The best science fiction books showcasing future war scenarios

Who am I?

As intense as the Cold War was, I have always found myself looking toward the future. Nuclear annihilation was a real possibility in my youth. Even so, I have always been curious about the next threat beyond our current crisis would be. Beyond nuclear, biological, and chemical threats, I see that we now face possible dangers from rogue AI and climate change. If that’s not enough, let’s remember that conventional weapons are getting more powerful with the passing of each decade. That’s why the storyteller in me loves this stuff so much.


I wrote...

Showdown at the Kodiak Starport

By Justin Oldham,

Book cover of Showdown at the Kodiak Starport

What is my book about?

How much does tomorrow cost? That’s one of many questions to be answered by a struggling starport administrator while war rages between major powers over diminishing natural resources. In a world without satellite communications, the potential for spaceflight will slip away unless a relentless technological back-slide can be stopped. From the edge of space, to the interiors of high-tech facilities and hushed conference rooms, it’s a fight for the future that neither side can afford to lose.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Armageddon 2419 A.D.

Justin Oldham Why did I love this book?

I particularly enjoy the way the author has blended apocalyptic imagery with epic space battles. As much as I enjoyed the origin story of Buck Rogers, I really was taken by the idea of a world recovering from atomic horror. It’s an action-adventure story that made me feel good about humanity’s future.

By Philip Francis Nowlan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Armageddon 2419 A.D. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The groundbreaking novella that gave rise to science fiction’s original space hero, Buck Rogers.

In 1927, World War I veteran Anthony Rogers is working for the American Radioactive Gas Corporation investigating strange phenomena in an abandoned coal mine when suddenly there’s a cave-in. Trapped in the mine and surrounded by radioactive gas, Rogers falls into a state of suspended animation . . . for nearly five hundred years.
 
Waking in the year 2419, he first saves the beautiful Wilma Deering from attack and then discovers what has befallen his country: The United States has descended into chaos after Asian powers…


Book cover of Bolo: The Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade

Justin Oldham Why did I love this book?

This was the first book I read that brought the concept of artificial intelligence to my attention. The staggering amount of property damage that these massive war machines are capable of redefined my understanding of battlefield carnage. Laumer’s insightful portrayal of what AI can be still holds up today. I really like the way these machines are imagined; they are so very human.

By Keith Laumer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bolo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the concept of intelligent fighting machines developed, the Bolo division of General Motors started working on tank designs that incorporated awareness and intelligence within the development of their tactical tanks.

With each new generation, these awesome fighting machines become more self-aware, with capabilities not only matching their human controllers, but often surpassing them.

This collection of action-packed stories lets the Bolo war machines speak for themselves as they hunt and destroy all who stands in their way. But beyond the action itself, these stories speak to us all on a very human level … about the far-reaching, and often…


Book cover of Rebel Moon

Justin Oldham Why did I love this book?

I am old enough to remember the first lunar landing. I watched it as it happened, on a black-and-white TV screen. I was intrigued by the notion that we, here on Earth, would someday be in conflict with people who were born and raised on the Moon. It’s almost inevitable that you will eventually argue with your neighbors. This novel marks the first occasion that I can recall reading about how such a conflict might start. Even if I do live long enough to see humans walk on the moon again, I will still be thinking about this book.

By Bruce Bethke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rebel Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rebel Moon [Mass Market Paperback] [Jan 01, 2004] Bethke, Bruce


Book cover of Tahoma's Hammer

Justin Oldham Why did I love this book?

This story reads much differently to me than any other war novel. The fact that it begins with a series of devastating natural disasters grabbed my attention. I like stories that have a twist. In this book, I enjoyed that it changed from an apocalypse story to one about an invasion, then blended the two to make something unusual.  

By Austin Chambers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tahoma's Hammer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A 9.0 earthquake… A massive tsunami… the eruption of Mt. Rainier…

…All lead to the total annihilation of all infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest.

In Slaughter County, gun club manager Phil Walker leads an impromptu band of people, working together for mutual safety and survival. Meanwhile, his son Crane is but one of hundreds at a nearby naval shipyard, working feverishly for days on-end to avert nuclear disaster.

As unprepared survivors must adapt on the fly, unlikely alliances form—and the dregs of society begin to make their moves in a new world without law and order. The best and worst…


Book cover of Standing the Final Watch

Justin Oldham Why did I love this book?

This is the first book in The Last Brigade series. I enjoyed the way Webb blended natural disasters with ongoing military conflicts. I’m particularly fond of the “old school” action, as well as the use of humor to keep the story moving. This is a fun romp that just happens to include tanks, artillery, and the occasional commando raid.

By William Alan Webb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Standing the Final Watch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

America might be dead, but Nick Angriff will kick your ass to resurrect her.

Lt. General Nick Angriff has spent his adult life protecting family and country from a world of terrorism spinning out of control. On the battlefield, off the grid, in clandestine special task forces and outright black ops, Angriff never wavers from duty. But when a terror attack on Lake Tahoe kills his family, he’s left with only the corrosive acid of revenge… that is, until a hated superior officer reveals the deepest of all secret operations. Against the day of national collapse, a heavily-armed military unit…


You might also like...

Quoz: A Financial Thriller

By Mel Mattison,

Book cover of Quoz: A Financial Thriller

Mel Mattison Author Of Quoz: A Financial Thriller

New book alert!

Who am I?

I’m a huge thriller fan, and I love finance. In fact, I worked in the industry for over twenty years. I have an MBA from Duke and have been the CEO of three different SEC/FINRA-registered broker-dealers. Unfortunately, I’ve found myself deep into a thriller with a financial component that turns out to be implausible, overly simplistic, or both. It breaks the narrative for me. With these books, that’s not a concern. Financial thriller aficionados unite!

Mel's book list on exploring the dark side of finance

What is my book about?

It’s 2027. Rory O’Connor is the financial genius who helped create ICARUS, a quantum computer that controls the world’s stock markets with AI and algorithms. But Rory has recently suffered some tough breaks. He’s checked out of high finance and into a luxury Caribbean condo. After a former colleague finds anomalies with ICARUS, Rory quickly finds himself at the nexus of a high-stakes international conspiracy.

In the process, he discovers a hidden thumb drive that contains the mysterious and encrypted Vega files. Now, Rory must travel to Switzerland, access the ICARUS mainframe, decrypt the drive, overcome his demons, and save the world from financial chaos. If he fails, the globe descends into an economic Armageddon controlled by madmen and psychopathic bankers.

Quoz: A Financial Thriller

By Mel Mattison,

What is this book about?

Quantum AI, corrupt central bankers, and the blockchain collide in a stock market supernova. The annihilation of the global economic order is just the beginning.

"As governments around the world seek to exert tyrannical control over currency, Quoz serves as a cautionary tale for what lies ahead. You've been warned." -Trey Radel, Former Member of United States Congress

It's 2027. The AI revolution has merged with quantum computing to take control of global financial markets. Operated by the mysterious Bank for International Settlements based in Basel, Switzerland, the quantum supercomputer known as ICARUS has promised the world a more stable…


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