Book Series

Hammer’s Slammers

The Hammer’s Slammers series of Military SF stories and novels focus on a mercenary armored regiment in the 30th century. I based the fiction on my experience in 1970 with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Viet-Nam and Cambodia.

RCN (Leary/Mundy)

The RCN Series are SF adventures following a dashing naval officer, Daniel Leary, and his friend, the cybrarian-turned-spy Adele Mundy. The action sweeps through war and politics, street riots and space battles; crime at an imperial level and family squabbles which can turn lethal in a heartbeat.

These are densely plotted, fast moving novels which are a great deal of fun to write.

The Isles

The Isles Series is a high fantasy with a nine-book arc. Each volume has a beginning, a middle, and an end and can be read individually. The series as a whole rises to a climax also, however.

The action follows four young protagonists across a landscape of human and utterly inhuman cultures. They use magic, physical strength, and intelligence to overcome personal enemies and the enemies of civilization.

Their world balances on a knife edge between order and chaos. A single mistake may drop humanity into eternal savagery and darkness.

The Books of the Elements

This is a series of four fantasy novels set in a city and empire named Carce, which very similar to that of Rome in 30 ad. I wanted to create a setting in which the myths and magic of the classical world were real, and in which classical myths interacted with those of other portions of the ancient world. (The elements of the series are Fire, Water, Earth and Air.)

The four young protagonists interact with magic and monsters. If they fail, it’s the end of the world–and very possibly, the end of all worlds.

The Citizen Series

This is space opera whose culture and events are based on those in the life of George Washington, before and during the American Revolution. John Lambshead developed the plots from my outlines with a great deal of interchange between us.

John was a world-class molecular biologist before he began writing fiction. As a result, the Citizen Series is hard SF. It’s still the sort of rousing adventure that I’d have developed the material into myself.

The General Series

My friend and publisher Jim Baen became entranced by the theory of the Indirect Approach argued by theorist Basil Liddell-Hart, who used the Byzantine General Belisarius as the best historical example of the theory in practice. Jim phoned me and asked me to outline a series of books demonstrating the theory, using the life of Belisarius as a model. (I had made a precis of Procopius of Caesarea’s accounts of Belisarius’ wars years earlier for my first novel.)

I did so, setting the series on a planet which had collapsed to a mid-19th century level and giving the hero the help of a supercomputer. Jim got Steve Stirling to develop my outlines, which worked extremely well. Not only do the books have a lot of action (both military and political), the characterizations work very well.

In the years since 1991, the series has expanded into new milieaux and ten books, with Steve, Eric Flint, and Tony Daniel working from my outlines.

This was one of Jim’s really good ideas.

Belisarius Series

Because the General Series had done so well, Jim asked me to give the real Belisarius a supercomputer and plot an alternate history series on that premise. That meant giving the other side a supercomputer also, I realized before I started work. The result was the Belisarius Series, six novels expanded by Eric Flint from my outlines.

The feel of the Belisarius Series is utterly different from that of the General Series because the writers developing them are so different, but both Steve and Eric went on to become NYT bestselling writers; in part (both would say) because of their experience expanding my outlines.

These are fun, very intelligent books with lots of action–and not a little real history mixed in.

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