Sunday, June 17, 2012

Classic F/SF Ideas: Exoskeleton Suits

It's armor...that makes you stronger! Super-cool, neh?
But before Halo, anime and manga, there were these folks:

The Forever War, Robert Haldeman
Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein
Iron Man, comic, Stan Lee & Larry Leiber

Although Heinlein's novel came first (he has so many firsts!) and has one of the most exciting descriptions of future warfare ever in the first chapter, Haldeman's novel is more realistic, grimmer, and in general (I think) a better effort. As a side note - Heinlein served five years active duty in the Navy, but tuberculosis invalided him out in 1934. Haldeman was a draftee who served as a combat engineer in Vietnam, where he was wounded. You can see their backgrounds in the books: Heinlein, the man who wanted to serve, pre WW2, but ultimately didn't experience combat; and Haldeman, the man who didn't want to be there in Vietnam but did experience combat, whether he wanted to or not.

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