Thursday, September 1, 2022

Earth Alone, by Daniel Arenson

 Bleck. Probably would have loved it when I was 15, or 22. Blatant rip-off of Starship Troopers, both the book (from what I can remember of reading it in 1990) and movie. A couple quick examples:

They stomped centipedes--these ones Earth centipedes, only a couple of inches long--under their shoes. "That is why we fight!" they chanted.

Insert in comparison the scene in the movie with the kids stomping on bugs and the narrator saying something just like that quote.

Most of the platoon was already there, naked under the hot water, boys and girls alike.

cf the shower scene in Starship Troopers the movie. Also present in this book: the girl who is just a friend but maybe she could be more (Dizzy Flores in Heinlein's book, and Addy Linden in Arenson's). The sweetheart back home who goes to officer training while the main character goes enlisted (never again to meet? Nope, in an army of 300 million, yep, they meet only 6 weeks into his basic training: YGTBFKM). And of course: the alien race massacring the humans? A bug-like race. (And don't get me started on this being set 200 years in our future, yet everyone knows all the 20th c. references. Worked for Ready Player One, as it had a basis & purpose, but not in this book.)

And oh dear God, there are 14 more in this series. No thank you.

I'm probably being too hard on the guy. It's a fun, juvenile read, and that was probably his intended audience. But the reviewer who said "If you're a military'll be able to associate with this story very, very well," I don't know WTF he's talking about. Uh, yeah, you'll associate it with an author who has no idea how the military works. No enlisted soldier, let alone an E-1, is going to worship an ensign. Period, dot. And, lieutenants are dumb, too. They're not perfect. Many do stupid shit, but don't get written up in base newspapers. No military is going to give people right off the streets weapons and live ammo only a couple weeks into their military service. Even a military who's been training draftees and volunteers for 50 years. Not. Gonna. Happen. 

Ugh. Still, not the worst book I've ever read. But I wish I could have spent those 300+ pages on something else. 

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