Are there other "space carrier" novels out there with not too much "weird" elements but instead grounded military sci-fi?

Belisarius

Spaceman
Im looking for Novels that, like the Wing Commander novels, feature live aboard a space carrier.

In addition Im looking for more grounded military sci fi, meaning no esoteric technology, no magic, no weird abstract elements. For example Star Carrier is a neat novel series but after a while all the hyper-intelligent AI implants and Nano-based space fighters turned me off. Also other novels that feature genetically engineered animal-man-pilots.


I basically want the WW2 pacific war...in space. One of the novel series I read & that comes close is the "Starfire" series by David Weber!


Thanks in advance!
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
The Ark Royal series, by Chris Nutall, are about an obsolete armoured space carrier that was phased out for sleek ships and gets reactivated when a First Contact War involves aliens with energy weapons that wiped the floor with modern design ships. Pretty decent overall, even if not Hugo Award writing. Bonus points for originality in the worldbuilding that involves a multistellar humanity (using jump points travel à la Wing Commander) that isn't unified by far, not even on Earth which looks more like a Victorian Concert of Nations style of geopolitics that do not end in any way or shape just because there's a war against aliens.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
The Honor Harrington series also had space carriers eventually, but that's also where I lost interest, so I have no idea how they were implemented, in or out of universe.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
The Honor Harrington series also had space carriers eventually, but that's also where I lost interest, so I have no idea how they were implemented, in or out of universe.
These are more like gunships/corvettes than fighters being carried by the carriers, definitely not a Wing Commander feel.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I'll second the Honor Harrington recommendation. As noted, it's primarily space age of sail but it's roughly the same mixture of hard science fiction with pulpy military adventures as the Baen Wing Commander books. Similarly, the Man-Kzin stories are (sometimes) great, pulp space warfare that will seem familiar to any Wing Commander fan... but they aren't specifically about a carrier (and if you follow the same path I did you'll jump from the MK books to the larger Known Space universe which has classics like Ringworld.)

Even less about carriers but with a similar 'mixture' to their settings as Wing Commander:

* The Hammer's Slammers series by David Drake. They're Mr. Drake's experiences in Vietnam told by the way of a distant future unit of soldiers with hover tanks. It ends up being a nice mix of excellent (if sometimes tough) military stories framed in a future world that's extremely 30th century Strike Commander.

* Jerry Pournelle's CoDominium stories, particularly the Falkenberg's Legion subset which are about mercenary soldiers in a hard science tomorrow spun off of the Cold War. This was Pournelle (who almost wrote a Wing Commander novel!) version of Larry Niven's Known Space shared universe and it's full of classics that are fun to explore as you expand (like The Mote in God's Eye).

If you enjoy Heart of the Tiger and False Colors you might try the "Carrier" series of novels. It's credited to "Keith Douglass" but is actually the work of Andrew Keith (and his brother). They aren't science fiction and instead are pulpy stories about the adventures of a modern supercarrier... but they strongly informed Mr. Keith's Wing Commander work.

I'll also throw out a recommendation for the X-Wing series of novels which do space fighter stories in the Star Wars universe... and several of the books were written by Aaron Allston who was the genius behind Claw Marks.
 

Vidmaster

Rear Admiral
I'll also throw out a recommendation for the X-Wing series of novels which do space fighter stories in the Star Wars universe... and several of the books were written by Aaron Allston who was the genius behind Claw Marks.

Yeah right, totally forgot. GO READ THE X-WING NOVELS before someone decides to ruin this stuff as well by remaking parts of it in the new canon. Great books and since Star Wars is WW2 in space just like Wing Commander, you will find a lot of similarities.
Pilots in Figher Squadrons going on (special) assignments and campaigns, dogfighting action, squadmate commardarie and maybe even some romance or the occasional traitor 😇
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
Yeah right, totally forgot. GO READ THE X-WING NOVELS before someone decides to ruin this stuff as well by remaking parts of it in the new canon.

Without commenting specifically on post-buyout Star Wars, remakes/reworks don't magically make the originals disappear. :p
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Still reeling from the Fiasco that Episode 9 was, I am.
Frustration about how modern Star Wars, widespread it is.
Well, there is one thing that's exceedingly impressive about Episode 9. There is something amazing about a film script that manages to start with the most horrible words that no one at all wanted to hear - and then still manage to go downhill from that low point. Surely, the words "the Emperor is back!" will be remembered for as long as anyone at all remembers Star Wars. Though I will say this in defence of Episode 9: it wasn't as disastrous as I expected it to be. My view is that the movie is enjoyable to watch, as long as you are able to keep your brain off, to prevent you from asking any questions whatsoever about plot logic. The moment your brain is activated, it all explodes, however.

