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Armor af John Steakley
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Armor (udgave 1984)

af John Steakley (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,491429,054 (3.84)37
The planet is called Banshee where the air is unbreathable and the water poisonous. It is the home of the most implacable enemies that humanity has ever encountered. Felix is a scout in A-team Two and highly competent, he is the sole survivor of mission after mission. Yet he is a man consumed by fear and hatred, and is protected not only by his custom-fitted body armor, the culmination of ten thousand years of the armorers' craft, but also by an odd being which seems to live with him, a cold killing machine he calls "the Engine."… (mere)
Medlem:CalebYoung
Titel:Armor
Forfattere:John Steakley (Forfatter)
Info:DAW (1984), Edition: First Editiion, 432 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

Detaljer om værket

Armor af John Steakley

  1. 30
    Old Man's War af John Scalzi (goodiegoodie)
  2. 20
    The Forever War af Joe Haldeman (RASinfo)
    RASinfo: Perfect read for the story and ideas of the same theme.
  3. 10
    Redliners af David Drake (TomWaitsTables)
  4. 00
    Death's Head af David Gunn (crazybatcow)
    crazybatcow: Both are military sci-fi with mature themes and a protagonist you might not like but who kicks butt anyway.
Indlæser...

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» Se også 37 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 42 (næste | vis alle)
Originality
Military sci-fi w/powered armor suits and mindless giant ants. Been there; done that. The science was never explained to my satisfaction--in fact, the science of Transit was never explained.
Writing
I liked the writing: descriptive, fast, action sequences and complex tactics--which is what military sci-fi is all about--and crisp dialogue. (There were a few typos.)
Characterization
The main characters, a warrior and a pirate, didn't have deep feelings--nor were they terribly unique. The secondary characters, for the most part, fell into neat tropes.
Story
Pacing was lackadaisical in the beginning, but really hit its stride in the battles. Switching to the pirate's point of view was both jarring and disappointing. Now that we'd gotten to know the hero and what he's up against, instead of showing how he surmounts the odds, we have to start all over again with a handsome, clever, and strong but self-serving pirate whose mission is to betray the nice geeky mad scientist. Even though the character of the asshole develops into a hero, we spend too much time with the asshole to really care that he's not an asshole anymore. Of course, we had to get back to the hero and I had high hopes for the ending, but I could see it coming like a train wreck: deux ex machina.
Conclusion
Although the action was great, tactics were cool, and dialogue was smart, the lack of originality, hard science, and engaging characters couldn't pull it out of mediocrity. Finally deux ex machina put the nail in the coffin. The Forever War is much more engaging and thought-provoking.
Personal Notes
Military sci-fi and space opera are my weaknesses. In 6th grade, I used to write these stories in which there were 20,000 lasers blasting the enemy ships out of orbit. In high school, I used to play the Starship Troopers wargame (the old cardboard hex map and punch-out counters). So, when I say I love these two genres, I truly mean it. ( )
  quantum.alex | May 31, 2021 |
Armor started very strong as a mashup of the classis Starship Troopers and the Forever War. The characters are believable and react very naturally to the things going on around them. And when they don't, well, that forms the heart of the mystery that lies at the heart of the book. The story is told in two twining narratives which fuse at the very end in a reveal that is the payoff of the entire mystery.

Unfortunately, the payoff is pretty monumentally underwhelming. The twist is pretty obvious during the entire time so one can spend nearly the entire last half of the book just watching the author coyly approach it then shy away. Thats actually more entertaining than it sounds so its not a total loss. But it started out so strongly that the disappointment at watching the story slip from the author is all the more poignant.

Recommended if you are looking for a afternoon's filler fun, but go back to the originals if you want the real thing. ( )
  frfeni | Jan 31, 2021 |
It is difficult to think of a science fiction author who built up more of a following from fewer books than John Steakley. Though he published only two novels in his lifetime, both of them proved successful, with one of them – the novel Vampire$ – subsequently adapted into a 1997 movie directed by John Carpenter.

Yet it is Steakley’s first novel which enjoys the more devoted audience. It consists of two intertwined stories, both of which center around men thrust into circumstances beyond their control. In the first of them, a man named Felix is part of an army of battlesuit-wearing soldiers participating in an invasion of an alien world nicknamed Banshee. Despite their technologically-enhanced strength and speed, the human forces quickly find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of “ants” – insect-like enemies of implacable ferocity that sacrifice themselves by the thousands in their battles against the enemy. The second story takes place four years later and is centered around Jack Crow, a legendary pirate who agrees to help a ruthless brigand attack a military research base in order to obtain their energy source. As Crow insinuates himself among the researchers, he grapples with his conscience and a situation that proves far more complicated than he expected.

