Greg Bear is one of the finest SF novelists working today — he’s a top-notch writer with a keen imagination, and easily one of the most ambitious writers I have read in any genre. His 1985 novel Blood Music, an SF-horror story of a bio-engineered viral apocalypse that brings sentience to individual human cells, remains one of the most original and mind-boggling SF novels I’ve ever read, and his Hugo-nominated novel Queen of Angels, set in an L.A. radically transformed by nanotechnology and huge advances in psychotherapy, was even better.
So I was surprised to see a writer of Bear’s ambition and vision turn his attention to straight-ahead military SF… although, perhaps it’s not as straight-ahead as it sounds. Here’s the description for the opening volume in the trilogy, War Dogs.
They made their presence on Earth known thirteen years ago. Providing technology and scientific insights far beyond what mankind was capable of. They became indispensable advisors and promised even more gifts that we just couldn’t pass up. We called them Gurus.
It took them a while to drop the other shoe. You can see why, looking back. It was a very big shoe, completely slathered in crap.
They had been hounded by mortal enemies from sun to sun, planet to planet, and were now stretched thin — and they needed our help. And so our first bill came due. Skyrines like me were volunteered to pay the price. As always. These enemies were already inside our solar system and were moving to establish a beachhead, but not on Earth. On Mars.
Publishers Weekly called War Dogs “Stuffed with adrenaline-pumping action and mystifying ambiguity, Bear’s series launch is a tempest of rousing SF adventure with a dash of Peckinpah.”
War Dogs was published by Orbit in October 2014; Killing Titan arrived in October 2015. The final volume, Take Back the Sky, was published in hardcover in December 2016. All three are still in print.
See all our recent New Treasures here.