Table of contents:
- What is this genre?
- "Steel Rat" and "Bill is a Hero of the Galaxy"
- The Contemplator
- Last Sky
- Chronicles of the Ascetic
- Starship Troopers
- Warhammer 40000
- Metro 2033
- Ender's Game
The best books of combat fiction are necessarily beautifully written battles, weapon models, fighters, and also the essence of the conflict. Almost always, these are opuses with a detailed war of the future in some abstract world or in one of the possible branches of the Earth's development. Regardless of the author or setting, the best books in combat fiction bring the reader an unprecedented adventure and many positive emotions from an exciting tour into the heart of armed conflict.
What is this genre?
The described genre is a commonality between action and science fiction, combining well-staged armed conflicts, as well as sci-fi ideas, such as space flight. At the heart of each such book is a confrontation with an abundance of bloodshed, the use of weapons and the formation of a hero as an experienced veteran. Although ideas or direct images from reality may be borrowed for the setting or certain elements of the environment in the world, by and large,the best books of modern combat fiction are a journey into the future, where, unfortunately, everything is also restless.
"Steel Rat" and "Bill is a Hero of the Galaxy"
The work of Harry Harrison is the first thing an admirer of combat fiction and science fiction in general gets acquainted with. Yes, of course, absolutely all the master’s novels cannot be attributed to the above-mentioned category, but Garrison set the tone for a whole generation of authors, so his work is still worth attention at least. The reader is presented with a distant future. The setting is not black, but still not as rosy as it might seem at first glance.
The main character is a dodger and mercenary nicknamed "Steel Rat". James Bolivar de Gris does not hesitate to use weapons to resolve conflicts, so the supporters of thoughtful battles will also have something to pay attention to. Among the best books in the genre of fighting fiction, the Steel Rat series is distinguished by its thoughtfulness, versatility. The books are addictive, you want to read them all, and the good news is that the plot is actually completed, and the author is no longer going to continue working on this character.
Those who don't have enough satire in combat fiction should pay attention to the opus "Bill - the hero of the Galaxy". Despite the absolutely frivolous approach, which seems to be striking at the beginning, the reader has a full-fledged series with a well-thought-out plot and some connecting elements with "Steelrat". Recommended as an introductory read before getting into the genre in earnest.
Pavel Kornev is a domestic author with great potential. His The Exorcist series has established itself as the new star of dark fantasy and captivated the public. But we will talk about another, less well-known, but much more voluminous collection "Ice". In the center of the plot is a parallel world, into which came immigrants from Russia and the USSR. The second dimension is in the clutches of constant cold and the main character, who once woke up on a strange platform with his girlfriend, is forced to survive and kill for bullets. Until he comes across a strange-looking dagger.
The world is literally amazing in detail. The economy, the relationship of the characters, the personalities and the guilds, all this really makes the reader think that he is in that very place, fighting the frost along with the protagonist. The list of the best fighting fiction books would definitely be incomplete without "Ice", which is read literally in one gulp and makes you so immersed in the setting that you don't want to leave it.
A rather unusual example of combat fiction. In the courtyard of Victorian England, well, or its variation, the industrial revolution has already occurred, only the fuel here is a strange kind of motoria substance, which is mined by a single state. Besidesinevitable leaks in production lead to mutations. An infected person either becomes a monster or gains superpowers.
The main character is a retired soldier who took part in a secret project to influence the mentioned material on a person in order to cultivate new "talents". The protagonist from his melancholy and attempts to keep from falling into insanity is torn off by the request of one of the researchers to investigate the loss. An object has been stolen that could make motoria accessible and safer.
Aleksey Pekhov exceeded the expectations of fans and released a book that literally sold out at a tremendous speed. The idea, the setting, the thoughtful characters, and also, let's say in secret, the epic and very spectacular finale of the trilogy - that's what makes you read The Contemplator. Absolutely easy and accessible storytelling without being overloaded with specialized or just contrived terms, anyone will devour the first book in just a few days. The 100 best fighting fiction books must include Pekhov's work.
If the reader is given the best books of combat fiction with a hero who was born for the sky and flying, then there will be no more suitable series than "The Last Sky" by Natalia Ignatova. In the center of the story, "The Beast" is a psychopath, whom nature has endowed with a rare gift, one of the manifestations of which is eternal youth. At the same time, the protagonist is "sick" of the sky, he loves to fly and gladly risks his legend only to be at the helm again, albeit notquite ordinary. The ranking of the top 100 best books of fighting fiction would be incomplete if there was an empty place in it for a tough, and sometimes cruel cycle with a smoky protagonist.
Chronicles of the Ascetic
Roman Artemev is an author who is rather poorly known to the general public. The Chronicles of the Ascetic is not as well publicized as similar collections, but the books are hardly inferior in quality to veterans of combat fiction. In the center of the plot is an ordinary office plankton who was unlucky enough to face an alien invader and survive. After that, he has a direct road to a paramilitary special forces unit, where, with the light hand of the commander, he will receive his nickname "Ascetic", and over time he will feel some changes in himself. The cycle is surprisingly good for those who don't want to make time for 10 or more books. The trilogy can be read in a few days, while remaining satisfied with the completeness of the world and the elaboration of the plot. "Chronicles of the Ascetic" takes pride of place in the ranking of the best books of Russian combat fiction.
Brandon Sanderson is one of those authors whose work is now at the peak of popularity. The ranking of the best fighting fiction books would be incomplete without his Reconers. In order to decide on the attitude to the setting, the reader should imagine the world in which the catastrophe came. Part of the population awakened in itself the forces bordering on divine power. In the center of the plot is a young avenger, whose fatherdestroyed one of these "super-heroes". Studying the weaknesses, the young man is ready to strike, but for this he will need the help of other dissenters who kill the "gods". Sanderson has created a surprisingly detailed and interesting world. After the release of "The Fiery Avenger", the audience definitely sighed very sadly, because the sequel will not be released in the near future.
