Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Live Free or Die (Troy Rising, #1)” as Want to Read:
Live Free or Die (Troy Rising, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Live Free or Die

(Troy Rising #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  8,447 ratings  ·  433 reviews
First Contact Was Friendly
When aliens trundled a gate to other worlds into the solar system, the world reacted with awe, hope and fear. But the first aliens to come through, the Glatun, were peaceful traders and the world breathed a sigh of relief.

Who Controls the Orbitals, Controls the World
When the Horvath came through, they announced their ownership by dropping rocks
Hardcover, 404 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by Baen (first published February 1st 2010)
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 Live Free or Die, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,447 ratings  ·  433 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Live Free or Die (Troy Rising, #1)
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it

Put a book called “Live Free or Die” in front of an old Heinlein / Poul Anderson SF libertarian like myself AND reference the two grandmasters in the first few pages AND make the protagonist a freewheeling science fiction writer and I’m gonna like it.

Lynny likey!

This is a fun twist on the first contact sub-genre reminiscent of the aforementioned writers as well as inspirations from or similarities to Arthur C. Clarke and John Scalzi. An alien race delivers our “gate” to the rest of t
Dec 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
This would have been a fun if utterly mindless little jaunt about aliens invading and humans fighting them off if the author could have not spent every other page stuffing his straight up fascist opinion in with the subtly of a sledge hammer.

I don't use the word fascist lightly. I love Heinlein and find the politics in his books more or less unoffensive. Heinlein certainly writes about brutal militaristic governments, but it is an exploration of those societies and shows both the good and bad.
Mar 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2012
My requirements were thus when I set out to read this novel (which is really a series of three novellas packed into one larger work):

1. Aliens.
2. Lasers.

Live Free or Die starts with a near Douglas Adams' flair for comedy. Gate pops up in the general region of earth, aliens fly through and gave a brief humorous description of what the gate exactly provided: namely, the ability for anyone who could pay (aggressor/trader made no difference to it) a trip through. So, we had aliens. Shortly later, al
Mike (the Paladin)
I have read several books by John Ringo. I generally find that anything he writes is reliably a good read. This one would, in a perfect world, rate a little higher (for me anyway) than the last Ringo book I read. However since I can't really go all the way to 5 with it and the other is also undeniably a 4 star read, I'm left with little option. We'll just have to say this is one of the ubiquitous "4.5 star" ratings we almost all wish to give, but can't.

Now, why is this book, in my opinion a bit
Oct 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
I read this book expecting human underdogs beating the crap out of aliens. I did not expect to also get a huge dose of smug ass bastard obliviously filled to the brim with white male privilege. What makes it worse is part of it is obviously on purpose due to the thinly veiled political commentary whenever the repercussions of various plot points are discussed (although still not fully extrapolated due to the unfortunate implications of certain events should they be pursued to their logical concl ...more
Christopher Smith
Feb 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
It's the near-future. Astronomers detect what appears to be a ring-shaped asteroid entering the solar system. But then the object decelerates. Okay, so it's not an asteroid; the astronomers freak out. Suddenly, the leaders of the world's major nations get a phone call. It's an automated message from an alien species called the Glatun, informing the hapless earthlings that the object is a hyperspace gate, and any alien race that wants to can now send ships to Earth. You are not allowed to block o ...more
I wanted to like this book. Really I did. The series is based off of Schlock Mercenary, which continues to be one of the most consistently funny webcomics around, and so I was predisposed to enjoy it, since it purported to tell the story of "how we got here", i.e. Humanity's first contact in the Schlockiverse and its development into a major intergalactic player. Unfortunately, this was my first John Ringo book, so I came in expecting something a bit different.

As always with Sci-Fi books to whic
Jonathan Terrington

To John Ringo,

I'd never read one of your books. I had seen them at the library along with several other bestsellers as books I'd always intended to read but never had. In fact I often have had to resist the allure of their glossy, hard-cover jackets because I had plenty more books to read. Of course I always had that sneaking suspicion that one day I would have to take the plunge and read one of your books. It always ends up that way with the glossy best-sellers...

Eventually this book caught up
J.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book. It is a combination of three novelles and I enjoyed all three. I look forward to the other books in this series.

I should add that if you dislike entrepreneurship or think that the government knows best you probably won't like this book.

Update: Held up to a second listen and I still love it.
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Pretty bad.
Unlike many of my fellow negative reviewers however i am not picking on the strong libertarian themes as my reason of dislike.
I liked Heinleins "Moon is a harsh Mistress", and the underlying political themes are quite similar.
Also i have nothing against Nietze "Ubermenschen" as Protagonist Heroes.

The writing to me just seems so clumsy in many ways.
It never really seems to flow, but stutter along.

