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28 July 2008 @ 07:50 am
the non-war novel  
Dave, Frank Olynyk caught the reference to Jack's thesis and wrote me this:

I see on your blog that you are having a devil of a time locating a copy of this book.  Go to addall.com, make sure you are in the Rare and Used section, then put in Williamson as the author, and Critic of Progress as the title.  It comes up with 41 titles, although there are a number of duplicates.  Find the one you want to order, click on the title on the left and it will take you to the store/dealer selling that copy.  Then follow their instructions.  L W Curry lists a copy for $15.

Geoff, my defense in FOREVER FREE is that God didn't step in and solve problems. He's presented as sort of an incompetent graduate student whose unsuccessful thesis was Earth's Universe, and he's dropping the project.

Confluence was a very successful con for me. Got to meet new people and visit with old friends. Sold a few books and pushed the new ones. Wrote every day, not quite as much as I would have at home, but enough that I could start off the day with a clean conscience.

On the plane ride home I finished John Scalzi's _Old Man's War_, which I enjoyed a lot. I can see where people would think that it had been influenced by _The Forever War_, but Scalzi says no, he hadn't read the book before he wrote his, and I believe him. It's like the similarity between TFW and _Starship Troopers_; if you write a book about outer space warfare against nonhuman aliens, there are certain tropes that are going to show up. In fact, when you write a war novel of any kind, there are protocols that have to be either followed or deliberately defied.

That's an interesting challenge. Write a war novel that says nothing about the life the new soldier has left; nothing about training; no first contact with the enemy; no emotional reaction to killing; no loss of a close buddy; no questioning of the war's necessity or rectitude. (Well, _Starship Troppers_.) In fact, that would be an interesting oblique short story, though it would take a literary genius to write an actual war novel that ignored those protocols.

Joe
 
 
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galbinus_caeligalbinus_caeli on July 28th, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC)
You didn't specify that it had to be a good novel.
Siege of Earth
(A book in the Peacemakers series)
(1971)
A novel by
John Faucette

I read this a very long time ago, but I seem to recall that it was without any of the factors you list. I recall it as feeling like a play by play account of a fireworks show.

Edited at 2008-07-28 01:47 pm (UTC)
james_nicolljames_nicoll on July 28th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
There's a very short bit in Gilliland's Long Shot for Rosinante that might qualify except for not being a novel, the bit featuring an intelligent nuclear missile with refreshingly high morale where being of service is concerned.
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