Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Into the Hinterlands by David Drake ****

"The Continuum lay outside of reality ..." and didn't allow metals or combustion, but it did provide a shortcut across interstellar space. Vehicles were constructed of ceramic and carbon fibers and powered by human pedaling --- think Tour de France.  Weapons were restricted to spring-power --- think sling shots and spear guns. So the stage is set for warfare by cyclists armed like SCUBA divers.

Into the Hinterlands by David Drake and John Lambshead follows the career of Allen Allenson ... a gentleman, a younger son without any real assets or power. Traditions dictates that younger sons join the clergy or the military. Allenson joins the military, accompanied by his rough and tumble buddy Hawthorne, and their gentleman student (think Darwin) friend Royman Destry.

The battle is about competing interstellar colonies and the tactics are mixture of asymmetric frontier skirmishes and World War II air battles. In fact many of the interpersonal issues from managing recruits and enlisted men to conflicts between big armies and small squads are very reminiscent of World War II movies.

If you like WWII movie like Dirty Dozen and The Bridges of Toko-Ri, you enjoy this science fiction rendition of similar themes.

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