I read… a lot. One of my reading loves is science fiction and some time ago, I came across a nine-book series written by Ian Douglas that I just love going back and reading over and over. The nine books are broken down into three trilogies: The Heritage Trilogy, the Legacy Trilogy, and the Inheritance Trilogy. The books – in order per their respective trilogies are:
Semper Mars, Luna Strike, Europa Strike
Star Corps, Battlespace, Star Marines
Star Strike, Galactic Corps, Semper Human.
It’s a series of stories about the United States Marine Corps taking the fight to not only the other planets in our solar system but throughout intergalactic space and the action is very good, like, in one book, the ever-present enemy – The Xul – feels the wrath of humanity and the USMC after they dropped some asteroids on Earth and the Marines retaliated by literally sand-blasting major Xul hub and this, in particular, is one of my favorite moments in all of the nine books.
But as with such books, this isn’t just a story about humanity against [yet another] implacable, xenophobic super race; they are stories that tell the history of the Marines, from their inception 10 November 1775 and, for,the books, covering more than 1100 years and despite politicians trying to disband the Corps for either being redundant or too damned different from the people and government they’ve sworn to protect. If you don’t know a whole lot about the history of the US Marines, well, you’ll find out a few things and, hell, I served in the Air Force and reading these books gives me much respect for the Marines, you know, despite inter service rivalry.
One of the ongoing themes throughout the books reflects real-life attitudes: Men and women, regardless of branch of service and in defense of our way of life, lay down their lives and at the whim of the civilian government only to be dissed when all,the killing is over and these brave souls could use more and better support from those who order them to die if need be.
Just like in these books, politicians seem to forget that our service people make it possible for them to carry on the way they do – including treating those same service people like red-headed stepchildren and tossing them aside like refuse… until, of course, they’re called on once more to put their lives on the line.
These books capture this mindset quite well, just as it captures what it’s like to go through basic training; oh, man, reading the way the Marine DIs jump all over new recruits right from the beginning – and reading their reactions (and one I know all too well). The books take you to the stars but in a very human way and seen through the eyes and lives of certain key characters and their families across the many generations. Many of these families are generations of Marines, from a lowly PFC and including a Commandant of the Marine Corps. At times, the books are a bit hard to follow because you see what will become familiar names – Galloway, Warhurst, Alexander… but hundreds of years have passed since the events of Semper Mars, which shows the meaning of the words, improvise, adapt, and overcome.
These books have been around for a while but I never get tired of reading them and how the Marines, who are usually doomed to do more with a lot less, stick together as a family to carry out their sworn duty. The books speaks to the meaning of Semper Fidelis – always faithful – when the enemy seeks to wipe them and humanity from existence… and Earth politics try to accomplish a similar goal.
If you’re a fan of these kinds of books, find them. Read them.