A Hemry by Any Other Name

A guy named John G. Hemry wrote a very decent series of military SF books focusing on JAG cases in the future. I thought they were very interesting, and was sad that Hemry apparently had no other books come out after that.

But wait! There’s more Hemry! He is just writing under the name “Jack Campbell” now. Hurrah!

I found this out by listening to the audiobook version of The Lost Fleet: Dauntless. This is the first book in a series which contemplates what happens if some poor guy gets turned into a King Arthur or similar culture hero legend, and then actually comes back from the dead at some point in the future. He crosses this with a big helping of Xenophon’s March; and this mixture actually works quite well. His hero finds himself faced with huge problems, despite considering himself just an average professional military officer, and has to both catch up and adapt to survive — all without drinking the Kool-Aid about how great everyone thinks he is.

The premise is somewhat similar to that of the old series Andromeda, but is carried out with less mythos and a lot more modernity of feel. Hemry/Campbell repeatedly captures both a realism of military setting and leadership, and of the jarring way that cultural and ethical differences would tend to show up when you least expected them, no matter how much you tried to study up. Hemry also notes in his audiobook foreword that he tried to use his Navy experience with “relative motion” to make the space shiphandling bits credible; and I think this also works well. I’m only about a third of the way through the audiobook, but it is really keeping my interest.

Anyway, if you have also been seeing Jack Campbell books in the store, but hesitated to buy them lest the cool concept be badly executed and your valuable reading time wasted, hesitate no more. Also, there’s an earlier trilogy by Hemry called Stark’s War. (I’ve never seen it, but in my area that just means that people bought it and held onto it. We like military sf in this town.)

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