NextSundayAD, an alien race known as the Grtul extend their PortalNetwork into Earth's solar system. It is the DawnOfAnEra.

...

Two years later, UsefulNotes/{{NASA}} has just completed preliminary studies to the studies necessary to begin preliminary design phase of the bid phase on a potential ship to reach, but not enter, the "Gudrum Ring". (Cost: $976 million dollars.)

...

A year after that, Earth pretty much gets fifty years of [[IWantMyJetpack space development]] [[LaserGuidedKarma karma]] all at once. A single Horvath ship comes through the gate. It destroys Mexico City, Shanghai and Cairo in a single attack. (They were warning shots - the most noticeable constructed features on the planet.) Ultimatum: Surrender all stockpiles of precious metals or they continue shooting. Have more for them to take next year or they continue shooting. The Horvath are pirates without galactic representation, but the dominant powers can no more afford to interfere than NATO could send troops to aid a third-world country no-one in the West has heard of. Earth is on its own.

...

Down-and-out computer tech Tyler Vernon (A somewhat thinly disguised {{expy}} for [[Webcomic/SchlockMercenary Howard Tayler]]) is barely making ends meet when Glatun traders discover that he once wrote ''[=TradeHard=]'', an award-winning [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness hard sci-fi]] {{Webcomic}}. A short meeting later, he has discovered one alien race [[AlienCatnip finds maple syrup irresistible]]. After some well-executed hustling, [[{{Fiction500}} he's richer than everyone else on Earth put together.]] But given that he's a plucky Southern boy, he has big dreams...

Being written by Creator/JohnRingo, before you crack open the book get your popcorn ready. ''Troy Rising'' was planned as a trilogy, with the first book being ''[[http://www.webscription.net/chapters/1439133328/1439133328.htm?blurb Live Free or Die]]''. The next book, ''[[http://www.webscription.net/chapters/1439134006/1439134006.htm?blurb Citadel]]'', was released in early 2011 followed by ''[[http://www.webscription.net/chapters/A9781439134320/A9781439134320.htm The Hot Gate]]'' in mid-2011. Ringo's enjoying himself, so there will be [[TrilogyCreep more than three books in this trilogy]], with the current plan for five books total in the series... unless his Muse steps in once again.

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! This series provides examples of:

* AIIsACrapshoot:
** Argus, the AI in charge of the [[WaveMotionGun SAPL]], which uses solar-orbit mirrors to focus large amounts of sunlight, starts getting OCD about the small gravitational interactions between the mirrors and things like ships, asteroids, and planets. Vernon quickly recognizes the danger signs and disconnects him before he does anything drastic; it's speculated that soon after the point where he's stripped of control, he would have started accidentally incinerating tug ships. The unmanned ones, of course. At first.
** Later on, a series of errors (minor, but potentially lethal if allowed to continue) in the ''Myrmidon'' shuttles is found to be caused by [[spoiler:Granadica being depressed.]]
* AlienCatnip: Maple syrup is, to several species of the aliens, an addictive beverage with effects similar to that of alcohol on humans. Tyler Vernon milks this for all it's worth, and builds his own empire on it.
* AMillionIsAStatistic?: Despite having been decimated by {{Colony Drop}}s and {{Synthetic Plague}}s, the human race is entering a golden age after the Horvath expulsion; the biowar attacks effectively ''eliminated welfare recipients and religious terrorists from the human gene pool''. See the quotes page for the entire WallOfText, but the Horvath planned all of this to make humans into an ideal servitor race; "[[ANaziByAnyOtherName separating the sheep, as they saw it, from the goats.]]" And as they got kicked out of the system, [[NiceJobFixingItVillain the result is that humans became]] a ''ProudWarriorRace''.
* ARareSentence: "They can take our maple syrup from our cold, dead hands." ItMakesSenseInContext.
* AuthorAvatar: A lot of Vernon's more extreme political statements come straight from the mouth of John Ringo, who describes himself as a Teaparty Conservative.
* AuthorFilibuster:
** Ringo's standard Pet Peeves show up: Pacifism is dumb, the military is extremely important, {{Nepotism}} is the bane of humanity, liberalism is evil, the MainstreamMedia cannot be trusted... New(ish) ones include "space is ''really'' dangerous", "ScienceIsGood", and "maintenance is very important."
** The last three might almost be considered "Deconstruction," rather than personal opinion, as so many sci-fi series gloss over the dangers of being out in the airless void of space, with only a thin metal can keeping you from having your blood boil out your eye sockets. The other ones, those can be argued one way or another... but who's going to say "Maintenance on the ship keeping us from ''dying''" is bad?
* TheBattlestar: ''Troy'' and its fellow battlestations, when [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi fully armed and operational]], not only have enormous quantities of [[MacrossMissileMassacre missiles]] and [[BeamSpam lasers]] available to them, but also can hold within them an entire fleet of escort vessels, assault shuttles, and extensive support facilities like entire fabbers to repair battle damage and create more equipment, including missiles and escorting warships[[note]]the stations are also serving as Earth's shipyards, as being much easier to defend than shipyards in orbit around a world[[/note]].
* BigDamnHeroes: The Glatun at the climax of the Maple Syrup War, arriving just in time to force the Horvath to back off before killing Vernon.
* BookEnds: ''Citadel'' opens with a quote from the Music/{{Hammerfall}} ballad "Glory To The Brave". At the end of the novel, the same song plays over the PA system aboard ''Troy'' after the latest Rangora attack.
* BriarPatching: When the Horvath force the US Army to seize maple syrup, Vernon makes a note that only the ''cities'' are being threatened, and really don't care about them. He's lying... or is he? Either way, the government should ''really'' be nicer to rural citizens. He even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] his use of the trope by directly quoting the story.
* BrickJoke: Early in the first book, while discussing telescope scheduling, Ringo mentions a "huge outcry amongst "real" researchers who had grants to study oxygen production of Mira Variables". Much later in the same book, one of the scientists Vernon hires comments that his specialty was the oxygen production of Mira Variables.
* CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys: Every non-French government on earth expects this behavior from the French. This was [[AuthorTract written by]] John Ringo, after all.
* ColonyDrop: Part of the Horvath's initial appearance was dropping kinetic energy weapons on several cities.
** Turns out that this is [=SOP=] for most aliens. The Rangora hit Earth multiple times, destroying dozens of cities. Thankfully, after the second Horvath bombardment people started leaving the cities.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Big country invades small country and turns them into a BananaRepublic - so a plucky local starts selling drugs to fund a revolution. [[DrugsAreBad Sound]] [[InSpace familiar]]?
* EnemyMine: A sizable portion of Terran Marines are recruited from Afghanistan, and are generally former Taliban or Al-Qaeda fighters. Their commanding officers are primarily from the US Special Forces - in other words, the guys they used to fight.
* EvilLawyerJoke: After the Horvath execute a series of {{Colony Drop}}s during their expulsion from the solar system, a common [[BlackHumor morbid joke]] is that the Horvath hate lawyers/politicians/bureaucrats as much as humans do, as two targets that got hit repeatedly were Los Angeles and Washington, DC.
* FirstContact: Done in a rather amusing manner via phone calls to major world leaders.
* FamousLastWords: Attempted and averted by Vernon when asked for his Last Words.
--> '''Vernon:''' "There is no joy without pain. No victory without sacrifice. This is my sacrifice."
