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April 20, 2006


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Gareth Wilson

I'm halfway through _Fitzpatrick's War_ now. I'm impressed that he's come up with a backstory even sillier than most MilSF books, which takes a bit of doing. I suppose that's the whole point.


Tsk. Anyone with a real opinion?

Gareth Wilson

To clarify, I _like_ Fitzpatrick's War, at least so far, and I understand why the backstory is so silly. I have to thank you and Doug for recommending it - from the outside it looks like one of the duller examples of its satirical targets and I wouldn't have picked it up without a heads-up.

Dave MB

Carlos -- your list of plot elements suggests that Judson is specifically out to parody Stirling as well as the genre in general -- is that what you meant? Sounds like a fun read. _Bill the Galactic Hero_ by Harrison was an attempt to do this to Heinlein juveniles, which I thought was somewhat funny but too silly (like much of Harrison's work) to be effective at what you're suggesting. _Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers_ was a little better at exposing some of the subtexts in Doc Smith and Campbell.

Thanks for the tip -- I will look for the book.


More of an extrapolation of the underlying political philosophy common to his crowd, I think. A few direct bits of parody, but Judson saves the big ammo for more important targets.

Incidentally, Fitzpatrick's War came out at the same time as that 'serious' [sic] no-electricity/genocide/boy's-own-adventure novel, and was almost certainly written beforehand.

(The having-no-electricity-will-cleanse-civilization-of-its-peacenik-dross-and-make-it-manly-again premise is part of the stock in trade of Bad Science Fictional Ideas. I believe Pournelle included the first story of that kind in one of his "I WANT A WAR DAMMIT" anthologies, perhaps next to a David Horowitz editorial.)

It's a clever hunter who anticipates his prey so well.

Bernard Guerrero

Sounds interesting. I'll be sure to pick it up.


You know, I feel I should be pushing Wambaugh and Ellroy more. They're solid and worth your time.

Is this a case of genres not mixing, in the same way there aren't any Alan Furst novels set In Spaaaace? (While there are hundreds of SF novels in first-person smartass.)

Francis Burdett

from the Amazon link:

Buy this book with Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling today!
Total List Price: $31.94
Buy Together Today: $23.56

Amazon would never steer us wrong would they?


Looks like Amazon is trying to get rid of their hardcovers. Incidentally, you should read the reviews of the latter. They're truly hilarious. When even Cat Piss Man tells you that you're being a little too over-the-top for his tastes, you've got a problem.

James Nicoll

FPSA might be one of those techniques that is _very_ easy to copy, like Turtledove's cast of zillions book structure.

I may post something about the lack of Furstian SF on my LJ.


I'd enjoy reading that.

Mike Ralls

For anyone who's interested I have a blog and every once in a while I post my book notes to it. My notes for Fitzpatrick's War can be found at:


S.M. Stirling

[moderator's note: a list of S.M. Stirling's human shortcomings would be too long to insert here, but setting aside his pro-genocide and historical denialist positions, the stalking, and the lack of manners, he's also not a very good writer.]

Folks, to inject a note of realism, out here in the Real World (tm), Ted Judson and I are friendly correspondents and like each other's work -- I'm going to be blurbing his next book, "The Martian General's Daughter".

(Which I'm currently reading in manuscript and which is excellent, btw. I do like a writer who knows his classical history.)

And alas, I have to tell you that you've all gotten "Fitzpatrick's War" very, very wrong, at least as far as the author's intentions are concerned.

Sometimes the reader and the text engage in a fruitful dialogue. And sometimes it's more in the nature of the reader having a monologue with himself, with results that can leave the author at a loss.

Steve Brust tells me that he once met a fan who burbled away for some time about the way "Brokedown Palace", and I quote, "stuck it to the Jews".

Which, as he said, was extremely odd, since a) Brust is a Jewish Marxist and b) in ethnic terms there's nobody in the book but pseudo-Magyars and aliens.

"Many are the wonders, but none more wonderful than man".

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