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A Small Colonial War

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  8 reviews
In the 22d century, when the Japanese ruled an interstellar empire from the Earth, an imperial task group was dispatched to put down with minimum bloodshed the three-way colonial revolt on a factory world the rebels called Suid Afrika.
Interstellar warfare is expensive, so the task group was considerably undergunned, a mix of orbiting ground-attack craft, light infantry, an
Mass Market Paperback, 289 pages
Published January 14th 1990 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 1989)
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Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Robert Frezza's A Small Colonial War and its follow-up books have become lasting favorites of mine, books among a very few that I re-read every year. They tell the story of an infantry rifle battalion in the service of an interstellar hegemony sent to put down a revolt in a distant, backwater colony.

The book is not conventional gear-porn or gung-ho military sci-fi fare. It is a milieu that abides by the reality of relativistic travel, material scarcity, and the economical unsuitability of transp
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paperback, own, sf, military-sf
I really like this series. It has interesting characters, an un-glorified vision of war, and a sly sense of humor (check out the Table of Organization for the battalion at the front of the book, there's a couple of jokes in there). The attraction comes from the interplay of the characterization, the plot, and the bone-dry sense of humor.

It's a little dated in some respects. It mentions the Soviet Union as one of the reasons for the "crackup" on Earth and at this point in world history it's a lit
Steven Vaughan-Nichols
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is not your usual military SF novel. It's the story of brilliant solders fighting for an empire and cause they don't believe in against increasingly poor odds. It's the characters, not the action, that make this novel. This book reads best for someone who knows history and isn't phased by Freeza's mix of Finnish, Japanese, and Afrikaans characters and language.

I think this is one of the best military SF novels I've ever read. For many, I know it's focus on difficult characters and the prob
Tim Clouse
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Nice variation in the SF-war genre. A Finnish battalion of the Japanese Army has to put down a revolt by former South African farmers. Not as much bloodshed as in other books of this type.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bit of a slow start and kind of disjointed but it finished strong and has some very memorable parts
Michael Burnam-Fink
Oct 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, sci-fi, war
A small colonial war is an under-appreciated gem of military scifi. In a genre characterized by right-wing rhetoric and planet destroying super-weapons, this is a story about an under-equipped light infantry battalion on the ass edge of space trying to eke out victory against an entire continent of Afrikaner through intelligence, the surgical application of brutality, and Clausewitz's adage that "war is fought by human beings."

That said, this book felt cramped, too many characters not enough cha
Dec 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dad, scifi
Possible one of the worst Sci-Fi books I've ever bothered to finish reading. Unnecessarily large numbers of characters and references to events and places not presented in this book. It's as if this was the 10th book in a series referring to past stories, but this is the authors first book (as far a I can tell). Don't waste your time. ...more
Stephen Boiko
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