What a novel conversation!

Which is your favorite Baen novel?

  • Freedom Flight

    Votes: 4 12.9%
  • End Run

    Votes: 11 35.5%
  • Fleet Action

    Votes: 6 19.4%
  • Heart of the Tiger

    Votes: 3 9.7%
  • The Price of Freedom

    Votes: 1 3.2%
  • Action Stations

    Votes: 4 12.9%
  • False Colors

    Votes: 2 6.5%

  • Total voters
    31

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
The seven Baen novels add a huge amount of information to the WC universe. From Freedom Flight's introduction of the Liege Lord concept to the inner workings of a Bhantkara carrier in False Colors, it's non-stop goodness.

So which is your favorite? What was the best moment? Made you cringe? Stand up and shout?

Humans Fight Harder - They Have To


I am partial to End Run. I loved how you got two unique stories that were tied together by Vukar Tag. It's the first novel where we really get to see a spectrum of important Kilrathi War characters and it covers one of the most important events of the war. While Fleet Action might have the huge fleet actions at Sirius and Sol, those are pyrrhic victories to a degree. End Run just has Confed laying out an ass kicking on the Kilrathi. Two huge victories, at Kilrah and Vukar, that changed the war for the next year and forced the Kilrathi to make the decision to offer the False Armistice. You can't have a Fleet Action without an End Run. ;)

When it comes to the best moment of the novels I have to do the corny thing and point to the cliche lines in Action Stations that is however our rallying cry, "This is TCS Yorkshire. Long Live the Confederation." Every time I read that it makes me want to pump my fist in the air (non-Jersey style).

Some of the Senator Moore stuff in Action Stations made me cringe because it was classic Forstchen. Having read many of his other historical novels, in particular about WWII, the bumbling politician is a common theme.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
End Run ! I love the way it opens with a very intimate mini story about that corvette crew
It's kind of interesting--Baen's packaging idea was originally that you would attach a bigger name writer with a cheaper unknown for the series... so people who didn't know Wing Commander would still want to buy a book by someone they knew, like Mercedes Lackey or Christopher Stasheff (or as originally planned: Jerry Pournelle). And then Forstchen was so popular that he became the big name for the later Wing Commander books.

As for my favorite... it's hard to say.

When I was younger I loved the Forstchen books unconditionally. He's not a genius but he wrote thoroughly entertaining pulpy military science fiction... which is pretty much what Wing Commander deserves. The flaws come out more as time passes--the simplicity of the historical references, the repetition of the plots, the way he puts Wing Commander into his world instead of vice versa... and of course how Forstchen's particular politics shine through.

So I think the objectively BEST "Wing Commander" novel has to be Ellen Guon's Freedom Flight or Mike Harrison's Wing Commander I & II guide (the prose part). Those two both capture Wing Commander EXACTLY as it was in the games at the time (and although I thought it was kind of kiddie at the time, Freedom Flight probably stands the test of time as the best written Wing book).
 

Shaggy

Vice Admiral
My choices were down to Action Stations and False Colors, though choosing one out of all the books is about like choosing your favorite child (only the one with the most candy at Halloween will do). I picked False Colors for two reasons. 1: It didn't have any votes when I voted and 2: It was a beefier book that gave us a look at stuff that was going on between the Kilrathi War and the Border Worlds war. For similar reasons Action Stations is one of my top choices because it also covers the start of the war, which I would really like to see more of if EA ever restarts the series. So it really just comes down to the fact that I felt sorry for False Colors not having any votes. :)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I like Action Stations because it's so wide open--we know so little about that era and the book does a very good job of giving you just enough information to make you wish there were even more. It gives us enough of the pre-war world to get our imaginations spinning without trying to plug every hole.

I think it suffers a fair bit from being TOO literally Pearl Harbor in space... and from being very similar to Fleet Action. Oddly, it's the decision to include the Claw Marks continuity that dulls this a little (with the war actually declared months earlier).

