A trilogy of sci-fi novels by Michael [=McCollum=] dealing with humanity's war against a genocidal alien race.
Central to the novels is the concept of [[PortalNetwork "foldpoints"]]. These natural stargates connect the stars and allow interstellar travel. The vast majority of stars have no foldpoints, and are therefore effectively out of reach. All human-colonised solar-systems have at least one. Generally speaking the more massive a star is, the more foldpoints will form around it. The novels focus mostly on the colony of Alta, which has been isolated for over a century after its system's single foldpoint disappears when the star Antares (previously a hub of human commerce thanks to its six foldpoints) goes supernova.
The first book, ''Antares Dawn'', is set 125 years after the supernova. The nova shockwave has reached Alta. Theories regarding whether or not the foldpoint would restore itself are rendered moot when a crippled terrestrial warship running completely on autopilot limps through. Captain Richard Drake leads an expedition through, eventually discovering that the supernova also brought humanity into conflict with the genocidal Ryall. The nearest colony, Sandar, has reverted to a monarchy, has been in a state of continuous warfare for over a century, and has been cut off from Earth for the last 15 years. The Altans also get a chance to fight alongside the Sandarians when the Ryall attack.
The second novel, ''Antares Passage'', takes place two years later. Alta and Sandar make an alliance and spend tons of money on radiation shields so they can brave the nova and reach Earth. On the way, they stumble onto a Ryall mining colony and discover a complete star chart of the Ryall Hegemony.
The final novel, ''Antares Victory'', focuses on the human assault on the central Ryall system of Spica, and their subsequent struggle to hold it against counterattacks. It ends with the humans trying to convince the Ryall to give up their attempts at genocide.
The series is notable for its faithful obedience of the laws of physics. Lasers are invisible (except in one battle where the Ryall unleash a cloud of oxygen onto the battlefield), ships have to deal with the effects of high acceleration, and destroyed spaceships are reduced to hunks of metal.
Contains examples of:
* AbsoluteXenophobe: The Ryall do ''not'' believe that intelligent aliens can be anything other than a threat to their existence.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: Averted. The Ryall ''learn'' English from human prisoners, and we also learn their language from Ryall prisoners.
* ArrangedMarriage: Practiced on Sandar, with the added element of backups in case the bride or groom dies before the wedding (a non-trivial possibility when they have been at war for over a century). Philip was betrothed at the age of three, and it seems to be a PerfectlyArrangedMarriage, since Philip has fallen in love with his intended by now.
* [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil Covers Always Spoil]]: There is no mention of aliens for the first half of ''Antares Dawn'', and the revelation that they exist is supposed to come as a surprise. However, the blurb on the back spoils it.
* HumanoidAliens: Averted without going into StarfishAliens. Ryall are centauroids - they have six legs.
* HumansByAnyOtherName: The Ryall call humans ''Biped Monsters'' or just ''Monsters'' for short.
* HumansThroughAlienEyes: Varlan has difficulty understanding why the humans persist in their belief that two intelligent species can coexist. Or why we keep our lawns mowed.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Missiles are major weapons in this universe. Attack carriers particularly are jammed to the bulkheads with nuclear missiles, and designed to overwhelm any planetary defense system.
* MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness: Essentially the Antares Trilogy is about a four on the scale, with foldpoint travel the OneBigLie. The matter-converters that power spaceships etc. are questionably realistic too.
* NegativeSpaceWedgie: The Antares Nebula.
* NoBiochemicalBarriers: Played with. Bethany states that Ryall diseases cannot infect humans, which is why she's okay with letting Varlan feed her baby. On the other hand, Corlis had diseases that could infect Ryall. Hearing this, the humans decide not to stay long enough to find out if they can also infect humans.
* PortalNetwork: Foldpoints.
* ReassignmentBackfire: After being forced to accept Philip Walkirk ([[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething aka the Sandarian Crown Prince]]) as an exchange officer on board the ''Discovery'', Captain Drake assigns him to command the Marines, in hopes of keeping him safe. Later, the Marines end up having to board a Ryall transport.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: The Sandarian monarchy. Crown Prince Philip Walkirk serves on the front lines. He does rise from ensign in ''Antares Passage'' to getting a minor command in ''Antares Victory'', but it's implied that he's simply a competent officer. The only special treatment he gets is that he is universally addressed as "Your Highness" even by superior officers giving him orders.
* ScaryDogmaticAliens: Partially subverted. The Ryall are trying to wipe out the human race, no bones about it. But they aren't psychotic savages - they simply believe that the extermination of one sentient species by another is one of the hard facts of life, due to an encounter with sentient amphibious sharks in their Stone Age. The humans argue, however, that was competition with these "Swift Eaters" that drove the Ryall's own development.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Averted. Transiting a star system can take days. In ''Antares Dawn'', Captain Drake has time to take a shower while his ship heads into a battle where the odds are against him.
* ShownTheirWork: The books take great pains to, for the most part, stay within the current known laws of physics.
* SpaceStation: Foldpoints are defended by massive orbital fortresses.
* TheKingdom: Subverted with Sandar. The Sandarians have been at war for over a century. Mess with them at your own peril.
* TranslationConvention: In scenes from the perspective of Ryall, the Ryall speak English, and humans are incomprehensible without the use of translators, except when it is made explicit that everybody is speaking a particular language.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: Averted. It takes two years and a ton of money spent on developing anti-radiation shielding, but the Sandarians and Altans do make it back to Earth.
* YouShallNotPass: The nature of interstellar travel through foldpoints means that many of the space battles involve defending these natural choke-points against enemy fleets. The Battle of Sandar invokes this trope against an enemy force that manages to break through the blockade.