Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hammer's Slammers” as Want to Read:
Hammer's Slammers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hammer's Slammers (Hammer's Slammers #1)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  4,933 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
When a planetary government faces threats from guerillas, insurgents or terrorists, the men they hire are Hammer's Slammers - known throughout the galaxy for their cold, ruthless ferocity, their ability to defeat overwhelming forces, and their willingness to go up against impossible odds.

Introduction by Jerry Pournelle

STORY: But Loyal to His Own
Mass Market Paperback, 274 pages
Published April 15th 1979 by Ace (first published April 1979)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hammer's Slammers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hammer's Slammers

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
An uneven collection of barely-connected short stories/novellas with a shockingly bad opening and a sudden, strange ending--but some of the stuff in the middle is quite effective.

Drake's prose varies wildly from awfully amateurish to quietly effective between the tales. Most of the characters are lifeless; motivations and setting are often left unexplained, or else alluded to in bafflingly circuitous language; there's a jarring tense shift in the first story; and Drake spends a lot of time and s
The author introduces an intriguing future universe and situation; the book is about a mercenary military unit traveling from world to world, all human - no alien cultures here - selling their services to the highest bidders in local wars. His characterization of combat is intense and his action sequences are fast-paced. Neither utopian nor dystopian, it presents a complex social situation that is more believable than the homogenous visions, either light or dark, of a lot of writers.
Nov 13, 2013 Jay rated it really liked it
This is a seminal, maybe even archetypal, work of military science fiction, and as such it ranks up there with Heinlein's Starship Troopers and Haldeman's The Forever War, though it doesn't get into civics like the former, or social commentary like the latter. It's the story of a mercenary regiment organized by Alois Hammer, a former colonel in the military of the powerful colony Frisia, in the late 26th (I think) Century--a period of fragmenting societies and rebelling colonies, analogous to th ...more
Benjamin Espen
Jul 09, 2013 Benjamin Espen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I didn't really enjoy this book. I was expecting something like Falkenberg's legions, which is reasonable since Jerry Pournelle blurbed this one, but I found that Hammer is a harsher, more brutal man than Falkenberg. This is probably an accurate portrait of many such soldiers, but I found it unpleasant to read about. I think there is a place for such stories, I just don't want to read them.
Karl Schaeffer
Dec 06, 2009 Karl Schaeffer rated it liked it
Better than i thought. Another cheap pick-up from the Library used book sale. First couple short stories were very detailed fog-of-war stories. latter stories showed some non-fighting plot and character development.
Jan 16, 2015 Tony rated it liked it
Shelves: military-war
Decent military pot-boiler. I was REALLY intrigued by the chapter describing a battle from the point of view of "animals" whose sensory systems were directly linked with those of the plants in the forest where the battle was under way.
May 31, 2011 Mark rated it liked it
Trying to understand my illogical interest in tanks, I recalled reading this when I was a kid in the SciFi book (of the month) club. The men were mercenaries, foreshadowing the movie "Soldier" or at least overlapping that, in my mind.
Jun 24, 2011 Nicole rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Very military, but very human too.
Like with most of Drake's books I have read, afterward I find myself thinking... 'Well, that was almost good.' It's just on the border of OK and Good. This one was good in premise, and it had its moments of intensity, but for the most part I have to call it lackluster. Something about it just felt like I was thrown into the middle of a story without enough context to understand what was happening. You eventually get the info you need, but it's like having someone explain an inside joke after eve ...more
Charles JunkChuck
Jul 23, 2016 Charles JunkChuck rated it really liked it
This is the book that made David Drake, an exciting and quietly incisive collection of short stories following the (mostly) noble mercenaries of Colonel Alois Hammer's armor divisions. While the stories can be read as straight combat fiction, written by a man who saw war first hand, there are greater truths not only about war, but about peace and human nature, about honor and duty and fraternity, at every corner. Drake has gone on to become one of the more accomplished speculative fiction writer ...more
Sep 09, 2016 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3
The original version of short stories about Hammer's Slammers by David Drake has everything you really need to know to learn about whether you will like military SF. If you like history or action then you should read this book, it will definitely make you feel like you were in on the tale.
Contains stories along with world building information: shown with Star*s:
But Loyal to His Own
The Butcher's Bill
The Church of the Lord's Universe*
Under the Hammer
Cultural Conflict
Wolfgang Kolb
Feb 12, 2011 Wolfgang Kolb rated it really liked it
Great read for an insightful view on the role of the "professional" soldier. Given recent world events and the increasing need for military contractors, Hammer's Slammers still has its place.