Given these elements, it’s easy to see why Steakley’s novel is often compared to Robert Heinlein’s classic work Starship Troopers. Yet this is an unfair comparison, especially as Steakley’s novel is a far superior book to Heinlein’s in so many respects. Unlike Heinlein, who used his story as a vehicle for his views on politics, Steakley focuses instead upon the psychological impact of war upon people. Much of this can be seen as both a product of, and a commentary on, America’s experience with the Vietnam War, which was barely a decade in the past when Steakley’s novel was originally published in 1984. This is most evident in his depiction of the Antwar, in which technologically superior human forces fighting an enormous distance from their home in an inhospitable environment are consistently defeated by determined foes willing to absorb enormous casualties in order to defeat the invaders.

While Felix’s experiences in the Antwar form the core of the novel, however, it is Jack Crow who most clearly embodies the author’s perspective. Though Gary Stu-ish in terms of his abilities and experiences (women practically throw themselves at him throughout the story), Crow is very much not a veteran of the Antwar but rather is one of the vast majority of humans for whom it’s an event in the background of his life. In this respect Crow likely embodies the author’s own experiences with war, for while Steakley was of the generation of Americans who served in Vietnam, there is no evidence that he did so. Instead Crow comes to experience the war vicariously, in a way (without spoiling the plot) that shifts his perspective and profoundly changes his life.

And this is at the heart of what I found so appealing about Steakley’s novel. For while I enjoyed Steakley’s visceral descriptions of war, it was his exploration of reputations and their burdens on people’s lives that proved even more interesting. One of the recurring themes in Steakley’s description of both Felix’s and Crow’s achievements is the expectations born from them. In Felix’s case, his reputation is one we see him earning through enduring graphically horrific battles, as Felix’s survival is contrasted with the gruesome fates suffered by nearly everyone around him. For Felix, there is nothing heroic about what he has done, yet he has to endure the awe of others for what is more suffering than it is achievement.

Jack Crow’s reputation is introduced differently, and in many ways as a counterpoint to Felix’s. When we first encounter him in the novel, he is already an interstellar celebrity for vaguely-defined exploits in his distant past. Whereas Felix tries to hold onto his anonymity and is reluctant to share even the most basic details of his experiences, however, Crow exploits his fame cynically. Though he doesn’t regard himself as the personage everybody treats him as, he proves perfectly willing to play the role in order to get what he needs. This gulf between Crow’s persona and the undercurrent of guilt he feels at not living up to it even as he employs it to his advantage is a recurring conflict in his character that builds to a climax in the novel, one that serves as a satisfying conclusion to the book as a whole.

By the time I reached that conclusion, I understood why Steakley’s novel enjoys the acclaim it has received. It transcends many of its counterparts in the “military SF” genre to offer the sorts of insights into the human character that good fictional works provide. If anything, it deserves an even wider audience than it currently enjoys, and will hopefully be read long after similar books of its type are deservedly forgotten. ( )
  MacDad | Jan 3, 2021 |
Armor is a book that switches between two stories. One is a mechanized soldier's life in a future war against an insectoid alien race. One is a space rogue infiltrating a planet. Both stories are told from a first person perspective. While the just soldier tries to survive the next ant, the rogue enjoys whatever the planet can offer.

The technology is as always with slightly dated science fiction a bit weird but not implausible in any way. The humans are mostly a bit simplified but mostly because the author seems to have focused on a few characters where everything happens.

It's a 3.5 star book for me, starting low but ending better. I like the ending despite me guessing some things rather early. Or because of that. Who doesn't like getting confirmed they are beating the story once in a while?

( )
  bratell | Dec 25, 2020 |
This is my favorite book. ( )
  ruin15 | Dec 12, 2020 |
Viser 1-5 af 42 (næste | vis alle)
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (2 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
John Steakleyprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Burns, JimOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Weiner, TomFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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Every single day I love them both.
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The planet is called Banshee where the air is unbreathable and the water poisonous. It is the home of the most implacable enemies that humanity has ever encountered. Felix is a scout in A-team Two and highly competent, he is the sole survivor of mission after mission. Yet he is a man consumed by fear and hatred, and is protected not only by his custom-fitted body armor, the culmination of ten thousand years of the armorers' craft, but also by an odd being which seems to live with him, a cold killing machine he calls "the Engine."

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