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(Planetside #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,966 ratings  ·  343 reviews
A seasoned military officer uncovers a deadly conspiracy on a distant, war-torn planet…

War heroes aren't usually called out of semi-retirement and sent to the far reaches of the galaxy for a routine investigation. So when Colonel Carl Butler answers the call from an old and powerful friend, he knows it's something big—and he's not being told the whole story. A high council
ebook, 384 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by Harper Voyager
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Michael Mammay Hi Paul. The sequel is written and turned in, and scheduled to come out at the end of July, 2019. The title is Spaceside, and it follows the continuin…moreHi Paul. The sequel is written and turned in, and scheduled to come out at the end of July, 2019. The title is Spaceside, and it follows the continuing adventure of Colonel Carl Butler. We're still finalizing the paperwork, but RC Bray and I have talked, and we're both planning on him narrating the book. (less)
Michael Mammay The contracted length is a duology, and book 2 (Spaceside) definitely wraps things up for the story arc. There could be further books with the same ma…moreThe contracted length is a duology, and book 2 (Spaceside) definitely wraps things up for the story arc. There could be further books with the same main character, but they would begin a new story. I think the decision on that will come from the publisher in the next couple of months, and probably be based on whether there's a reader demand.

As far as a series page, I have no clue how to do that. Sorry. I barely figured out how to do the answer questions thing (I basically randomly stumbled over it).

Planetside was originally written to stand alone, so there was no planned series when I started writing, and certainly no intent to deceive. I think there has been mixed reader opinion on whether Planetside stands alone well or not, and I really don't want to comment because I think all readers are entitled to their own opinion of a work. It's meant to stand alone, even though there are obviously questions left, and even though there is a sequel. (less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery & sci-fi fans
Recommended to Petrik by: Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
4.5/5 stars

Planetside was a very impressive military sci-fi debut.

I’m actually surprised that so few people I know (close to zero) are talking about Planetside this year. Seriously, Harper Voyager and reviewers really should’ve advertised this book more, it’s a fantastic debut and if it weren’t for my friend, Niki Hawkes, I wouldn’t have heard about this gem at all.

The plot in Planetside revolves around Colonel Butler, a war hero in semi-retirement as he received a mission from an old and power
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Planetside is one of the best books I’ve read this year!!

Everything about it hit the spot. It’s about a semi-retired Colonel who gets recruited to investigate circumstances surrounding a missing lieutenant. Right off the bat I loved the main character. He had a very no-bullshit approach to things, and his dry humor cracked me up constantly. In some ways, he reminded me a bit of both Avasarala (Expanse – she’s the bomb) and John Perry (Old Man’s War), to give you an idea the type of character pro
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at

When Colonel Carl Butler, the “bald and angry” hero of Michael Mammay’s debut milSF thriller Planetside, arrives at Space Command, he is approached by an aide of General Serata, whom he once served under and is there to meet. While observing the aide, Colonel Butler privately notes that Serata inspires a “fanatical loyalty” in his underlings. Butler’s awareness of this comes from personal experience, but it doesn’t inoculate him from i
Manuel Antão
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Sticky Patch: "Planetside" by Michael Mammay

Once upon a long ago writers who wanted to try something different would put books out under an alternate name to distinguish them: Fred Bloggs, writer of sundry detective novels, would flirt with being Annette Wilkins, purveyor of steamy romances. Trouble was that if Ms. Wilkins didn't sell as well as Mr. Bloggs, some bright spark in marketing would then decide that the books should be repub
Peter McLean
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
Michael Mammay is a soldier with 25 years service, and boy does it show. I've read a lot of military SF, and you can always tell the difference between an author who's been there and one who hasn't. Mammay has been there.

Planetside is a fast-paced tale of military investigation that reads like a blend of Jerry Pournelle and NCIS. Our hero is a semi-retired colonel sent back to a warzone he'd rather forget, to investigate the disappearance in action of a senator's son. What starts out as an MIA
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't hand out many five star ratings, but I do in this case because the voice in this novel is fantastic. Mammay has a way of easing you into Butler's POV and making you feel like you (like him) know the military inside and out, and that an army is an army in any situation, with its own distinct codes and habits--all of which are working against Butler.

And this is before the action heats up. The enemy is cunning, everywhere, it it's not entirely clear if the most dangerous foes are wearing th
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mammay's PLANETSIDE is military sci-fi through and through, but don't let the genre tag fool you. While it wears its military raiment for all to see, at its heart, PLANETSIDE is a mystery--a wild ride of one! What begins as a routine--if a tad unorthodox--search for a missing soldier in an alien warzone soon goes utterly off the rails. A slow burn start quickly builds as paranoia ramps up, some genuinely compelling twists appear, and lets not forget the explosions. Lots and lots of explosions.

