Help support TMP

"Most epic hard sci fi space battle." Topic

13 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Spaceship Gaming Message Board

Action Log

05 Jan 2019 10:48 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from SF Discussion board

Areas of Interest

Science Fiction

977 hits since 4 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2019 9:33 p.m. PST

Interesting question…



darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2019 10:17 p.m. PST

Lot of books I haven't heard of but probably should read. 😀

Katzbalger05 Jan 2019 5:00 a.m. PST

I notice no mention of Honor Harrington in the discussion, but I found the early stories' battles believable (given the tech available, that is).

Agree with the Donnanger (sp) battle from The Expanse--somewhat submarine-warfare like in some ways and therefore believable to me, for a lower tech space battle.


ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 5:14 a.m. PST

Interesting that so many seem to adore Ian Banks' work. I tried reading one of his books once, but it was really not my cup of tea and I gave up half way through. I didn't realize he actually writes about space battles. I also gave up on The Expanse books after the first one. A few space battles in that one, but they were really very dull.

But yes, where is Honor Harrington?

I also like some of the oldies, like E.E. 'Doc' Smith's Lensman series. Lots and lots of space battles, but the SF is very soft and squishy rather than hard. And Richard C. Meredith's "We all Died at Breakaway Station" and "The Sky is Filled With Ships" are both very good for space battles.

And H. Beam Piper's "Space Vikings"!

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 7:17 a.m. PST

2nd on anything H Beam Piper

Tony S05 Jan 2019 8:00 a.m. PST

"The Killing of Worlds" by Scott Westerfeld, the second part to "Risen Empire". Roughly the first half of the book is just a simple ship vs ship action. Although it is hard SF (or has the veneer of it anyway) it was tense, intelligent and thoughtful.

Both books – which are rumoured to have been one original work, but the publisher thought it was too long and broke into two – are great. Sadly underrated, and somewhat disappointing for me in a very selfish way, the author now tends to just write YA stuff, as it is more popular and lucrative for him. I get that he has to eat, but after such a stunning adult SF start, nothing else appears…

Legion 405 Jan 2019 9:01 a.m. PST

Many of the Hammer's Slammers stories have some pretty good battles !

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa05 Jan 2019 10:34 a.m. PST

I'd have to say IMB doesn't write 'hard SF' and while there are number of space battles described in his works I wouldn't say they're are particularly 'epic' – though they are pretty much always well written. Now Smith did write 'EPIC'…

Trying to actually think of some hard SF I've read which actually had a space battle in it!

On a side note I wouldn't be too down on YA SF or fantasy the best of it seems to have way more originality and tighter writing than a lot of popular and well regarded adult authors.

Oberlindes Sol LIC05 Jan 2019 12:58 p.m. PST

I'm with ScottWashburn on We All Died at Breakaway Station. The whole novel is well done, not just the desperate space battle.

emckinney05 Jan 2019 7:01 p.m. PST

"Many of the Hammer's Slammers stories have some pretty good battles !"

Sigh … Insert obligatory, if misguided, reference to appropriate educational system here.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 9:15 p.m. PST

I've read too many for one to stand out as "most epic," but here are books with space battles:
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge is deservedly mentioned, though not as much for the space battle (still epic) as simply the incredible scope of the whole story and the wild imagination behind it all.

The Vatta War series by Elizabeth Moon; I consider this series to be superior to Honor Harrington, though honestly I can't recall specifics about the space battles; just excellent characterization, plots, and story. (High time for a re-read).

The Conquerors series by Timothy Zahn. Nobody can take a bizarre premise and turn it into a believable and yes, even (semi)hard sci-fi tale like Zahn.

Hard-sci-if is the big limiter, though. It rules out most space operas, as they typically involve impossible or implausible things to allow the story to work. FTL is, of course, the biggie there.

The Lost Fleet series does at least retain a great deal of "hardness" in its space combat, as Campbell does deal with the complexities of planning and conducting a "battle" that begins hours to even days out-system (with the complications of light-lag and the necessary guess work): You can see where your opponent was, but where he is and where he will be are a matter of calculation and progressively vaguer conjecture the farther ahead you try to plan. But as you draw closer, the light-lag drops…when, then, do you fire, and when, then, do you maneuver to either avoid or press the enemy?

The Kris Longknife series by Mike Shepherd also deals with light-lag planning concerns, and has a very neat concept of literally using ice as armor, not to mention spinning a ship so as to prevent laser weapons from maintaining contact on any given part of the hull. Lots and lots of battles, too.

Lion in the Stars06 Jan 2019 12:32 p.m. PST

It's anime, but Tytania ( ) has some pretty epic space battles.

Banner of the Stars/Crest of the Stars does, too.

While both were originally light novels, I haven't seen English translations of them. Just English translations of the anime.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2019 3:48 p.m. PST

Many thanks!


Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.