(The closer I look the more the Fleet Action complaint loses me, though--it's not as close as it felt the first time I read it... and Fleet Action itself actually includes a number of lines that indicate a start-of-the-war prequel was already on Dr. Forstchen's mind. I'd be interested to know if that was really the case... Jukaga, for instance, mentions how his father had warned Thrakhath's father at the beginning of the war--which comes out of nowhere at the time.)

Most of all, I'm fairly worried that should there be a future "how the war started" story that it will completely disregard Action Stations and give us a different story and a different look for those years.

Am I the only one who imagines the Wildcat and the Hellcat as their World War II equivalents but in space? Could have used some descriptions. I'd be really curious to hear how Dr. Forstchen imagined everything, but I've never been able to do an interview where he really goes into detail.

I love False Colors (well, I love them all) but I also completely accept the criticism about the length... it's a very, very fan friendly book but it's also one that must have turned off a lot of casual readers. Most people really don't need that much information about Kilrathi carrier operations. :) (We're not most people, of course, so we're lucky we have it...)

Here's an interesting bit--I found in Warren Spector's papers last week the original notes about the Baen deal. They had a ten year license for Wing Commander which would lapse if they didn't publish for two years (so it expired in 2001.) Baen originally hoped to publish four Wing Commander novels a year--if only!

There's also notes about the first set including a book by Jerry Pournelle--again, if only!
 

Bremmon

Spaceman
Has to be End Run; that novel had it all! A mission against all odds; the Confederation on the verge of defeat. An unlikely crew and carrier. A little task force takes on the whole Kilrah system. Amazing visuals. Emotional power. Intense combat sequences. And it all fit into a nice plot with constant action, build up and a dramatic climax. Even ground combat is included that actually makes sense (unlike the WC movie) having true marines on board. The novel just screams to be made into a movie. There is never a dull moment. You know the leaders on all three ships and the Wing Leaders. You figure out what the squadrons do. You can picture the Kilrah system as a dynamic battle field. You can picture the carrier bay filled with marine craft, fighters and bombers. The Tarawa fleeing leaving the marines behind before a kamazie takes out the bridge. The crew rushing to try to regain control of the carrier from fighter ops. The reaction on the bridge as Svetlana's marine landing craft is shot down. A pilot sacrificing herself save the carrier. The destroyer ramming into a Kilrathi ship doing the gravity whip. The glass smashing all over the bridge as the phase shields fail and the Tarawa is on the verge of destruction. It was just awesome!

Fleet Action was great but the large scale combat almost seemed to make it too routine, did not have the pure emotion of End Run. Also seemed very Tom Clancyish, 3/4 of a book trying to build up the ultimate combat scenario and then when it finally comes it is summarized quickly and while it in theory was great it just didn't have the power of the combat in End Run. Action States was a little too by-the-book.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Am I the only one who imagines the Wildcat and the Hellcat as their World War II equivalents but in space? Could have used some descriptions. I'd be really curious to hear how Dr. Forstchen imagined everything, but I've never been able to do an interview where he really goes into detail.

I love False Colors (well, I love them all) but I also completely accept the criticism about the length... it's a very, very fan friendly book but it's also one that must have turned off a lot of casual readers. Most people really don't need that much information about Kilrathi carrier operations. :) (We're not most people, of course, so we're lucky we have it...)
Definitely not! When I read AS and heard the fighter names I knew Forstchen was just pulling from the list of US naval aircraft. We also get a mention of the "Corsair" in AS and how Moore was holding up the facility, or was that the Wildcat upgrade facility? The Wildcat upgrade they talk about must be Forstchen talking about the arrival of the F4F-4s in the Pacific in 1942. They were a step up from the F4F-3 and gave Wildcats a better chance against the A6M Zero.

I wonder if Forstchen might open up better to a fellow PacWar historian....maybe I could take a stab at it for some future one? An anniversary interview or something...

