Military Sci Fi and espionage books recommendations


Feb 23, 2024
To be clear, the request is for a book with both military sci fi and espionage. Like the Halo novels. So preferably also with spec ops, hyper efficient soldiers/characters.
Thank you in advance.
Not too sure about espionage, but for military Sci-Fi my first recommendation would be Dan Abnett's Gaunts Ghosts series, which i think are simply brilliant. Dan writes very well developed characters and their deaths are truly felt. The battles are superb and my heart will often be racing after reading them. I've read them twice now and am currently trying to collect the hardback books.

I'd also recommend TC McCarthy's Subterrene trilogy too. (Germline, Exogene and Chimera.) A loose trilogy, they are all set in the same war, but at different stages and with different characters. The focus is on Genetically engineered soldiers throughout. It's a harsh trilogy, but very good.
The two rarely go together. But...

1. military: Heinlein's Starship Troopers, NOT that f***ed up movie, 1959; more of a juvenile directed book, but good concepts.
2. military: Dickson's Dorsai series, 1959; originally short stories but later consolidated into books.
3. espionage: Anderson's Flandry series, 1951; several novellas and full novels; James Bond in the30th centry (or so).
4. military: start with Drake's Hammer's Slammers, 1979; this restarted military sci fi.
5. military: Bill Baldwin's Helmsman series, 1985; a guilt pleasure of unabashed space opera.
Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks. Espionage and piracy against the backdrop of a galactic war.
Gaunt's Ghosts is a good rec

Read an interesting sci-fi espionage that wasn't quite working for me but is worth recommending to others in Jonathan Nevair's To Spy A Star
Michael Mammay's, Planetside. It's a shorter mil-sci thriller (under 400 pages) executed exceptionally well and full of dubiously moral characters. There's maybe three books in the series, but they're all stand alone and follow different MC's. The audiobook is read by RC Bray and its fantastic.

If you haven't read the Expeditionary Force books, by Craig Allanson, do yourself a favor and grab them. They're probably the best Mil-Sci out there right now and there's like 16 of them? Plus maybe another 5 offshoot novels? They're fun, a bit HFY and occasionally poignant--though with 16 of them, there's some plot repetition. The joy of the books is wanting to spend time with the characters.

Audiobook isn't just optional but recommended. Strongly. RC Bray again narrates and these are regularly the top selling audiobook on Audible -- not top mil-sci or top SFF, the top book. They've done so well that Bray tripled and then quadrupled his rate -- to the point where Mammay said he couldn't afford Bray by the third Planetside book.
I quite enjoyed Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet.

It does get a little samey after a while, but i thought the first few books were well worth a read.
Star Wars Republic Commando: Hard Contact by Karen Traviss

Not even a star wars fan really, but I enjoyed these books.

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