David Sherman is a former U.S. Marine and the author of
eight novels about Marines in Vietnam, where he served as an
infantryman and as a member of a Combined Action Platoon. His
website is at www.novelier.com. He is also the author of the
military fantasy series, Demontech.
Dan Cragg enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1958 and retired with the rank of sergeant major twenty-years later. He is the author of Inside the VC and the NVA (with Michael Lee Lanning), Top Sergeant (with William G. Bainbridge), and a Vietnam War novel, The Soldier's Prize. He is an analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense.
In Sherman and Cragg's 10th superior military SF novel (after 2003's Starfist: Lazarus Rising), the long-suffering troops of the 24th Marine Fleet Initial Strike Team (aka FIST) take on their alien nemesis, the malignant, acid-spewing Skinks, on a planet whose colonists have left most of it unexplored. Unbeknownst to the FIST team, a local system government, whose military chief decides that it's immoral to have all these warships and never use them, decides to invade the planet at about the same time. The results are unexpected, to say the least. There are basically two types of military SF: the first realistically depicts the horrors of war, while the second explores (usually affectionately and often in an idealized way) the sociology of the military unit. Most writers in the subgenre do one or the other well, but Sherman and Cragg, both retired career noncommissioned officers, excel at uniting these two approaches. Injecting freshness into a situation that was clich?d even in the days of Hugo Gernsback, they show how training and esprit de corps can overcome the most terrifying encounters. In contrast, the authors treat the stupidity of the book's comic-opera human antagonists with Swiftian invective. You don't have to be a military SF buff to appreciate this entertaining and instructive exercise. Agent, Owen Lock. (Nov. 23) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
When a mysterious series of fatalities on the colony planet of Maugham's Station reaches the attention of the Confederation's Marines, newly promoted Lt. Charles Bass is assigned to take the 34th FIST to the planet to investigate the possibility of involvement by the hostile aliens known as Skinks. What they find on the planet, however, is a new type of predator and a volatile political situation. Sherman and Cragg continue their "Starfist" series (First To Fight; Kingdom's Sword) with another tale of military action-adventure and planetary exploration. Familiar characters and catchy dialog make this a good addition to libraries with an audience for military sf. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Praise for STARFIST
"CAUTION! Any book written by Dan Cragg and David Sherman is bound to be addictive. . . . The authors have a deep firsthand knowledge of warfare, an enthralling vision of the future, and the skill of veteran writers. Fans of military fiction, science fiction, and suspense will all get their money's worth. . . . [These novels are] fast, realistic, moral . . . and hard to put down. Sherman and Cragg are a great team!"
New York Times bestselling author of Red Army
"A fast-paced tale of military heroics and personal courage."
"This is state-of-the-art military science fiction."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)