When it comes to carrier operations, bring it on! For obvious reasons this is something I really enjoyed reading about, although I'm curious what sources Forstchen/Keith relied on for the base of the information.

Action Stations main problem is that it's basically Gordon Prange's At Dawn We Slept converted to Wing Commander. If you look at Forstchen's Pearl Harbor books he did with Gingrich, you can actually see a lot of Action Station in the story and characters.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Has to be End Run; that novel had it all!
I must say, you do an EXCELLENT job selling End Run! You're absolutely right--it's a wonderful book with very, very few strikes against it.

Definitely not! When I read AS and heard the fighter names I knew Forstchen was just pulling from the list of US naval aircraft. We also get a mention of the "Corsair" in AS and how Moore was holding up the facility, or was that the Wildcat upgrade facility? The Wildcat upgrade they talk about must be Forstchen talking about the arrival of the F4F-4s in the Pacific in 1942. They were a step up from the F4F-3 and gave Wildcats a better chance against the A6M Zero.
He was holding up the Wildcat upgrade facility, IIRC--the Corsair is from the 'war begins in earnest' epilogue bit.

He actually has some good variety for the names (Thor, Minotaur, Gotha, etc.)... but the fact that Wildcat is SO prominent kind of cancels it out. I do wonder which direction it was chosen in--because it's the USN fighter at the start of the war or because it's the fighter that comes before Wing Commander III's similarly-tributing Hellcat.

I wonder if Forstchen might open up better to a fellow PacWar historian....maybe I could take a stab at it for some future one? An anniversary interview or something...
That's a good idea--we can put you two in touch.

When it comes to carrier operations, bring it on! For obvious reasons this is something I really enjoyed reading about, although I'm curious what sources Forstchen/Keith relied on for the base of the information.
It might be possible to find out. Andrew Keith had previously written a series called CARRIER with his brother, which is likely where he did his research initially. We could track down William Keith and see if he has any information. (Here's Andrew's bibliography: https://www.wcnews.com/articles/fc-credits.shtml)

Action Stations main problem is that it's basically Gordon Prange's At Dawn We Slept converted to Wing Commander. If you look at Forstchen's Pearl Harbor books he did with Gingrich, you can actually see a lot of Action Station in the story and characters.
The Forstchen/Gingrich stuff seems so unfortunately dry--he kind of intentionally throws away a lot of the pulpy aspects of his writing and it suffers overall (I don't know if he's specifically aiming for more respectability or if it's a side-effect of the fallout over 1945's sex kitten...).
 
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LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
On one hand, Fleet Action is my favorite because it drew me in deeper than the books I had read previous to it (I strangely ended up reading the novels in backwards order) and I love how the whole thing is basically a long, slow boil to a giant showdown. At the same time though, I think Action Stations did this better, with a meatier plot and more interesting locales but still lacks a "freshness" that made FA so damn fun.

I also have a strong love for the WC3 novel because it stuck so closely to the game. If I couldn't play the game while at school, I could at least *read the novel* (or the strategy guide).
 

CataclysmX

Rear Admiral
I'd have to say End Run is my personal favorite as well it is the most adventurous in my opinion and has the best character development, if anyone wants an idea for a fan mod, that would be my dream one. Fleet Action comes in a close second due to the many layers of deception and the nuances of politics and psychology during war and survival.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
LOAF said:
It might be possible to find out. Andrew Keith had previously written a series called CARRIER with his brother, which is likely where he did his research initially. We could track down William Keith and see if he has any information. (Here's Andrew's bibliography: https://www.wcnews.com/articles/fc-credits.shtml)
I looked at some of the books in that series and found that William has a website. I'll look into reaching out to him in the near future.

I'd have to say End Run is my personal favorite as well it is the most adventurous in my opinion and has the best character development, if anyone wants an idea for a fan mod, that would be my dream one.
I'm not sure a mod based on the Tarawa's actions would be all that fun because the action is so spread out. One based on Vukar Tag might be more fun (say have the player on the Svestapol since it's there for the initial attack and the later battle).
 
