Where you at military science-fiction writers? This thread is for you all.

I want to know where the military science-fiction writers are at on this site.

Tell me about your story and it’s world.

I am curious to what you all will say. So, I thought I make this thread for you guys.

My Turn:

I am trying to do a military science-fiction story that involve mechs, but I keep goofing around and not doing anything to move forward. Anyway, I just want to figure out what I should research and how I can use my imagination.

My story is about a college student finding a mecha robot that only he can pilot and using it to stop a war. But the guy wants to at least try to get through college while doing whatever he can to end the war.

What about you guys? How are you all doing with your stories?

1 Like



I don’t think that qualifies ideally for military SF, normally writ by vets and such, with .very good insight into military structure and armaments, troop designations.et al. However, a lot of fantasy does incorporate battles and battle tech, just keep writing.

1 Like

So, I am writing fantasy?

Doesn’t mean its NOT Sf, Fantasy usually has a basis in magic, or mythos. You would have to judge. could still be a ripper SciFI.

1 Like

Well, in my story there are superpowers and mecha robots.

Forgive my ignorance, but what is that exactly?

Meh? Just mean A very good Sci fi.

1 Like

Oh, okay.

I could give it some changes to make it science-fantasy and still have mechs.

Yup, It yours to write.

1 Like

All right. I still want to keep this thread for everyone else who write military science-fiction.

My favorite mil sf author is John Ringo.

1 Like

I was just looking at some of his cover and they looked interesting.

I have a big sprawling storyverse with lots of nations, so I’m sure I’m going to get into significant military conflicts at some point.

So far, I’ve got a fight of pirates/traffickers against a quickly-formed alliance of a few-dozen soldiers each from sixty or so different outfits. The soldiers are basically the bodyguards and security details attached to various principals at a diplomatic summit that the pirates/traffickers were trying to subvert.

So I’ve been trying to make them diverse - differently armed and armored, with ranks from different rank hierarchies, unaware or barely-aware of each others’ organization and operational doctrines, sometimes even different species or unable to speak each others’ languages, but working together cohesively, facilitated by a common TACCOM or Tactics and Command system that shares (some) intel and command priorities across the group.

It’s hard for me – really hard – to extrapolate technology forward, take into account the constraints and requirements that they have to work with, arrive at a set of “common” and “uncommon” equipment, and from there figure out what operational doctrine for military units so equipped ought to be.

Like, slug-throwing firearms. There’s a mature technology that I wouldn’t expect to change too much in the future. Except I have to think about the engagements these guys are fighting, and realize (a) they don’t want to penetrate bulkheads accidentally, (b) recoil or kick is a big deal because a lot of their engagements are in zero-gravity, © they want sharply limited range when operating in pressurized environments and nearly-unlimited range when operating in vacuum, and then think about what kind of guns they would want to build.

And I came up with “fletchers” - guns that fire large herds of tiny (quarter-gram) flechette projectiles at very high muzzle velocities. Tiny projectile means low momentum (recoil/kick) even for high velocities. High muzzle velocity delivers significant energy downrange even with tiny projectile. Large herds of tiny projectiles instead of one small projectile means atmosphere will dissipate the energy at fairly short range, limiting collateral damage in pressurized environments. So this is a fairly “obvious” solution for these guys.

And from that basic armament, I have to figure out what kind of combat armor they’ll need and what their operating doctrines are going to be … etc. Before I can even start plausibly writing combat engagements from the perspective of soldiers.


I’ve a couple of world wide conflicts and fleet battles. Especislly in the last half of theft of stars, but I don’t consider them military fictions. Hats off to folks like Ringo, who carry it off so well, and with the detail only experience and deep research can reach. I’m a fan of anyone who’s stories have that richness,and depth, whatever the genre. Ringo just happens to have a crazy inventive mind as well, and takes alien invasion to whole other levels.

1 Like

Hmm. An air pressure powered dart gun type thing can solve the problem.

I don’t understand this part. If they’re released at a high velocity, then isn’t tiny projectiles gonna travel farther than a larger one? Because of less air resistance, more acceleration? I’m a bit confused.

