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The Reformer (The General #7)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,513 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
After the collapse of galactic civilization, the computer named Center remained functioning. It launched electronic copies of itself and its human agent, Raj, to the thousands of worlds still waiting for the light of civilization to dawn.
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Baen Books (first published 1999)
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Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was ok Review

Getting military sci-fi right is tricky. As with any genre fiction, there are certain rules to be followed. When you pick up a book with a cover depicting a sword-wielding Roman-type firing a primitive cannon under the shadow of a swirling nebula, you have certain expectations and woe unto any author who fails to meet them. Fortunately, S.M. Stirling and David Drake are both decorated vets (Stirling for the bestselling Anne McCaffrey collaboration The City Who Fought and Drake

Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The human galactic federation is in ruins, and the worlds have devolved to various levels of barbarism. On the planet Bellevue, which is at about the early nineteenth century in development, a young officer named Raj Whitehall and his friend venture into the catacombs under the capital. There, they find an ancient battlecomputer named Center. With Center’s help, Raj must unite the planet and enable humanity to retake the stars. The story is at least somewhat based on that of the Byzatine general ...more
Aug 22, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring.. And that's its better quality

I guess I have read enough "alternative history: that the mere creation of firearms in a pre-firearm cultures lacks most appeal and interest for me.

What about other technologies that would have at least equal- albeit less blatant- advantages for a culture? Such as cooking tech? That has done at least as much to advance human culture as gunpowder et alia.

Our Heroes here- 1 is focused on a grudge, because when he was involved in an insurrection his beloved got
Definitely liked the main Raj Whitehall series better than the follow on. Though not as compact and rushed feeling as The Chosen, this still feels like it could have taken more time to develop characters. Than again, this series really isn't about the characters at all, is it. Once again, history is sort of repeated on another world, this time it's the late Roman Republic that gets the expy treatment, though oddly, they still seem to be fighting the Carthaginians or at least a reasonable stand i ...more
Dec 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This a well written story. Quick read. But it's a little thin. And as the 7th book in the series, there really wasn't much new. There are battles, but the battles in earlier books were much more exciting, and interesting. You know how they sometimes abridge a book when they record it? This is like an abridged book of what should have been a bigger, better book. Nothing wrong with it, and I liked the characters well enough -- it just seemed a little "paint by numbers" to me. They have a formula, ...more
This next world that needs work to get it ready for the new Federation is stuck in a stagnate cycle of empire and civil war, without the marching beat of technical advance.

Raj and the Center, this time working through a local thinker are shaking things up, getting the world moving forward.

This a Greek/Roman based world and military action story, where the introduction of gunpowder is the shaking things up...
Aug 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first chapter is terrible. I'm putting it down, maybe I'll pick it up and maybe I won't...

After a terrible first few chapters it picks back up. It's pretty weak overall but it's not awful.
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Raj and Center (from the first five books in the series) are working in a Punic War setting rapidly ratcheting combatants up to 17th century military technology. The Tyrant appears to be the sequel.
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good military science fiction. No spoilers here.
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scif-fi
loved it! great premise and the humor is good too
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Stephen Michael Stirling is a French-born Canadian-American science fiction and fantasy author. Stirling is probably best known for his Draka series of alternate history novels and the more recent time travel/alternate history Nantucket series and Emberverse series.

(personal website: source)

I’m a writer by trade, born in France but Canadian by origin and American by naturalizat
More about S.M. Stirling...

Other Books in the Series

The General (10 books)
  • The Forge (The General, #1)
  • The Hammer (The General, #2)
  • The Anvil (The General, #3)
  • The Steel (The General, #4)
  • The Sword (The General, #5)
  • The Chosen (The General, #6)
  • The Tyrant (The General, #8)
  • The Heretic (The General, #9)
  • The Savior (The General, #10)
“I am interested in madness. I believe it is the biggest thing in the human race, and the most constant. How do you take away from a man his madness without also taking away his identity? Are we sure it is desirable for a man's spirit not to be at war with itself, or that it is better to be serene and ready to go to dinner than to be excited and unwilling to stop for a cup of coffee, even?” 12 likes
“When I was fifteen and had quit school forever, I went to work in a vineyard near Sanger with a number of Mexicans, one of whom was only a year or two older than myself, an earnest boy named Felipe. One gray, dismal, cold, dreary day in January, while we were pruning muscat vines, I said to this boy, simply in order to be talking, "If you had your wish, Felipe, what would you want to be? A doctor, a farmer, a singer, a painter, a matador, or what?" Felipe thought a minute, and then he said, "Passenger." This was exciting to hear, and definitely something to talk about at some length, which we did. He wanted to be a passenger on anything that was going anywhere, but most of all on a ship.” 3 likes
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