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overmortal

Bearded Person
This was a difficult choice for me, but I went with End Run. The reason is that it had a lot of freedom with a semi-established character, a new ship, and a great story. It brought a lot of realism into the WC universe, for me, and carried an excellent sense of suspense.

That said, I loved Freedom Flight, Action Stations, and False Colors. False Colors, especially, because it fleshed out the story between wc's 3 and 4.

Another thing that I have particularly enjoyed about the novels is the tragic hero of Tolwyn. Seeing a young Geoffrey Tolwyn (and I always imagine his character as a cleaned-up Alex from Clockwork Orange) and then watching his progression through his career (though missing some of the early/middle years) is really fascinating. It's alarming how it makes one *almost* sympathize with his actions at the end of his career.

Blair's character fleshed out a lot in the novels, which I liked, and the portrayal of Todd Marshall in the wc4 novelization was far more round and less of a comic relief, which, to me, seemed more realistic and accessible.

Freedom Flight is just plain fun, the whole way through. It REALLY captures the spirit of WC1, and polishes the characters there. It also paints Hunter as even more lovable than before. Oddly enough, I can see where it left room for the WCM interpretation of his character, and that just adds to the fun.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Hmm. I haven't even tried to read any WC novels in years - except for Fleet Action, which I probably will never read again after Standoff (I mean, I spent like five years using it as a reference guide!). So, it's difficult for me to tell which would be my favourite or least favourite.

What I do know is that the last time I intentionally set out to re-read one of them, End Run, I stopped reading after about five pages of Milk Run. I actually couldn't stand it. And that was weird, because back when I first read End Run, I felt pretty strongly that Milk Run was one of the best WC things written.

The book I probably would most like to re-read, if I had the time for it (which I don't - while I'm a voracious reader, I've got far too many unread books in the queue), would be Freedom Flight. I remember enjoying it far more than all the other, more serious WC books. At the same time, I suspect I'd be much more positive about the other books today. Originally, I didn't much enjoy just about any of the ones written by Forstchen (and that's, well, just about all of them). I didn't like his style of writing, I didn't like his politics, and not being especially familiar with the details of American history, far too many of the references were lost on me (ok - I admit it, "Round Top" is lost on me to this very day). However, what I found while working on Standoff, is that while I still think Forstchen's writing style is just plain weak, I'm much more in agreement with his politics, and I get much more of the references - so in general, I suppose it would be worth taking a look at them again one of these days. If only I could find the time.

What I really need is another book-based fan project, I guess :p.
 

Bremmon

Spaceman
[quote="I'm not sure a mod based on the Tarawa's actions would be all that fun because the action is so spread out. One based on Vukar Tag might be more fun (say have the player on the Svestapol since it's there for the initial attack and the later battle).[/quote]

Honestly I just don't think any of the engines do large scale combat very well (as much as it pains me to say it). And ironically it comes back to carrier operations. Let's say you do the large scale Vukar Tag. What you want to see is all the bombers attack the carriers, run out of torpedoes, rush back to reload and hope the fighters can shoot down all the incoming fighters before they reload. Also you don't want to run out of fighters and bombers. Meanwhile you want to see the destroyers and crusiers shooting anti-matter guns at each other. I'll be honest - I've never felt any mission play out like that. Also on those large scale battles, just like Fleet Action, you are just a cog in the wheel - there are so many pilots that ultimately you have to question if what you do really matters.

The only time it starts to "feel like that" is what you break up the missions and your the wing commander and you have a limited number of pilots in your wing. The first mission you and your bombers have to target X escorted by so many fighters. If you don't take out the crusier next mission it will be there attacking your carrier along with Kilrathi bombers. If you do take it out you can move onto attacking the carrier. And really breaking it down works more effectively when it is one carrier versus the enemy which I think End Run most represented. If Doomsday and his squadron are destroyed well, guess what, you can't actually destroy any more capital ships so you'd better run. If all your light fighters are shot down you get no recon or get a first shot at shooting down attacking fighters.

