My Library is Calling me a Liar: SF Recommendations? | My Musings

**Today's Request: Can you recommend any good (low swearing, non-erotic) military or revolutionary SF books/series?**

The 2016 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Nicole @Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @It Starts At Midnight. “So often book bloggers mean to post more discussions on our blogs, but we just don’t quite get around to it. Well, we wanted to give everyone a little motivation to keep the discussions going, plus give us a place to link up our discussions so that more people will see our precious words of wisdom (or … you know … our GIF-filled rants).”


The Background


One of the first things I noticed when I started to schedule reviews for books I already own & have read was that there is a disconnect between my perceptions and my reality. If you had asked me, prior to this discovery, whether I liked Science Fiction or Fantasy best, I would have answered SF. But My Library of owned books disagrees. Whatever I think I like best, what I own the most of is YA Fantasy / Paranormal.


So I have decided to start something new, every 2-3 months or so I will do a post asking for book recommendations in a specific SF/F sub-genre that I feel is under-represented in my library. I am starting with a SF choice. (Note: I had already begun thinking about doing this when I came across Lauren's post, I'm a Fake Fantasy Reader, which gave me some additional inspiration.)


The General Guidelines


My preference would be for all my books to be "church lady" clean; failing that, this is what I am looking for:

  • Can be for any age group from MG to Adult.
  • Should be available on audio.
  • Bonus points if it has well written female characters.
  • Needs to meet My Standards - which can be summarized by saying that it contains limited:
    • Swearing
    • Gory violence
    • Explicit material (which should be limited to that between 1 man & 1 woman who are married to each other - I would personally skip these parts, but want to stick with something I would also be willing to review on my blog).


The Request


As stated above, today's subgenre is:

**Military or Revolutionary Science Fiction**


If you have friends who are into these kinds of books, please feel free to direct them here to share their favorites.


Commentary & Examples


What I like best:

  1. Interesting characters with some depth to them.
  2. Plots that don't over strain credibility.
  3. Character based action scenes - I am one of those people who tend to skip the action/battle stuff, unless it is strongly based in character.
  4. The romance, if there is one, is based on things such as actual compatibility & friendship rather than physical attraction only.


Some examples of such books that I have liked (I'm only including the covers for the first book in each series, hover for a description)


Buy | +GR

The Course of Empire / The Crucible of Empire by Eric Flint & KD Wentworth


Pros - A couple of strong female characters whose strength has nothing to do with fighting. Very interesting aliens. Lots of time developing character. Some battle scenes had great character moments.


Cons - Some battle scenes were a bit boring (to me). The swearing was a bit much, but there were no F words that I remember


Buy | +GR

The Great Symmetry by James R Wells My Review


Pros - Two women with completely different kinds of strength. I love the character based action in this one. There is a set of scenes near the end where the fate of a whole planet is hanging in the balance. Everyone has their own plans regarding this, and it is fascinating & totally engrossing to watch those plans unfold.


Cons - Mild swearing and some relationship stuff.


Buy | +GR

On Basilisk Station by David Weber


Pros - A strong female who still occasionally giggles (although she hates it). Lots of great side characters who each get their own moments. The space battle, at least, was a long string of characters doing their thing.


Cons - Way too much (strong) swearing and lots of gore. I definitely skipped the bloodiest battle. Also, I didn't continue the series because it looked like it was going to get a little too heavy for me, and there were some situations I wasn't comfortable with.


Buy | +GR

The "Project Enterprise" series by Pauline Baird Jones


Pros - Strong females, mostly of the rear end kicking variety, but they can use their brains as well, and you should see what they can do with a dress. Space battles, alien romances, and no explicit scenes!


Cons - Some swearing, including military style coded swearing. At least one group of aliens is truly abhorrent, and their actions towards women were very distressing (again, not explicit)


Buy | +GR

The Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold


Pros - Not sure I need to say anything here. She is the queen of character based SciFi that still manages to be very tightly plotted.


Cons - Some swearing. Lots of (only mildly-explicit) sex stuff.


Please note: If you like all the stuff I don't, and think books aren't realistic without it, that's fine. I'm not saying such books shouldn't be written; I'm just looking for books that I would be comfortable reading/reviewing.

Talk to Me (pretty please)

  • Is there a disconnect between your perception and your reality?
  • What genre's would you like to read more of?


  • If you are a first time visitor, how did you discover my blog?

Got My Book Signature

Instead of my usual "You May Also Like" section, this area will be dedicated to a list of the recommendations below (so you don't have to comb through the comments). To see other Seeking Suggestions posts, please click the gmb-sesug tag at the very end.

(Since I may not have read them I can't give content warnings / They may not all be military or revolutionary)


  • Anything by Alastair Reynolds [GMB: Audiobook series include "Revelation Space" & "Poseidon's Children," plus various standalones]
  • Elizabeth Moon [GMB: "Vatta's War" series is available on audio as is The Speed of Dark]
  • The "Tin Star" duology by Cecil Castellucci
  • Ender's Game [GMB: I've read it and it's great]
  • The "Liaden" series by Steve White & Sharon Lee
  • The Empress of Mars by Kage Baker
  • "Imperial Radch" trilogy by Anne Leckie [GMB: Not available on Audio]
  • Dawn of Destiny by Lee Stephen
  • Inside Out by Maria V Snyder [GMB: I've read and enjoyed this one also]
  • Star Crusader: Hero of the Alliance by Michael G. Thomas
  • "Starship Blackbeard" by Michael Wallace
  • Omega Rising: Omega Force by Joshua Dalzelle
  • Old Man's War by John Scalzi
  • "The Bern Saga" or Half Way Home by Hugh Howey

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This week's discussion will also be linked up with the following (hover for descriptions):