[book report] Outriders

I'd heard good things about Outriders by Jay Posey, which is military sf, a genre I enjoy and haven't been reading as much lately as I would have liked.  I am perennially behind on my to-read list (I'm sure many of you are familiar with this state of affairs) but every so often I manage to get something read.  He has apparently done a bunch of writing for video games, which doesn't surprise me, and which I find extremely cool.  (What can I say?  My ability to play video games that aren't Solitaire or Race for the Galaxy AI went sharply south after the kidlet game along.)

Outriders is mostly but not exclusively told from the viewpoint of Captain Lincoln Suh (who, if I'm reading the book correctly, is of Korean heritage!!!  KOREANS REPRESENT!...sorry).  Lincoln's life goes from weird to weirder when he's "death-proofed" by a process that allows his consciousness to be shunted to a backup body and then recruited by the 519th Applied Intelligence Group (the Outriders)--special ops to special ops.  Anyone who's played an FPS (first-person shooter) and had the experience of getting nailed by that annoying person with the BFG and then respawning knows where this idea probably came from.  *grin*

If that were all, this would be a pretty standard action-oriented squad-level milsf novel.  What engaged me, though, was the depth and thoughtfulness of the future world--far enough into the future that Earth and Mars are at loggerheads, but not a distant future--and the grace with which Posey handled the necessary exposition about how the Outriders' operations work and their weapons.  And even more than that, Posey did a great job making all the characters distinct and sympathetic.   From time to time, the narrative drops into the heads of adversaries, allies, bystanders to give us a more strategic overview of what's at stake, and this worked because I cared about the characters.  That sense of humanity and decency really made me care not just about Lincoln but some of the people he was up against, or trying to save, and so on.  And given that real life is pretty depressing just about now, it was a good read to experience right now.

In any case, quite recommended if you like military sf and/or adventure with a more human side.

===

Meanwhile, I'm sorry updates have been slow; I'm still hard at work on revisions to Revenant Gun.  Solaris generously granted me an extension to my deadline.  I'm hoping not to need the full length of time, but better ask early than later, I figured.

Also, I'm scheduled for a https://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/ AMA (Ask Me Anything) on March 30, in case that's of interest to any of y'all.  I'll post a reminder closer to the date.  :)

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