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Veteran Paperback – 12 May 2011

40 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (12 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575094117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575094116
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gavin G. Smith is the Dundee-born author of the hard edged, action-packed SF novels Veteran, War in Heaven, Age of Scorpio and A Quantum Mythology, as well as the short story collection Crysis Escalation. He has colloboarted with Stephen Deas as the composit personality Gavin Deas and co-written Elite: Wanted, and the shared world series Empires: Infiltration and Empires: Extraction.

Praise for his writing:

"Age Of Scorpio announces loud and clear that in Gavin Smith an exceptional talent has arrived to uplift SF. The book is a master class of twisting plot lines that celebrate both the weird and astounding, amid a future that's deeply unnerving yet equally compelling." (Peter F Hamilton)

"Gavin Smith's writing is a brutal kaleidoscope of imagination, with the raw energy of a heavy metal album cover: equally dazzling with bloodthirsty ancient Picts and the fallen post-humans of tomorrow." (Hannu Rajaniemi, author of The Causal Angel)

"Brutatlity, mind-expanding concepts, imaginative aliens and provocative themes..." (SFX)

"Gavin Smith changes the rules of engagement." (Stephen Baxter)


In his free time he like travel, martial arts, diving, history, and gaming. He is worried that there is not enough time left to read all the books he wants to.

Product Description

Review

I have no hesitation in recommending Veteran, I really couldn't put it down and the novel has left a lasting impression that will not fade for some time. (SFBOOK.COM)

Age Of Scorpio announces loud and clear that in Gavin Smith an exceptional talent has arrived to uplift SF. The book is a master class of twisting plot lines that celebrate both the weird and astounding, amid a future that's deeply unnerving yet equally compelling. (Peter F Hamilton)

Gavin Smith's writing is a brutal kaleidoscope of imagination, with the raw energy of a heavy metal album cover: equally dazzling with bloodthirsty ancient Picts and the fallen post-humans of tomorrow. (Hannu Rajaniemi, author of The Causal Angel)

Book Description

A powerhouse SF debut - a jawdroppingly vivid hell-on-earth future, a brutal war against unknowable aliens and Jake - a harder than all the rest anti-hero it's impossible not to love.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By BaronVonDrew on 15 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am relatively new to the Sci-Fi genre but this book had me thouroughly immersed in the setting. The book gets you right into the action from the word go and keeps going at pace right until the finalie.

It incorporates enough of the Sci-fi gadgets and futuristic technology that makes the genre what is, while not being burdened with them; The story is still about the characters and the situation they find themselves in rather than a mass of technical gibberish. The story itself has a great deal to offer, not simply in the grandeur of its scope and the impact it has on the characters, but also in the subtle details that leave the reader wondering about things alluded to but not fully explored in this book. Aside from the many carefully detailed references to mythology and hints to the reader about the nature of this literary world that the author has created, there are also so many passages in the book that I can only describe as epic. Starships, motorcycles, guns and warfare used to their full awesome potential resulting in action sequences akin to what we would expect from a hollywood blockbuster.

The main character, an ex-soldier in a futuristic war, is gritty and dark, but with enough personality to have you rooting for him throughout. The rest of the characters are refreshingly original and create an interesting group meaning there's something for everyone.

Finally the plot. Wether a fan of Sci-fi or not the plot raises enough questions and ideas that are relevant to real life that you can't help but feel that there is enough underlying meaning here to keep you and fellow readers discussing the rammifications of the characters choices long after the book is done.

I read this book on the recommendation of a friend and I have to say it's a fairly stunning debut. I certainly can't wait to read more of his work.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Booth on 16 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
Thought this was an enjoyable romp, I read through it in a few days which is always a good sign. It has a touch of the cyberpunk genre which I'm not usually too keen on but this kept my interest throughout. I like my Sci-Fi with a fair bit of violence so the military focus of the book was my sort of thing. I laughed out loud at a couple of points at intentionally funny parts of the dialogue and felt the peppering of humour in the novel was well used.

If you want high cerebral Sci-Fi then this may not be your cup of tea but if you like your Sci-Fi action packed with lot's of dangerous, exotic, characters and guns then this is probably your cup of tea.

My favourite Sci-Fi authors are Neal Asher & Ian Banks, this novel is not like any of theirs but if you like them then like me you should enjoy this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mattlingdominus on 31 July 2011
Format: Paperback
Veteran is a brilliant debut. The point of view character can be related to easily, but is also, at times, exasperatingly easy to hate. He's a man with flaws, who makes mistakes, and somehow manages to come through the hell that Smith throws at him.

Aside from the lead character the book is brimming with people that you want to know more about. It's a shame, in some respects, that the book is written in the first person at times because I often found myself really wanting to see what was going on with the antagonists, why they were doing what they were doing, and who they really were.

Is the book Military Sci-Fi? I suppose it is, but it borrows a lot more from the Cyberpunk Genre, reworked for a modern audience. Like all great Cyberpunk books I wanted to see the technology working and Smith did a very good job of painting the picture with words. The guns, the mechs, the explosions and space. I was taken there, and I want to go back!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Three centuries from now, the human race has survived a nuclear war and expanded into space, colonising several nearby star systems. During their colonising efforts, humanity has come into contact with 'Them', a powerful and apparently ruthless alien race. War has raged ever since between the two races, a sixty-year cycle of blood and deadlock.

Jakob Douglas is a former British special forces operative dishonourably discharged from the service for organising a mutiny, but still held on the reserve list (thanks to politics). When it appears that an elite alien infiltration unit has breached Earth's defenses and crash-landed near Jakob's home town of Dundee, Jakob's commission is reactivated and he is sent after the creature, triggering a series of events that will have far-reaching consequences for humanity.

Veteran is the debut novel by British author Gavin Smith, and potentially the first in a series (the ending could go either way). This is a fast-paced, action-oriented but sociologically-aware post-apocalyptic, quasi-cyberpunk war story, strongly in the vein of Richard Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs books (Kovacs and Douglas could almost be old war buddies). Veteran, impressively, withstands the Morgan comparison quite well, even if Smith's infectious enthusiasm sometimes overrides his storytelling logic (Earth is simultaneously a technologically-advanced spacefaring world and also a Mad Max-style nuclear wasteland, which seems a bit contradictory). But the book is just so much fun that you don't really end up caring too much that the worldbuilding is a bit shaky in places.
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