Michelle Hauck
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Military science fiction is not often on my list of reading material, but this one strikes just the right levels. Not too heavy on the science fiction elements and more emphasis on the human side of the military. The military setting and characters aren't over-emphasized to give it more credibility, but handled deftly to be totally authentic. What pleasantly surprised me was that this was more of a mystery wrapped in an action thriller.

Butler is a man on the edge of retirement, a little world w
Montzalee Wittmann
by Michael Mammay
R.C. Bray (Narrator)
This is going in my favorite folder! This has everything a good sci-fi needs! A mystery or two, a space adventure, lots of weapons, aged military personnel having to do what no one else will, aliens, a good conspiracy, death threats, and lots of action! This book has that and more! Super exciting, never boring, lots of twists and turns, and a surprise ending!
Narration was perfect because it had RC Bray! One of my favorites! I
Can't wait for the next
Chris Berko
Aug 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
I have only ever given one other book that I have finished one star, this is now the second. Complete waste of time and the biggest "what the actual fuck?" and "really?!?!" ending ever. It barely qualifies as science fiction and while it had the makings for a good mystery in the beginning chapters, it all fell to shit by the end. I'm disappointed I spent money on this and if this were an actual book and not something on my Kindle I would be burning it in my fireplace right now. This is the first ...more
Jon Adams
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I mean, I read it cover to cover, straight through, in 5 hours. I'd say it's pretty damn good. Thanks Niki!
Sean Grigsby
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What some of you may not know is that outside of SFF, one of my favorite genres is hard boiled, detective mystery. This book combines the best of military science fiction with procedural investigation.

Although it's not as explodey and far out as I tend to go for, it's a solid debut from a real military guy, with a main character who has the snarky voice I always enjoy.
Hayley Stone
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Military sci-fi is not a genre I read often enough, but this book definitely makes me want to read more of it! Planetside has everything you could possibly want from a sci-fi page-turner: solid action, tight plotting, great characterization, snappy dialogue. Mammay writes in a straightforward, no-nonsense kind of way that aligns perfectly with his narrator and the story he is telling. In a first-person novel, voice is king, and Mammay rules with a voice that feels completely authentic. If you en ...more
Lizabeth Tucker
Approaching retirement, Colonel Carl Butler is surprised to be sent to Cappa Base to investigate the disappearance of a wounded soldier. Lieutenant Mallot had his legs torn up, was placed on a MEDEVAC ship, but never arrived at the hospital. Once arriving at the base, Butler finds opposition and lots of lying by the various parties involved.

Dear God, this was intense. It was if Mammay knew all the things that I love: science fiction, military, mystery, snarky characters, three dimensional chara
Tracy Wolfe
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was a little unsure of what to expect when I started reading this. The "military" aspect was an unknown genre for me. But I was very pleasantly surprised! Being a science fiction novel, the military seemed more like Starfleet to me. And despite some technical references and military rankings that I didn't fully understand, I found myself fully immersed in the story and anxious to uncover the mystery along with the investigating protagonist. The main character was likable, and I appreciated his ...more
Patrick Mcnelis
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I received this pre-publication book through a Goodreads giveaway.

No spoilers: I am not well read in the military sub-genre of science fiction, having prefered space operas and hard sci-fi, but this was an exceptional story from my personal perspective. Having retired from the military myself after 24 years, I could appreciate Mammay's accurate depiction of officers and enlisted and the interactions between them and between elements. With an exception here or there, the military sci-fi I have re
M.K. England
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Okay, I loved this book. Michael Mammay is a fantastic new voice in military sci-fi, bringing his many years of military service onto the page in a very real way. As others have said, PLANETSIDE is a detective novel wrapped in military sci-fi clothing. There are definitely some firefights and a few explosions, but the bulk of the novel is dedicated to a missing person case and the slowly sharpening picture of what really happened. Colonel Butler, the protagonist, is just the right amount of jade ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. An entertaining detective story set against a military sci-fi backdrop.

The story is ostensibly a missing persons case, as badass Colonel Carl Butler is tasked with locating a solider gone MIA in the midst of a war zone on an alien planet. His investigation unravels a conspiracy which goes to the heart of the war itself. Much of the story is procedural heavy and it's not until later that the adrenaline really kicks in. It develops fairly predictably, yet I found it enjoyable. The world
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I got this book through a Goodreads giveaway and I'm glad I did. I definitely enjoyed it. It pulled me in and kept me interested. It's very good (probably 4.5 stars).

