The Sword and Laser discussion

Sci Fi battle armor and bugs!

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message 1: by Gary (new)

Gary Oswald (monkeygroove) | 12 comments It seems to me the theme of battle armor and bug like aliens comes up from time to time in Sci Fi novels. At first I thought this had to come from all the authors being in the same reading group, and working on variations of the same theme, but when I saw the publication dates, I saw this could not be the case.

I have noticed that Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein and
Armor by John Steakley both talk about earth soldiers that wear exo-armor and fight bug like aliens. (I have to say that this is more or less where any simulairity ends.) I should also point out that Starship Troopers is the earliest written, going all the way back to 1959. I would have to give Heinlein the credit from being the father of this small sub-genre.

You then have Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card which also focus on humans fighting bug like aliens, and in the battle school they wear armor for their fighting simulations.

I'm now reading The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, and once again, we see the battle armor. (I don't think you could call the Taurans "bug like")

I know that battle armor shows up because we are always looking for ways to protect our soldiers and give them an edge in battle.

What I would like all of you to chime in on is why do giant alien bugs seem to come up from time to time? Do we dislike bugs that much? Also, are there any other books that you might have see that have this same theme?

message 2: by Steve (new)

Steve | 34 comments I think bugs show up because they are the most alien thing on earth that an author knows we all have a common experience with. Invented aliens often have either a "Star Wars Cantina"/rubber suit feel, or they end up like the Horta in that it's hard to figure out how nature could possibly have come up with that life form and still declared to herself "Finished!"

message 3: by Gary (new)

Gary Oswald (monkeygroove) | 12 comments I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that they out number us by such a large degree. On some deep level we fear them and in our mind we make them larger than life.

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