Books Military Science Fiction

Dorsai! – Fairly mediocre collection of snippets rather than a novel.

Dorsai! (Childe Cycle #1) by Gordon R. Dickson
My rating: 5 out of 10 stars

Dorsai!Donal Graeme set out to re-shape the galaxy, but first he must tear it apart. Donal Graeme, Dorsai of the Dorsai, was the final link in a long genetic train, the ultimate soldier, whose breadth of vision made him a master of space war and strategy – and something even greater. He was the focus of centuries of evolution, the culmination of planned development, and through him a new force made itself felt. Dorsai were renowned throughout the galaxy as the finest soldiers ever born, trained from birth to fight and win, no matter what the odds. With Donal at their head they embarked upon the final, impossible venture: they set out to unify the splintered worlds of Mankind.

This book caught my interest because it was said that it, together with Starship Troopers, is considered as a classic that are responsible for the rise of military science fiction. Well, for Starship Troopers I can perhaps understand such a statement. For this one, not so much. Actually, to me, this was a rather mediocre book.

The book tells the story of Donald Graeme as he becomes a rising star as a military expert (genius) and mercenary from the planet Dorsai, renowned for “breeding” the best military personnel in the galaxy. Sounded pretty okay to me.

Unfortunately the book does not exactly impress me. First of all it does not really feel like a book with a single coherent story from start to finish but rather as a sequence of loosely connected episodes. For most of the book there was really not any real development of neither story nor character, it just went from one assignment to another which, of course, Donal managed with apparent ease.

Second, for being considered as being cause of the rise of military science fiction there was not really that much hard code military material and a lot of it was naïve and nonsensical. It was rather apparent that the author hade little to zero military knowledge.

When not solving his “military” assignments with one hand behind his back Donal mostly engaged in various political and philosophical discussions. I cannot say that much of it felt very engaging. As I wrote before, the whole the book mostly felt like a string of rather superficial short stories.

This is not a series that I will continue reading.

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