A funny, random thought occurs to me now, though. Wouldn't it be great if in the future, they did a soft "reboot" of Star Wars, by switching back to actively continuing the "Legends" branch of the canon? They could then make a completely different Legends: Episode 7, 8, and 9, while avoiding the need to explicitly declare they're deleting the sequel trilogy from the canon.

Oh, wait. The Legends universe already had clones of the Emperor. And far more horrible bullshit than Disney ever managed to pump into Star Wars.


Yeah. One way or the other, Star Wars is royally screwed.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Yeah. One way or the other, Star Wars is royally screwed.
No, it's imperially screwed. ;-)

But, yep, they managed to wreck everything beautifully, and I'm glad I haven't given them any money, being satisfied in reading the plot summary to shake my head for free. Though, you gotta admit Disney is competing extremely hard when it comes to match the density of bullshit: Legends might have had more in absolute, but rarely as much in as little space.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
A funny, random thought occurs to me now, though. Wouldn't it be great if in the future, they did a soft "reboot" of Star Wars, by switching back to actively continuing the "Legends" branch of the canon? They could then make a completely different Legends: Episode 7, 8, and 9, while avoiding the need to explicitly declare they're deleting the sequel trilogy from the canon.

This is the Star Wars version of "why didn't they use the actors from the game?!". There's an incredibly wide gulf between the hundred million plus people who go to see a given Star Wars movie and the fifty thousand who buy the average comic or novel. No amount of people who matter are refusing to see new Star Wars movies because they aren't respecting Admiral Thrawn. (Disney's silly mistake there was having the courtesy to tell everyone how the system has always worked instead of continuing to pretend there was a cohesive Star Wars expanded universe that anyone making movies cared about.)

On the other hand, I don't think any creative issues I have with the new movies are actually impacting the box office either. I can complain about how crummy JJ Abrams is forever but it's not what's scaring anyone away from theaters. In so much as there is an issue (and there's nowhere near as much of an issue as the internet likes to pretend!) it's that they tried to duplicate their successful Marvel model too quickly. You ended up with wide audiences that were fatigued and a little bit confused by the marketing. And to their credit they do seem to now understand that Star Wars movies need to be more of an event than five films in four years allows.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Though, you gotta admit Disney is competing extremely hard when it comes to match the density of bullshit: Legends might have had more in absolute, but rarely as much in as little space.
Well, I'd like to admit that, but I'd have to dig deeper into the Legends stuff to be sure. And I don't particularly want to do that ;).

This is the Star Wars version of "why didn't they use the actors from the game?!". There's an incredibly wide gulf between the hundred million plus people who go to see a given Star Wars movie and the fifty thousand who buy the average comic or novel.
Oh, that wasn't what I was talking about. I meant that since Legends is a separate iteration of the Star Wars universe, where Episodes 7-9 didn't happen, theoretically someone could use that as an excuse to make new Episodes 7-9 in the future under the guise of things being different in Legends. But even that, of course, was mainly a joke.

In so much as there is an issue (and there's nowhere near as much of an issue as the internet likes to pretend!) it's that they tried to duplicate their successful Marvel model too quickly. You ended up with wide audiences that were fatigued and a little bit confused by the marketing. And to their credit they do seem to now understand that Star Wars movies need to be more of an event than five films in four years allows.
In all seriousness now, I feel there may well be more of an issue than the internet likes to pretend - but I will stress that this is a very subjective opinion, and I will not be particularly shocked if the future proves me wrong.

I can agree with you as far as the ancillary stuff goes. Yes, Rogue One and Solo were a case of duplicating the Marvel model, and failing. Even then, mind you, I think you have to be careful in defining the problem. What does it mean, they tried to duplicate the Marvel model too quickly? In saying this, you're presuming the Marvel model can be successfully duplicated in Star Wars, provided it's done at the right time and at the right pace. I'm sceptical about this. I think it's impossible to do it with any sci-fi (or fantasy) universe. I think the reason Marvel films work is that anyone can walk into any of these films straight off the street, and because they take place in our universe, there is no barrier to entry. Not only do you not need to know anything beyond what the film supplies, you also - and this is more important - know that you will not need to know anything, so you're willing to risk buying a ticket. Star Wars will never have this. You can't just make a summer blockbuster by spinning out a Star Wars character, because even if the film is actually easy to get into, the audience will still worry they need to understand a ton of Star Wars lore to get into it.