The book format is a quick read and very easy to rip through a chapter then put it down and come back. This book is more of a sketch to the imagined world Drake portrays with the a deeper look into the underlying philosopies of military action and the men that are required to carry out these actions. Added
Feb 13, 2014 Jason rated it it was amazing
There is nothing I cna say to do David Drake's series justice. It was the first military science fiction I ever read (I was around 10 I think and reading one of my brother's books; this was around the time I read First Flight by Claremont too). Drake, at least in this series, always treated his characters as nothing more, or less, than just regular guys having a job to do. Many of them liked the job and many of them hated it, but it's what they were paid to do. Going back to these stories was li ...more
Feb 25, 2013 Tim rated it it was amazing
Hard science-fiction surrounding a mercenary contingent in a distant future. This series is a part of the genre that revolves around colonization on distant stars, the breakdown of control by central authorities and the use of mercenaries to establish or destabilize control. Much like the original Falkenburg stories, the book is a series of short stories that represent different points of view from within the mercenary company. An excellent read, very fast-paced and a lot of fun to turn the page ...more
Oct 21, 2016 Michael rated it it was ok
I read this book many years ago when it was new and I was not impressed. Since then I have read many books by David Drake and I am a big fan and really like most of his books. I came across this book again at a used book store and decided to but it and give it another try. I was still not impressed. Something about Hammer's Slammers just doesn't click with me. I really love Davis Drake's RCN series and most of his other writings but not this one. Most people who's reviews I have read loved this ...more
Apr 16, 2015 Craig rated it really liked it
This is the first version of the first volume of Drake's famous military sf series. I'd read many of the sections before when they appeared in magazine form, but enjoyed them again in this format. His style was not as well-developed nor as well-crafted as it became in later works, but the sheer emotion and sincerity of these early works is really exemplary. The Hammer stories are still the best of modern military sf.
Matt Lawson
Dec 27, 2010 Matt Lawson rated it it was ok
i thought it wa ok had alot of military lingo so hard to understand in some parts and had alot of chatter between characters whos names i couldnt pronounce but i enjoyed the military action as well as the gorey parts that entailed, would recommend if into military stories with sci-fi but prepare for alot of details about the vehicles and alot of banter between characters who seem to jump in and out in each chapter, its only volume one so maybe it will get better in later volumes
Ford Prefect
Apr 30, 2016 Ford Prefect rated it did not like it
The first short story is good.

* There is no continuity between the stories. None of them have the same characters. Each time it focuses on a different person ... never mentioned before... at a location ... never seen before. The stories could of been about random military personnel in different armies.

* I found many of the short stories boring.
Nov 24, 2015 Daniel rated it really liked it
Well this one is a throwback but I recently read it again just for posterity's sake, and Man am I glad I did. Tanks? check. Awesome tank combat? check. Dropping a tank from orbit and it still being battle ready and dangerous? Check, check and CHECK! This book is just sci-fi fun and the characters are a bunch of Snapperheads. Read it!
Papal Bull
Aug 08, 2012 Papal Bull rated it it was ok
I either read this collection of short stories several years ago or I read this book several years ago. Either way I felt cheated. I hate reading the same book twice. I think this is only the second time it has happened.
Jul 17, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the book that earned David Drake his reputation. It's a collection of short stories about a group of future mercenaries. All the stories here are great, and there is wonderful detail. You get the sense of reality from reading them.
Feb 06, 2011 David rated it did not like it
I just could not finish this book. I thought I would love it because I served in a mechanized Infantry unit during my US Army days and I like military science fiction but I could not get into the book for some reason.
Jun 24, 2015 Jeff rated it liked it
Shelves: military-sci-fi
Classic military sci-fi with the added bonus of making sense. A groundhogs view of merc's fighting & winning, with ruthless efficient application of force. Should we study war? Yes, Virginia, we must learn it or die ignorant.
Shawn Nelson
Nov 08, 2012 Shawn Nelson rated it it was ok

A tedious read. Just as a character finally makes a connection the story ends and never shows up again. As for Hammer himself little is actually revealed about him. I tried to like this book and just couldn't do it.
Fans of David Weber might also enjoy David Drake’s writing. Both authors are known for edgy, realistic military sci-fi with plenty of battle scenes. This is the first in a new compilation of the Hammer’s Slammers series.
Michael Barnette
Sep 01, 2010 Michael Barnette rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lovers of miltary scifi
Shelves: scifi
My favorite David Drake series about a group of mercenaries who fight battles for other people on various planets around the human worlds. Great stuff, some of the best military scifi out there, hands down.
May 05, 2012 Peter rated it really liked it
Classic Military Science fiction - in the footsteps of Pournelle's Falkenberg. Good read - lots of action.
Johnny Stone
Oct 31, 2011 Johnny Stone rated it really liked it
One of my favorite military Sci-Fi authors throughout the years. Love the entire Slammers series and the way he incorporates his Vietnam experiences into a futuristic setting.
Sep 08, 2011 Zac rated it it was ok
quit reading it after 3 stories. maybe I'll keep it around to pick it up for quick reads through the short stories. not loving it at all.
Aug 10, 2010 Brent rated it liked it
Shelves: old-reads
I remember liking the book. Was a freshman in high school when I read it though. Fighting the lizard like molts that use the crystals on their planets to transport.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
SciFi and Fantasy...: Who read and enjoyed Hammer's Slammers? 12 84 Mar 02, 2014 12:34AM  
  • Bolo (Bolo #1)
  • Falkenberg's Legion (Falkenberg's Legion #1)
  • Old Soldiers
  • The Forge (The General, #1)
  • The Road to Damascus
  • Bolo Strike
  • Man-Kzin Wars 9 (Man-Kzin Wars, #9)
  • The Tyrant (The General, #8)
  • Dorsai! (Childe Cycle, #1)
  • Berserker (Berserker, #1)
  • Empire's End (Sten, #8)
David Drake is an American author of science fiction and fantasy literature. A Vietnam War veteran who has worked as a lawyer, he is now one of the major authors of the military science fiction genre.
More about David Drake...

Other Books in the Series

Hammer's Slammers (10 books)
  • Cross The Stars
  • At Any Price (Hammer's Slammers)
  • Counting the Cost
  • Rolling Hot
  • The Warrior
  • The Sharp End
  • The Voyage
  • The Tank Lords
  • Paying the Piper

Share This Book