Also, while i dont insist on a cast of all meaningful and complex characters, having a bo
Feb 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
This could have been a very interesting sci-fi novel, instead the reader is constantly distracted by violent bursts of the writer's strong political opinions which have little to nothing to do with the novel itself. The only character that seems to exist in this novel is the main character himself, everyone else is either against him (and therefore automatically labelled an ignorant idiot) or what pretty much equates to an extension of his person, offering no substantial input. The book seems to ...more
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
So this was my first ever John Ringo. All I can say is... this was a completely and utter train wreck and I kinda loved it! LOL Oh I don't think I will be taking on Mr Ringo as a new favorite author, but I think I will see this trilogy out eventually.

So I had heard about the whole 'Oh John Ringo NO!' and read the article. Laughed myself silly, and while there were parts ALMOST as bad as the example that blogger was using, it wasn't quite up to par just yet. However this is what I have learned f
Michael Pang
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Didn't finish after 1/3 in. I still gave it 2 stars because I can understand why some people would enjoy this book, it just was not for me.

In Forward-Prologue, the author discusses the need to bring a little "hard" science into his science fiction. Physics, biology, deep-thought astronomy/cosmology, mathematics, bring it on!

Then... The main character meets an alien at a comic book convention (If you can travel millions of light years, I would think you can find a better gig than co-hosting a com
C.W. Holeman III
Aug 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist, loved-it
I've read some of his other books in the past, and I enjoyed them. But I just read "Live Free or Die" today (cover to cover). I have not enjoyed a book that much in years. From the moment I started to read the acknowledgments, until the end of the very last page, I was hooked. It was brilliantly written, and I loved it.

I have a vague recollection of there being more "mature" content in other books by him. I don't know if I'm remembering wrongly,or it was intentionally toned down (perhaps due to
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read this based on a review from "Lyn". It was everything he promised. Brought to mind Haldeman and Scalzy. Well written, outrageous, almost hard scfi - lots of technical details, yet fun first contact story. Old school pacing. Ringo was below the radar for me. Glad to have read him. Thanks Lyn. ...more
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
2018 reread: Still just superb, really amusing in places
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good Heinleinesque SF. Add John Ringo to the likes of Allen Steele, Spider Robinson and John Scalzi, among the putative "next" Heinleins. And in a sense, Live Free or Die is comparable to The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, with the folksy voice, Tony Stark/Ironman-like characters, and deft use of astrophysics and engineering to give the book that classic SF gloss. The book also sports a one-sided political and social viewpoint, conservative, not libertarian, that can be off-putting in its insist ...more
Kat  Hooper
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at FanLit:

Humans were alarmed when the first aliens that arrived to introduce themselves to Earth set up a hypergate that immediately connected Earth with all the outside universe. We were no longer alone. At least the Glatun were friendly aliens.

Tyler Vernon, a smart hard-working guy who chops wood for a living, decides to take this opportunity to improve his fortune. He finds a product that our new alien friends love and begins a busin
Kamosis Eldritch
Nov 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: BURN THIS SHIT!

Beware! Spoilers ahead!

A good drama demands any kind of difficult to be surpassed by the hero, this book has nothing.

In the start of this atrocity a bunch of evil aliens that are evil because they are evil appear and nuke three cities, soon all the Earth is under their domain and no one resists!

It's only when a stupid 'merican discover that maple syrup is like cocaine for aliens (All of them, except for the evil ones) that he has a chance of defeating the aliens. (As long as
Doug Dandridge
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any fan of military science fiction
John Ringo is one of my favorite "new" authors. I have followed him from his collaboration work with David Weber in the March series and through his many novels. Live Free or Die is one of his best, in my humble opinion. Introducing several alien races, including the mercantile race that is in it for a buck but not conquest, and the evil conquerors who threaten our cities if they are not given exclusive use of Maple Syrup, a potent drug to the first race, Ringo presents a fast paced story with a ...more
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This is the second book by Ringo I've read and I believe I am going to read more. Live Free or Die (LFoD) is based on the Schlock Mercenary webcomic and I think Ringo did a great job playing with and expanding upon this world.

Firstly, I have to say that Ringo has a wonderful sense of humor and did an amazing amount of research in crafting this novel. His science is plausible but doesn't bog us down with too much description. Generally the characters talk about a situation, give a brief descript
Feb 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Better than the awful "Last Centurion" but....the political agenda is costing him my money.

The premise for this one was good. It could have been a wonderful read. The Earth is along the path of galactic progress and gets invaded by a slightly more powerful alien species, while the far more powerful and jaded really tough alien species watches it all happen.

It's up to One Man to Save Us All.

Fun, right?

