A style of hard science fiction that emphasizes the physical conflicts in the work. Sometimes this can be starship battles, described to every detail, sometimes this differs from military fiction and non-fiction only in its setting.

To determine if a book is military sci-fi, ask yourself:
Is the major plot element a battle, conflict, or new military technology, and if so, does it make sense?
If the answers are yes, than the book is probably military sci-fi.

This sub-genre can vary quite a bit. Lois McMaster Bujold's books share a lot of qualities of space opera, with heavy character development, while Turtledove's are heavily into battles and skirmishes, and the sweep of history. Also, alternate history and time travel are frequently added in the mix, as it allows authors to revisit their favorite eras, S. M. Stirling being one example. Just as often, military sci-fi is mixed into other books. Joe Haldeman's The Forever War used the setting to provide a commentary on war, and David Drake uses it to spice up his fantasy books. (Although Drake is more known for his sci-fi.)

Some Notable Authors

Thanks to WRW, Albert Herring
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