That's for the spin-offs, anyway. For the main dish, the new trilogy, my feeling is that the disconnect between the fans and the new trilogy is something very big and significant. Yes, I know. I remember the fallout when the prequel trilogy started, Yet, this feels very different now. You could claim that it feels different because we have Twitter now, and stupid off-the-cuff social media, and dozens of angry fans publishing their rants on YouTube. This is true, but this doesn't mean just that our perception now is different, that problems get blown out of proportion in the commentary. It also means that problems rise to a different scale, because it's so much easier to ramp up negativity. And Disney along the way made a lot of mistakes that fed into the negativity. Even though this mainly affects the fans, it does translate into a far bigger issue at the box office, because the fans are the ambassadors for the films.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
I will say this I really enjoyed episode 7 and 8 but did not like 9 all that much but I loved jedi fallen order and after all the updates battlefront 2 is really fun now, plus the mandalorian is also fun. So my star wars fandom is still good. To keep it lucas related, im playing through this old gem of a lucasarts game as we speak. It really is a nice little sci fi slice of an adventure game, even if some of the puzzles are really obtuse.


 

YCDTD

Commodore
Yes! Check out Glynn Stewart. His castle federation novels are *heavily* influenced by wing commander.
I shit you not guys, this is the opening of the first paragraph of Space Carrier Avalon:

New Amazon System, Castle Federation
18:00 July 5, 2735 Earth Standard
On approach to DSC-001 Avalon

Wing Commander Kyle Roberts did not enjoy being flown by someone else. It was always a struggle for the red-haired pilot to keep his hands and implants away from the overrides when he was a passenger in a shuttle...

And the opening of Chapter 2:

Exiting the shuttle , followed closely by the two Flight Commanders he'd brought with him, Kyle found the ship's Captain waiting. He was a tall gaunt man with iron-gray hair who looked like he'd gone best out of three with death - and the Reaper had kept an eye.

Modern protheses could be almost indistinguishable from the real thing, but Captain Blair's was an older model...
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
On the off-topic Star Wars discussion, I suspect the revenue - if that could in any way be a reasonable gauge of movie quality - for Episode IX suffered as a result of the mixed response to Episode VIII. Contrary to some of the opinions voiced here I felt IX did its best in salvaging the aftermath of VIII, even with the silliness of taking up the EU/Legends idea of a cloned Palpatine (I remember thinking how silly that idea was in the original comics - informed by a friend, I never read the comics - but perhaps with VIII having killed off the 'big bad' of VII/VIII, there was nothing better to turn to for the primary antagonist). But even so, while I saw the sequel trilogy in the theatres with a close friend, I don't think we'll be keen on doing so for yet further sequels which are supposed to be scheduled for coming years.

I said it before in another thread, but while the prequels had its flaws and detractors, at least it was part of a cohesive vision from the universe's creator and while you might not have liked them, altogether they at least made sense. The sequels seemed too affected by heavy-handed political messaging from Disney and inconsistent plans from differing directors. We'll probably never know Lucas' own ideas for a sequel trilogy, that Disney rejected, but I'd be curious to know what he would have done. Perhaps simply from the nostalgia of being set just before Episode IV, I enjoyed Rogue One but with its mid-year release my friend and I ended up missing Solo in the theatres and the scathing reviews didn't help either, but after seeing it on the TV I found the experience more enjoyable than what I felt for the sequels.

Back to the discussion on novels, clearly my on-line alias - perhaps something I would have chosen differently if I didn't come up with it back in 2000 - is influenced by the X-Wing novels and its characterisation of the pilots (contrasting with Zahn's portrayal as viewed from the street-wise underworld). Stackpole and the late Allston have quite different strory-telling approaches but I did enjoy both of their contributions. In fact, I understand Stackpole initiated the X-Wing series inspired by the X-Wing games and the opening chapter is a direct reference to one of the more difficult missions. (I'm sure there are detractors of the novels even here, but you can't like or dislike something that you've never even tried in the first place.) If you're looking specifically for carrier-based action, I recall the seventh novel - Solo Command - probably has the most of that, and fleet action as well as the New Republic wages its campaign against an ex-Imperial warlord.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Back to the discussion on novels, clearly my on-line alias - perhaps something I would have chosen differently if I didn't come up with it back in 2000 - is influenced by the X-Wing novels and its characterisation of the pilots (contrasting with Zahn's portrayal as viewed from the street-wise underworld). Stackpole and the late Allston have quite different strory-telling approaches but I did enjoy both of their contributions. In fact, I understand Stackpole initiated the X-Wing series inspired by the X-Wing games and the opening chapter is a direct reference to one of the more difficult missions. (I'm sure there are detractors of the novels even here, but you can't like or dislike something that you've never even tried in the first place.) If you're looking specifically for carrier-based action, I recall the seventh novel - Solo Command - probably has the most of that, and fleet action as well as the New Republic wages its campaign against an ex-Imperial warlord.
Seconding this. The X-Wing series were my introduction to the EU, and they are very enjoyable with a mix of well-written space combat and secret ops.

Yub yub, commander! :-P
 
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