For a future Wing Commander I hope they put more emphasis on the "Commander" element and work out better ways to feel like your wing is impacting the battle and your actually on a carrier. How they do that, I do not know!!! Once you start adding that strategy you end up with some Battlefield hybrid which ironically only fits into carrier on carreir battles like Armada (ironically enough might be applicable to End Run - one carrier versus the Kilrah system defenecs, which a time counter in the background as to when the Prince shows up with his fleet).

That played into what was wrong with Fleet Action - you felt like the whole novel was going to build up to the TCS Concordia et al versus these super carriers with awesome fighter ops, capital ship combat, etc which it did in theory. Unfortunately it was just so large that it didn't seem like it. Indeed who even was the Wing Commander for the Concordia in the novel? The actions of all her fighters/bombers, etc were pretty much summarized in some paragraphs with Tolwyn concerned at the lack of bombers coming home. I appreciate the novel was more strategic (and I liked the novel) - I just felt that End Run gave you that special blend of strategy AND tactics which is so hard to work out.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Funny this topic has come up. I've been reading through the Baen books again of late...just started The Price of Freedom and plan to end it up with False Colors.

My rankings, just from having read the novels over the years:
1. End Run
2. Fleet Action
3. Freedom Flight
4. Heart of the Tiger
5. Action Stations
6. The Price of Freedom
7. False Colors

It's easier for me to explain the bottom of the pack than the top. Admittedly it's been a long time since I read False Colors, but I remember a plodding novel that was short on the level of action you saw in the other novels. That could just be the perception of youth talking there; I have plans to read it again soon.

The Price of Freedom hacked me off the first time I read through it. Any WC fan who's read the book and played the game knows just how much Fortschen dicked around with the storyline. Plus, he tried to throw the Landreich in there, which struck me as hackneyed at the time (you know, like "the Landreich is my personal thing and though it has absolutely nothing to do with this particular story I'm throwing it in there anyway"). I might enjoy my read-through more this time around because the game isn't fresh in my mind...

Don't get me wrong: I liked Action Stations, it's a good book with a good story and all that. Two things: it is (as has been mentioned) somewhat contradictory of the established continuity, and it's plot is too similar to Fleet Action (that whole "same author writing the same thing over again" sort of deal. Of course, I myself had better get over that...).

Heart of the Tiger was true to the game, and a good story over all. I just wish Forstchen hadn't made Blair look like such an inexperienced prick of a CAG throughout it.

The other three I liked because they did expand the WC universe and fill in some of the gaps. I guess I liked End Run most of all because you get to see the Cats get kicked in the teeth. Fleet Action is a continuation of the same story (in my mind at least).
 

Xveers

Spaceman
For me, it's False Colours. I like End Run, I really, really do. The dual story thing they did, to say nothing of the assault on the Kilrathi shipyards is in my mind excellent writing.

But at the same point, on another level it's very flat. With a single exception on each side, it's Confed good/competent and the Kilrathi evil/suicidechargeintotheMGs. Which in my mind drops it down a peg. False Colours on the other hand has a much more interesting cast of characters, and its something substantially different from the rest of the novels. Additionally, it's one of the first times we start seeing Tolwyn begin that long slide down
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I also have a strong love for the WC3 novel because it stuck so closely to the game. If I couldn't play the game while at school, I could at least *read the novel* (or the strategy guide).
It ABSOLUTELY BLOWS MY MIND that people now say this. I remember certain sections of the fandom being FURIOUS with the Wing Commander III novel in 1995 for the little changes (Flash's backstory, lack of the Severin arc) and for making Blair's choices for them. Teenage Psych was ready to tear Andrew Keith a new one when he showed up on IRC (but then teenage Psych was a lot like adult Psych: a huge idiot.)