1 Like

Air pressure powered dart guns are in the arsenal, for sure, but mostly because they can deliver some kind of machinery downrange without breaking it. Into a living target if they’re really nasty ones, but for lots of other types too - lights, cameras, microphones, chemical probes, beacons, GPS trackers, guidance markers, tiny little robots, and the list goes on. They’re considered logistics weapons, as opposed to anti-personnel or anti-materiel weapons.

But at their low velocities, the darts don’t create enough friction to slow them down much, nor have enough energy to deliver much damage to the target.

A .22 bullet has muzzle velocity around 335 meters/second and weighs three grams. It delivers 168 joules of energy when it hits. That’s the amount of damage it does. And it has about a thousand g-m/s of momentum. That’s how hard it pushes you and the target apart.

A fictional weapon fires 0.1 gram pellets at 2000 meters/second. That delivers 200 joules of energy, which is very comparable to the .22 shot, but it has only about one-fifth the momentum. From the perspective of the shooter, you get one-fifth the kick. The target gets about the same amount of damaging energy if it hits at that speed, but like the shooter, only gets about 1/5 the kick. The damage is in the shock wave that spreads from the point of impact.

The big difference is friction. That one-tenth gram projectile at the same level of kinetic energy (damage) has one-thirtieth the mass, one-ninth the surface area, and six times the speed.

I won’t bother you with the math, but the way it works out, that tiny pellet is delivering more energy into the air between the shooter and the target than the much larger .22.

Enough, in fact, according to my math, to vaporize the pellet about fifty meters out. That’s the weapon I call a ‘needle gauge’ fletcher. Needlers that fire hundred-round bursts make the air incandescent with heat, and the projectiles themselves just plain vanish before they get very far.

The more ‘conventional’ arm for my soldiers is the ‘nail gauge’ fletcher, which fires quarter-gram rounds at a similar range of speeds. That’s about 440 joules, so the damage per round is about a fifth of what you’d expect from an AK-47. But the ammo is tiny and they can carry lots of it, and the rate of fire is MUCH higher than five times an AK-47. Some of the ‘enhanced’ soldiers can handle burst-fire settings up to 1500 rounds, but hundred-round bursts are a ‘normal’ setting.

By the way, 100 rounds in a half-second burst is the frequency of the note G3. 1500 rounds in half a second is four octaves higher at the note G7. That’s the pitch their weapons shriek when they pull the trigger. Hearing protection is advised.


Space ship projectiles would work best if they were reaction-less vis-a-vi the ship firing them, (have no Kick back) Rocket driven projectiles loaded in, or fired from open rear barrels or tubes, for example. Lack of friction, and having to depend on minimal effective force on the ship inertial mass would guide development. Otherwise its sort of like firing a shotgun on ice skates.

I believe the rest of the science is on point but I have another small doubt.

A pellet with so little mass and so high energy…imo the energy will be used in piercing through the skin and muscles like a syringe instead of dealing damage to it. For example, if a .22 round hits me in the bicep, it’s tear open the artieries and break the muscle fibres, perhaps even the bone. That’ll be painful and loss of blood will be imminent. But a .1 gram pellet…in my mind it pierces through the skin and muscles and leaves from the other side leaving a tunnel in my bicep of a tiny radius. After all, small surface area means immense pressure means less impact shockwave. That’d make it very hard to kill someone with this

My story is set in the post FTL travel era of technological advancement (2473 ish). The basic premise is that the world government has discovered aliens by this time but they are keeping them from the public and the public from them, since humans are inferior to each of them in some way. Instead, The NExUS Program was created to pick people who have boring and crappy lives, basically people that would not be missed, and enhances them to the point of being a super soldier. Then, those people are integrated into the galactic society as a way to make the aliens think that humans are a lot better than they actually are. That is the background, the story follows one such initiate that finds out more than what the Program wants, and sees what is truly going on. He then goes rogue to try to stop the plan from happening. I think a lot of people would like it honestly.

Check it out on my profile: The NExUS Program: Quicksaw