The Heretic (General (Baen)) Hardcover – 16 Apr 2013
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About the Author
The Army took David Drake from Duke Law School and sent him on a motorized tour of Viet Nam and Cambodia with the 11th Cav, the Blackhorse. He learned new skills, saw interesting sights, and met exotic people who hadn't run fast enough to get away. Dave returned to become Chapel Hill's Assistant Town Attorney and to try to put his life back together through fiction making sense of his Army experiences. Dave describes war from where he saw it: the loader's hatch of a tank in Cambodia. His military experience, combined with his formal education in history and Latin, has made him one of the foremost writers of realistic action SF and fantasy. His books include the genre-defining and bestselling Hammer's Slammers series, the RCN series including "What Distant Deeps, In the Stormy Red Sky, The Way to Glory, "and many more. His bestselling Hammer's Slammers series is credited with creating the genre of modern Military SF. He often wishes he had a less interesting background. Dave lives with his family in rural North Carolina. Tony Daniel is the author of five science fiction books, the latest of which is "Guardian of Night," as well as an award-winning short story collection, "The Robot's Twilight Companion." He is Hugo finalist for his story "Life on the Moon," which also won the Asimov's Reader's Choice Award. Daniel's short fiction has been much anthologized and has been collected in multiple year's best compilations. Daniel has also cowritten screenplays for SyFy Channel horror movies, and during the early 2000s was the writer and director of numerous audio dramas for critically-acclaimed SCIFI.COM's Seeing Ear Theatre. Born in Alabama, Daniel has lived in St. Louis, Los Angeles, Seattle, Prague, and New York City. He now lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina with his wife and two children.
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Top Customer Reviews
The stories in the universe of "The General" are nominally science fiction set a few thousand years in the future after the fall of a galactic republic which the heroes of the series are working to rebuild, one planet at a time. However, several of the plotlines are reworking of stories from classical military history: for example the original five stories set on the planet Bellevue are loosely inspired by the life story of the Byzantine empire's greatest general, Count Belisarius, on whom the character of Raj Whitehall is based, and the two stories set on the planet Hafardine are a retelling of the history of the Roman Republic in the century before the birth of Christ. With some modifications to the ending in each case!
"The Heretic" introduces a rather different type of opponent. Where on Bellevue Raj Whitehall "merely" had to defeat waves of waves of barbarians without his success causing his paranoid political boss to have him eliminated as a threat, and in "The Chosen (Raj Whitehall)" Raj and his agents had to prevent a nation of super-nazis from conquering the relevant planet, this time Raj and Center are up against another supercomputer.
On Bellevue an imperial battle computer, Center, had survived and was working by stealth through carefully selected humans to re-establish civilisation.
Like Bellevue, the planet Duisberg where "The Heretic" is set has a surviving pre-fall computer. But this one, called "Zentrum," has taken a diametrically opposite approach from that of Center.Read more ›
- however this one does not get my vote.
Raj & Centre appear in a different way to previous iterations - perhaps the idea of them guiding a child to maturity was a 'step too far' - Raj becomes a beardy grumbling guy and Centre a high pitched, lecturing, pedant.
The supporting cast - so well done in earlier books - are reduced in this one to two dimensional and , bluntly, uninteresting bystanders. Even the chief baddie is finally revealed, at his death, to be a rather pathetic puppet.
I hesitate to say it but I've finally met a Drake Battle scene that didn't stir me!
This is set up for a sequel - but as our hero is left in a clerical/ military school at the end, I'm left hoping for a stunning sequel, but fearing the worst.