing better.
If you’re looking for a new (old) military sci-fi series to get into, I invite you to check these out.
Posleen War by John Ringo
1. A Hymn Before Battle (main story 1: war)
2. Gust Front (main story 1: war)
3. When the Devil Dances (main story 1: war)
4. Hell’s Faire (main story 1: war)
5. The Hero (side story elsewhere in same universe) (with Michael Z Williamson)
6. Cally’s War (main story 2: black ops)(with Julie Cochrane)
7. Watch on the Rhine (side story set in Europe during main war storyline)(with Tom Kratman)
8. Yellow Eyes (side story set in Panama during main war storyline)(with Tom Kratman)
9. Sister Time (main story 2: black ops)(with Julie Cochrane)
10. Honor of the Clan (main story 1 and 2 brought together)(with Julie Cochrane)
11. Eye of the Storm (The payoff! Brings together all stories from 1, 2, plus characters from Europe and Panama)