Ringo has an excellent sense of humor and loves to make intelligent jokes in the middle of the a
Tom Rowe
Jan 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Right Wing Americans, People who like going to meetings
The book consists of three parts.

Part I: "The Maple Syrup War" is great. 4 stars. The tone is light and humorous. The writing style is fast moving and attention grabbing. The hero is inventive, ingenious and likable.

Parts II and III are dull, tedious, plodding, boring etc... 1.5 stars. These parts mostly consist of engineering design and business meetings. The hero from the first part becomes a bossy, threatening CEO who gets the impossible done by other people by shouting at them and threatenin
Feb 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a very interesting and funny science fiction book. I wasn't too sure about it at the start because it involved selling maple syrup to aliens!

I guess John Ringo has some political issues and it comes out in his writing. He moves through this book pretty rapidly because he kind of skips things like language barriers and other stuff you'd expect upon a first contact story. The main character seems kind of old at the beginning but doesn't seem to age much throughout the book. He is obviousl
pg 184/548: About 33% of the way there. I find his style easy to take in. Some nice humor and science parts. I'm waiting for some big dumb objects, as implied by the cover. Occasional right-wing politics.

pg 268/548: This book has a lot of engineering.

pg 335/548: Getting into a medical angle.

pg 352/548: Looks like John Ringo discovered italics.

pg 396/548: Part 3 seems more science fiction-y. Nice disease.

pg 432/548: Losing interest. Pushing to the end.

Pg 465/548: I'm having a hard time finishin
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-sci-fi
Good clean SciFi. Really enjoyed the close to current level tech. Very well thought out. Love the idea of Troy, a 2.2 Trillion ton battle station, "Go big or go home."
Busy with the second, and not disappointed in the least.
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
John Ringo warned me in the acknowledgements at the start of the book:
“So you can expect a certain amount of science in this here science fiction. Get over it.”
I had a really hard time getting over it. To me it just seemed like one info-dump after another. I read more about mining asteroids, power systems, military technology, grav drives and space mirrors than I ever wanted to know.
I like my science fiction with a little less science and a little more fiction.
You can open the book to almost an
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
Much play on words and cultural/political correctness. Tongue-in-cheek but lots of fun and some cool ideas on aliens. 4 Stars
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
If you want “non-PC” SF as Westerns, this has potential. The problems are (1) this novel clearly stitches together two or three short stories, so watch for the bumps in the road; and (2) the story spends so little time off-planet it barely qualifies as a space opera.

Sure, I understand it’s written for lafs, but somehow it wasn’t as polished as a usual Ringo writing. The narrator was less believable at the start—though his interactions with CNN through the last 2/3rds of the book are hilarious. A
Feb 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: library, gave-up-on, sf
This would have been OK (though not much more than that) had it not been for the politics. The plot is interesting, and there's an obvious effort to work out the details of the science and logistics involved. On the downside, in my very limited experience Ringo's tone is consistently too flippant for me, as it undermines involvement: if the protagonists can't be bothered to take life-threatening situations seriously, why should I?

But as mentioned, all that is essentially rendered irrelevant for
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • March Upcountry (Empire of Man, #1)
  • March to the Stars (Empire of Man, #3)
  • March to the Sea (Empire of Man, #2)
  • We Few (Empire of Man, #4)
  • In Fury Born
  • Empire of Man
  • The Valley of Shadows (Black Tide Rising #5)
  • Throne of Stars (Empire of Man #3, 4)
  • Delphi Challenge (Delphi in Space Book 9)
  • Mutineers' Moon (Dahak, #1)
  • The Apocalypse Troll
  • Off Armageddon Reef (Safehold, #1)
  • Out of the Dark (Out of the Dark, #1)
  • Contact Front (Drop Trooper #1)
  • Into the Light (Out of the Dark, #2)
  • How To Be A Badass Witch: Book Two
  • Mission of Honor (Honor Harrington, #12)
  • Delphi Colony (Delphi in Space Book 8)
See similar books…
John Ringo is a prolific author who has written in a wide variety of genres. His early life included a great deal of travel. He visited 23 foreign countries, and attended fourteen different schools. After graduation Ringo enlisted in the US military for four years, after which he studied marine biology.

In 1999 he wrote and published his first novel "A Hymn Before Battle", which proved successful.

Other books in the series

Troy Rising (3 books)
  • Citadel (Troy Rising, #2)
  • The Hot Gate (Troy Rising, #3)

Related Articles

This May, as we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we wanted to take an opportunity to shine a light on some of the...
234 likes · 43 comments
“Creating lines that went straight into the interior [of a space station] was a recipe for disaster. Some knucklehead in an X-wing was bound to come along and drop an energy torpedo into your main power plant, and everyone knows how that ends.” 9 likes
More quotes…