The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century

Edited by Harry Turtledove with Martin H. Greenberg
Del Rey, May 2001, 18.00, 560 pp.
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ISBN: 0345439899

    This thirteen-story collection runs the gamut of science fiction even as the theme throughout centers on the military. The contributors are an A to Z (actually W) of renowned science fiction authors with most of the authors having one name recognition (Clarke, McCaffrey, Anderson, Benford, Cherryh, Drake, and Turtledove, etc.

    The tales contain alternate history (duh with Mr. Turtledove as a participant that is no surprise ending), outer space wars between technological advanced civilizations and more primitive societies, and old fashion magic. The contributions take place in different eras though some are post apocalyptic to post nuclear vampiric. All have heroes or heroines battling against overwhelming odds that would lead to Luke losing confidence in the force.

    Each story is well written as one would expect from a book titled THE BEST MILITARY SCIENCE FICTION OF THE 20TH CENTURY, and edited by Mr. Turtledove with Martin H. Greenberg. Besides being well-written tales by the elite of the past century, several of the short stories include the opening gamut of an author's classic series (Haldeman, Card). Science Fiction fans will want to read this one because the book lives up to its title.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century

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Plot & Themes

FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story If an invasion, from Earth/human POV:    -   fighting overt invasion (attacking aliens) War or Invasion    -   Yes Major kinds of combat:    -   lasers    -   spaceship battles Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   infantry soldier Age:    -   20's-30's


A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a futuristic society    -   humans in a contemporary society    -   unfriendly aliens    -   big overbuilt futuristic city Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a fair amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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