Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Looking for something else to read?

There's no way I can write fast enough for my readers, so I want to recommend a series I ran into while looking for anything else that might be in the same odd niche as Combined Operations. It's just as tactical, and just as much tangled into the personal and the realpolitik, though despite what you'd expect from the covers, there's almost no romance in it. In fact, it's best if you just ignore the covers, and enjoy the stories. (Seriously. Ignore the covers. I hope he sells enough to fund new covers!)

Thomas Doscher's The Vixen War Bride series is set well after the galactic battles, the human colonies wiped from the face of their planet, and the fleets of starships fighting an alien menace. Instead, this is a human-scale military series, about the war for hearts and minds both of Captain Ben Gibson's human Rangers, left high and dry with orders to occupy a rural backwater in the conquered enemy's homeworld because they have nowhere else to go...

And the vulpine enemy, whose culture they never knew. Armed with only their weapons, their ability to adapt, improvise, and overcome, and an interpreter who's grasp on the local language is at best on a three year old's level, Gibson is setting out to make the best of a bad situation.

He isn't the only one. The local priestess has decided that in order to save her people from the vengeance of the conquerors, she need to be the token sacrifice. Armed with courage and inspiration, she demands he marry her, and succeeds... Only to realize that now she has to figure out how to tell him what he's done. 

Cross-cultural communications and the nature of people at their best, and their worst, are handled with a deft touch and light humor in this series, with both viewpoints shown so the reader can delight in the attempts at two very different people with limited communication to forge a path toward true peace.

You'll also enjoy the hijinks of bored enlisted, and the tense moments of dealing with the problems of repatriating guerillas, as well as the many small incidents, day after day, full of  unfounded assumptions, revelations, laughter, and tears as they work together and at cross-purposes to establish trust... despite the latest dictates from the far-away army headquarters, and the deep-seated prejudices on both sides.

A surprisingly heart-warming set of military scifi tales; highly recommended.


  1. you just sold 5 books.. Thank you for the recommendation, Dot.

  2. The final book in the series, The Dark Ones, is now out, wrapping up a lot of loose ends and leaving many hooks in case he decides to write more in that world. Highly recommended.