Of course, where without the classics. At one time, the best fighting fiction books revolved around this novel by Robert Heinlein. In the center of the plot is an infantry unit that confronts huge bugs capable of conquering planets. The novel was so popular that the setting evolved and acquired several sequels in the form of a game, cartoons, comics, and a feature film. An interesting plot and a fresh, as for that time, idea - this is what determines the popularity of Starship Troopers. Along with the veterans, this opus ranks among the best books of combat space fiction.
It is incredibly difficult to fit a description of the entire Warhammer 40,000 universe into a few lines. After the board game became a hit with fans, several authors formed a company-approved literary circle that released a ton of books in the setting. To start reading something specific to a beginner, without first having familiarized himself with at least the 41st millennium, means dooming yourself to constant pauses in order to search for information about a particular character, events, orders and politicalstrength.
The reader should imagine a huge world in which humanity is waging an endless war for the right to live and develop. Here, technologies are not discovered by scientists, but only served by tech-priests who believe in a deity-machine. The Imperium is guarded by genetically modified warriors and millions of ordinary soldiers. The poor are forced to spend their lives in the shadows of the hive cities, selling the body or their services for a drug or just food. The very existence of mankind is threatened by the original enemy - Chaos, who managed to seduce the purest and most devoted warriors.
You can start your acquaintance with the universe from Aaron Bowden's book "The First Heretic", which describes the events preceding the Horus Heresy in the 31st millennium. Lorgar Aurelian doubted his father the Emperor and was forced to turn to other forces, which marked the beginning of a terrifying fratricidal war that forever closed humanity's access to greatness. Then you can take on heavier opuses, for example, the complete cycle of the Horus Heresy. The best books of combat space fiction also include a three-book about Inquisitor Eisenhorn. Of course, one cannot ignore the collection of stories about Commissar Cain and his faithful henchman from the ice regiments of Valhalla.
Sergey Tarmashev completed his work on the book "Ancient" in 2008. At first, turning over the first few pages, one gets the impression that this story has already been met somewhere before. War for resources, nuclearbombardment for nothing and the subsequent rebirth of humanity. But such a conclusion is hasty. The best books of Russian combat fiction are almost always a surprise for the reader. In the same way, the "Ancient" turned into a real and impeccable work. If we evaluate the book purely by its belonging to the genre, then this work is worthy of all praise and, perhaps, one of the first places. The narration is very leisurely, but this is necessary so that the reader can go with the author along the entire path of civilization from collapse to complete resurrection.
The work of Dmitry Glukhovsky sunk into the souls of readers so much that several games appeared on its basis, and the authors write their creations in relation to the created universe. In 2005, the plot of the book was received with a bang, it was so fresh and exciting. A new gloomy setting opened before the reader, in which the subway served as the only refuge for the surviving humanity. Those who managed to hide had to fight for resources, literally shooting money. You should definitely read the original, at least to broaden your horizons, since there is no such an interesting story in any of the contenders for the rating of the best books of combat fiction.
What if humanity could harness its powers by burning metals to do so? Original idea, right? The Twiceborn series is a direct sequel to Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn. But if inthe original trilogy was more about the Middle Ages, then in the new collection the industrial revolution had already taken place and firearms had appeared. The two-born themselves are people who, for example, can burn steel in order to repel or attract metal objects to themselves, while possessing a second power - feruchemistry. The latter makes it possible to put aside quality in reserve, for example, losing sight now in order to see twice as well, but later. An extremely original idea and excellent execution - everything you need for the best book in fighting fiction.
It is incredibly difficult to systematize all the books that are related to the mentioned setting. In fact, this inter-author cycle is an unrelated hodgepodge of various plots, branches and sequels, which is rather difficult to sort out. The only thing that can be advised to a beginner who nevertheless decided to plunge into the gloomy world of Chernobyl is to start with those opuses that were written in the first years after the release of the games. In this case, the chances of meeting something familiar in the book are higher. Someone scolds "Stalker" for commercialization, while others argue that he gave impetus to the development of the genre. The ranking of the best books in combat fiction would definitely not be complete without this universe.
A book that, until the release of the film of the same name, held captive only real fans of combat fiction. Imagine a world where a gifted child plays the role of a conductor, destroyingthe enemy due to masterful tactics and disposition of troops, is quite difficult. Perhaps the best combat space fiction, the best books in the series, are formed precisely by those creations whose plot is impossible to predict. As for the "Ender's Game" itself, the reader has a deeply developed and carefully verified book with the maximum disclosure of only one vector of the story - conflict and murder. Indeed, in a grim future, even a child is forced to take on the role of a commander.
The first attempt at a pen in the cycle from Alan Dean Foster - this is the kind of fighting fiction that, unfortunately, "rolled down" over time. It was then that the authors literally bombarded publishing houses with good ideas, creating an original and very interesting setting. The very fact of confrontation between a man and a monster unknown to science was not very new, but the concept did not let us down. The cycle as a whole is quite good, but only the first "Alien" can be called the best book, which captivated fans forever.
What is the future of fighting fiction in the future? Now there are not so many authors who are ready to develop in this direction. But, on the other hand, this allows you to select the best, most ambitious and interesting books for the sophisticated and slightly spoiled reader. In the end, whether the author's work is good or bad, everything is decided by the capricious commitment of the public, which has always been a bit of a windy lady with character. It is quite possible that in the not so distant future there will be the best series of fighting fiction books, inwhich will be exclusively modern idols.