I'm not sure a mod based on the Tarawa's actions would be all that fun because the action is so spread out. One based on Vukar Tag might be more fun (say have the player on the Svestapol since it's there for the initial attack and the later battle).
I don't know--I think it breaks down into a set of canonical missions pretty well: training with Bear, attack on Vukar Tag, letting the scout escape, initial attack on the shipyards and so on... and there's room to insert patrols and escort missions here and there if you want to build it up to a full game.

Freedom Flight is just plain fun, the whole way through. It REALLY captures the spirit of WC1, and polishes the characters there. It also paints Hunter as even more lovable than before. Oddly enough, I can see where it left room for the WCM interpretation of his character, and that just adds to the fun.
You make a great point--Hunter as patriarch of a close knit family of a squadron does a lot to explain his reaction to Blair (although, honestly, I don't think it needs that much explaining--Blair is the replacement pilot who showed up for duty wearing his dad's Iron Cross...)

(I see both, though, as kind of counter to his original introduction quote in WC1--"Formations, uniforms, medals, wingmen ... that's all sheepdip. All a bruce can count on out there is 'imself and 'is missiles"--no mention of a wingman in there.)

(ok - I admit it, "Round Top" is lost on me to this very day)
The pilot's name is Chamberlain, like Civil War hero Joshua Lawrence *Chamberlain*... who is often credited as saving the day for the Union at the Battle of Gettysburg by holding a hill called Little Round Top.

Indeed who even was the Wing Commander for the Concordia in the novel?
It's never said in the book, but the Heart of the Tiger novelization confirms that it was Blair (who replaces Angel after she leaves for Covert Ops; I guess it's sort of interesting that Blair WOULDN'T be one of Tolwyn's star pilots for the armistice ceremony...)

The Price of Freedom hacked me off the first time I read through it. Any WC fan who's read the book and played the game knows just how much Fortschen dicked around with the storyline. Plus, he tried to throw the Landreich in there, which struck me as hackneyed at the time (you know, like "the Landreich is my personal thing and though it has absolutely nothing to do with this particular story I'm throwing it in there anyway"). I might enjoy my read-through more this time around because the game isn't fresh in my mind...
I guess the big clarification here is that the book was pretty much written by Ben Ohlander. When you see Forstchen and then another author it means that Forstchen did the outline and the other writer did the actual prose... they wanted to keep Forstchen's name on the books since he was apparently a big draw. In the case of the two novelizations, though, that just meant he took (an early version) of the script and turned it into a short outline. (I should stress early version, too--the deadlines on Wing Commander IV were so tight in order to get it out in eleven months that the script was still being significantly revised when they started shooting it... so many of the 'changes' in the book are more because there just wasn't information yet.)

The Landreich thing is a little strange, since it's a blink-and-you-miss it cameo. (And honestly an answer to a good question--why is the Border Worlds so interesting if the novels already had EXACTLY THE SAME THING YEARS EARLIER?)

Don't get me wrong: I liked Action Stations, it's a good book with a good story and all that. Two things: it is (as has been mentioned) somewhat contradictory of the established continuity, and it's plot is too similar to Fleet Action (that whole "same author writing the same thing over again" sort of deal. Of course, I myself had better get over that...).
I don't think it's really contradictory to established continuity--the book actually makes a point to include the "Ches Penney" flavor text from Claw Marks (which is in and of itself unusual for a Wing Commander novel).

