military science fiction n.

a subgenre of science fiction that focuses on the military and warfare, esp. when the setting is outer space or other worlds

SF Encyclopedia

SF Criticism


  • 1979 J. Pournelle Mercenaries & Military Virtue in D. Drake Hammer’s Slammers Introd. p. ix Jerry Pournelle

    Military science fiction is a highly specialized art form. It is attempted often, but there are few writers who know science, society, and the military well enough to write a good story of war in the future.

  • 1982 S. Hoffman in N.Y. Times 28 Nov. (Book Review section) 21/2

    A few years ago, General Sir John Hackett, along with other NATO generals, wrote a book called ‘The Third World War: August 1985.’ He must have thought that more work needed to be done on that scenario of political, or rather military science fiction, and he has now presented us with an enlarged version, which not only looks at the war on the central front (the NATO nations) from the viewpoint of several fictional Soviet characters but also describes political events, before and after the imaginary war, in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and East Asia.

  • 1993 J. C. Bunnell in Dragon Magazine Sept. 54/1

    Elizabeth Moon’s newest novel finds her turning from medieval fantasy to military SF, if a rather genteel grade of the latter.

  • 2001 H. Turtledove Best Military Science Fiction 20th Century Introd. p. xi, Harry Turtledove

    The last two decades of the twentieth century saw a revival of written military science fiction. Jerry Pournelle, a Korean War veteran, has written a number of stirring novels with strong military themes, both with Larry Niven (notably in The Mote in God’s Eye, a first-contact story, and Footfall, a fine tale of alien invasion) and by himself.

  • 2004 Asimov’s Science Fiction July 3 (advt.)

    An epic military science-fiction novel that crosses time and space.

Research requirements

antedating 1979

Earliest cite

Jerry Pounelle, in "Hammer's Slammers"

Research History
Enoch Forrester submitted a 1993 cite from an article by John C. Bunnell in Dragon Magazine.
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from Jerry Pournelle's introduction to a 1985 reprint of David Drake's "Hammer's Slammers"; David E. Siegel verified it in the 1979 first edition.
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1993 cite from an interview with Lois McMaster Bujold in Quantum.
Douglas Winston submitted a 2002 cite from David Drake's introduction to Gordon R. Dickson's "Dorsai Spirit".
Irene Grumman submitted a 2004 cite from an advertisement in Asimov's.
Irene Grumman submitted a 1996 cite from an advertisement in Analog.
Bill Mullins submitted a 1982 cite from a review by Stanley Hoffmann in the New York Times Book Review.

We are looking for cites for both "military SF" and "military science fiction".

Last modified 2021-01-05 20:31:42
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.