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Marilee J. Layman

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07:59 pm: Other Times Than Peace by David Drake
This is a collection that we read for this month's bookgroup discussion. In general, we didn't like it that much. He has a rough write other than the story plotted and polished by Niven. He has stories way way far in the future where Roman soldiers not only exist (picked up by aliens, made immortal sorta) but still act like Roman soldiers. At one point, the most updated dances in the system are the gavotte, estampe, and sarabande.

It looked to me (and a couple other members of the group) as if Drake feels guilty about serving in Vietnam, which is not his fault. There are a lot of horrible things that happen in the stories and we had several people who didn't read or finish a story or two.

Friends told me years ago that I wouldn't like Drake, so I've never read him before, and they were right.

As it happens, I read three war books/series in a row. The one I liked best was Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's War (you can get all my link reviews for that in that post), I liked Gardner Dozois' anthology Galactic Empires next, and the Drake not at all.

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From:nancylebov
Date:April 19th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)
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I'm not crazy about most of Drake. Aside from his portrayal of war (he says that the flat style is how veterans talk about war, but it tends to make civilians nervous), he's a good researcher, but not so good at making up details so that his futures seem kind of blank to me.

I recommend his _Birds of Prey_ as a fine example of kitchen-sink science fiction. It's set in ancient Rome, in a one-honest-man-in-a-corrupt-society noir sort of tone. There's a plesiosaur in the Tiber, and then things start getting weird.
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From:serge_lj
Date:April 19th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
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You might like the Lost Fleet, by Jack Campbell, who really is John G Hemry. Book 5 of what is essentially a 6-volume story is coming out soon.
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