But at the same point, on another level it's very flat. With a single exception on each side, it's Confed good/competent and the Kilrathi evil/suicidechargeintotheMGs. Which in my mind drops it down a peg. False Colours on the other hand has a much more interesting cast of characters, and its something substantially different from the rest of the novels. Additionally, it's one of the first times we start seeing Tolwyn begin that long slide down
IMHO, time does Prince Thrakhath a huge disservice--as he's originally written he's supposed to be a great commander and an ace fighter pilot... and later stories just keep dragging him down (to the point that he's *literally* impotant in Fleet Action--gah).
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
It ABSOLUTELY BLOWS MY MIND that people now say this. I remember certain sections of the fandom being FURIOUS with the Wing Commander III novel in 1995 for the little changes (Flash's backstory, lack of the Severin arc) and for making Blair's choices for them. Teenage Psych was ready to tear Andrew Keith a new one when he showed up on IRC (but then teenage Psych was a lot like adult Psych: a huge idiot.)
Yeah it is pretty incredible. I remember my teenage self being annoyed with the small changes. Although I have to admit my teenage angst was stronger towards The Price of Freedom. You have some larger changes (including that Blair shrine scene with Melek) that were unsettling at the time. (The ability of the UBW to open jump points without having a capship travel through them)

I'm more amazed by the ER love being expressed. All the FA fans must be on vacation because in the past the results would be reversed.

I don't know--I think it breaks down into a set of canonical missions pretty well: training with Bear, attack on Vukar Tag, letting the scout escape, initial attack on the shipyards and so on... and there's room to insert patrols and escort missions here and there if you want to build it up to a full game.
Hmm perhaps, I was thinking of just post-Vukar with the run-in to Kilrah, but you could stretch out the First Battle of Kilrah and what follows into an interesting mod. So now it actually does sound promising.

IMHO, time does Prince Thrakhath a huge disservice--as he's originally written he's supposed to be a great commander and an ace fighter pilot... and later stories just keep dragging him down (to the point that he's *literally* impotant in Fleet Action--gah).
And I agree, Thrakhath gets taken down a peg in all of the novels...one part that comes to mind is the FA mention of the fact that Thrakhath needs viagra or something because of his failures on the mating couch....
 
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-danr-

Vice Admiral
I've gone for Heart of the Tiger, it's my joint favourite along with Fleet Action but it looked a bit sad sitting there without any votes. I know it's heavily game influenced and thus there were few surprises after playing WC3, but it tied up some loose ends nicely (such as which pilots went to Kilrah for one) and the Tembor run surely has to be the most important event in the entire war. I like the way Fortschen explained some sketchy Origin canon (such as how Flash got to be a Major, and the Hobbes memory overlay explanation omitted from the PC version) as well as some back story to characters we didn't know much about in the game - like Cobra' s dark history and debriefing with the 'psych guys'.

Of course, many of the novels provide back story to familiar faces, but like I said, Heart of the Tiger deserves at least one vote.

Fleet Action a close second, Baron Jukaga is one of my all-time favourite Kilrathi - the story provides an awesome insight into Kilrathi social structure. In this novel, it felt they were less like faceless, barbaric beasts, and more a misunderstood foe with a complex and sometimes honorable hierachy. My favourite quote from any of the novels comes from FA:

Tolwyn to Jukaga: "I'm surprised the Emperor even allowed one such as you to live. I've heard that assassination is all but unknown in your society - It seems you learned it from us. You know NOTHING of us! You learned but the worst and learned none of the best. You are beneath the contempt of both my race and yours!"
 

Bigt028

Rear Admiral
this entire discussion is promting me to re-read the entire series, and i will with no hesitation, i enjoyed all of them. my favorites during the first read through was End Run and Fleet Action as a tie, but Fleet Action edged out End Run in the end. Dont get me wrong, they are great books but for some reason if memory serves i could not put down Fleet Action, the scope of the battle was incredible.

in another discussion i noted, Heart of the Tiger was a good attempt at novelizing the pc-game, however the Locanda missions really got to me..i worked so hard at saving that planet, couldnt wait to get back to the claw..listing to Radio Rollins chim in...they will be naming kids after you...and in the book, they loose the planet and have to retreat...very upsetting
I enjoyed Price of Freedom and False Colors but Action Stations took an interesting turn in going back to the beginnings of the war and more into Towlyn's involvement.
 
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