The fundamental plot line is not exactly original: a highly capable protagonist is thrown into a difficult situation with very little info to go on and has to find his way. He's charged by his boss with figuring the situation out and dealing with what he finds. In this case, it happens to be a well-executed sci-fi military setting
David Neuner
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found Michael Mammay's Planetside to be a very enjoyable read and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys pacy, action-packed sci-fi stories with lots of twists and turns. I read it over the course of a weekend, which is fast for me. Typically I am a slow reader, but I found myself caught up in the plot and rooting for the lead character. I read several comments about the military aspects of the story and wanted to add my 2 cents. While it is true that the story has a military heart and soul, ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a phenomenal read. I found myself sitting on the edge of my chair, ignoring all the other things I needed to do, until I finished it. Honestly, I think of it as an adventure novel more than sci-fi or military. It was a wonderful adventure involving true-to-life, badass characters who did their best to handle an ever-more confusing situation. A thriller to the bone. Read it. You won't regret it, even if you don't think that you'll like sci-fi, military thrillers.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Even if this is not your genre you are bound to enjoy this book. The main character is a semi retired Colonel named Butler. He is brought in on a special investigation. From there you are brought through a gripping journey in search of the truth. Just what is happening? Who is involved? Who should be trusted? All woven together in an excellent easy read. Highly recommend and look forward to future titles from Mammay.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Hard to have much sympathy for the narrator or any of the “good guys,” considering that they’ve invaded the planet, killed zillions of its residents, and are trying to turn it into a mining colony. Not to mention the way the opposition gets no sympathy, and the way the author resolves the whole situation. The military setting and combat scenes are well done, but there are HUUUUGE holes in the plot too...of which the multiple failed assassination attempts aren’t the most egregious.
Jason Humphrey
Was unsure how I really was going to like this book. As I am not really a big scifi/ future type of a fan. But surprised at how well I liked this book. Book was a advance copy but one I def going to buy
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read but it ended on the kind of mid-scene cliffhanger that made me want to toss the book across a room in frustration. I'm telling you, the tension and anticipation was built all the way up and it just ends. WHAT?!! On the upside, I do have the second book but I'm honestly so peeved, I'm not reading it next. That'll show the narrative!

I'd recommend this because the narrator, Col. Butler is sharp and witty. He made this story a fast mover and also an enjoyable one. The plot unfur
Steve Bender
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I got this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. It comes out in July. This was a terrific SF book that is a cross between NCIS and military SF with lots of action and an impenetrable plot up to the end. Highly recommended.
Yagiz Erkan
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fast-paced, dialog-rich, great military sci-fi!
I didn't love the ending as much as the rest, so I'd go for "4.5 stars".
Peter Tillman
Very good debut mil-SF novel, by a retired Army officer. As always, read the publishers intro first. After some scene-setting, Col. Butler's investigation keeps hitting dead ends. Before long, it's obvious someone is hiding something big. What it is doesn't become obvious until Butler leaves the orbital base to go planetside, where he's lucky to escape with his life. Back on base, he's faced with a very hard choice, in a scenario set up by his commanding general. The ending is (literally) overki ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good film noir in outer space with excellent performance by audio narrator. The main character is a bit of a smart ass and the action keeps moving, so it's not boring. But there was not much in the way of new ideas and the plot doesn't make a whole lot of sense from the background set-up to the punch-line ending. So better than average military sci-fi, but meh s-f.
Dan Koboldt
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When an old friend asks a veteran colonel to undertake a mission at distant Cappa Base, the mission seems straightforward enough. Find the high councilor's son. Write the report. Come home. But when Colonel Butler arrives at Cappa base, nothing goes smoothly. The commanding officer doesn't trust him, and information from people with boots on the ground is scant at best. Butler still has a job to do. The more he investigates, the more he comes to realize that there's a much deeper conspiracy. Unc ...more
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Space Opera Fans : Mar 2019 THEMED: Planetside by Mammay 4 32 Mar 20, 2019 07:54PM  

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Michael Mammay is a retired army officer and a graduate of the United States Military Academy. He has a masters degree in military history, and he is a veteran of Desert Storm, Somalia, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His first novel, PLANETSIDE, was a Library Journal 'Best books of 2018' pick and the sequel, SPACESIDE, received a starred review. He lives with his family in Georgia.

Other books in the series

Planetside (3 books)
  • Spaceside (Planetside #2)
  • Colonyside (Planetside #3)

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