* FixedForwardFacingWeapon: Rangoran Assault Vectors and ''Aggressor'' class battleships have spinal weapons mounted to the front, with the ones mounted on [=AVs=] having their own dedicated reactors even.
* FrickinLaserBeams: While technically not a laser, SAPL (Solar Array Pumped Laser, basically regular sunlight concentrated and directed by a series of mirrors) behaves in the same way as a real laser. At one point, it's even specifically mentioned that lasers don't show the beam unless they're going through a debris field or otherwise have things to reflect off of.
* FunWithAcronyms: Vernon seems to rather enjoy coming up with fitting acronyms for his creations, such as the SAPL, or '''S'''olar '''A'''rray '''P'''owered '''L'''aser aka the '''S'''erious '''A'''ss '''P'''owerful '''L'''aser, supported at various points by the VSA, or the '''V'''ery '''S'''cary '''A'''rray, the the BDA, or '''B'''ig '''D'''amn '''A'''rray, and the VDA, or '''V'''ery '''D'''angerous '''A'''rray.
* GenreSavvy: A key human advantage - humans are the only race that had science fiction prior to first contact, so we're not completely out of our depth.
** For example, a key element of ''Troy'''s design is tubes cut through the kilometer-and-a-half armor to fire lasers and missiles out at the enemy. Someone notices that this could be a weakness, as all it would take is "[[StarWarsANewHope some farmboy in an X-wing to fly down the tubes]]" and attack the station from the inside. So their tubes incorporate several doglegs to make it impractical.
* GoneHorriblyRight: The Horvath DepopulationBomb was a eugenics program designed to turn humanity into an ideal servitor race. It did improve humanity greatly... and those survivors want vengeance for the dead. And at this point, it's just a matter of time before they exact it.
* GonnaNeedMoreTrope: When the Rangora manage to jam ''Thermopylae'''s door closed, someone says that they'll need a bigger hammer to open it. Granadica provides.
* HumanityIsSuperior:
** The primary reason? ''We're CrazyAwesome.''
--->'''Tyler''': ''[[CrazyEnoughToWork If itís crazy but it works...]]''
--->'''Granadica''': '' 'It's not crazy.' You humans are the only sophonts in this galactic region to have that saying. Most people just go with '[[YoureInsane that's crazy]]'.''
** Other instances of Human 'superiority' are mostly a result of the fact that every other race humans have close dealings with (or fight against) was at levels of technological development of the Iron Age or earlier when the gates were placed in their systems. It all boils down to Tyler noticed that 'Hey I can execute on all this Big Ideas from Scifi'. The other races didn't have the benefit of Hard Scifi writers coming up with things for them since they weren't far enough along on their own when they suddenly got access to advanced tech.
* HumansAdvanceSwiftly: One Glatun AI does an intense analysis of human history, psychology, and technical savvy and then recommends that the Glatun race ally with humans because of this trope: the Glatun are on the decline, and the humans are not only on their way up, they'll likely ''skyrocket'' upward. It's even {{lampshaded}} that the history of human technological advance is marked by "periods of astounding, breakneck advance intercut with short periods of calm."
* IWantMyJetpack: Invoked as one of the reasons behind the main protagonist's interactions with various aliens.
* KlingonsLoveShakespeare: Vernon bought and began distributing old movies with JohnWayne and other "traditional" heroes to aliens, who liked it. Before they got invaded anyway.
* LatexSpaceSuit: "Leopard suits" essentially very low-PoweredArmor made using Glatun "autoflex" that magnifies the user's movements just enough to counter the suction effects of vacuum.
* LineOfSightName: "[=CeeFid=]" is used as a fake project name used to fool any Horvath listening to a conversation between two human characters, as part of an excuse to go to a secure room. Once they're out of observation, the speaker explains the inspiration: the book '''''C'''++ '''f'''or '''Id'''iots'', a book he saw on the shelf in his office. The initial set-up by Vernon started off with talking about Project [[Literature/AlasBabylon Babylon, about a lass]], inspired by the only vaguely science fiction book he recalled seeing in the other's personal library during a party held there.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Humans and others, particularly in ''The Hot Gate'', throw around up to ''hundreds of thousands'' of missiles, depending on the specific engagement under discussion, at one point outdoing the entire missile expenditure of ''both'' sides at ''Literature/HonorHarrington'''s [[spoiler:Battle of Manticore (either Havenite or Solarian hostilities)]]. In ''The Hot Gate'' [[spoiler:the missiles are actually fired ''through'' said gate.]]
* MatterReplicator: "fabbers" much like their ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' counterparts, can build just about anything you want very quickly as long as you've got the raw materials. Much like the Schlock Verse, the crushed remains of enemy ships are frequently fed in as the raw materials in question.
* MileLongShip:
** The Troy, Thermoplae, and Malta are made from hollowed out asteroids, all of them several miles in any dimension.
** Assault vectors, the biggest nonhuman ships in the Spiral Arm, are over a kilometer long.
* NoBioChemicalBarriers: Used and averted in that the Glatun traders simply assumed that any foods produced on earth wouldn't be of any value until Vernon, in a desperate attempt to make enough money to pay his bills, gathers up large mounts of foodstuff from one of his jobs and the majority actually turns out to be edible. Well, except for [[TakeThat Coca-Cola, which is horribly toxic.]]
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: After the fight over maple syrup is finished and Vernon starts working on building a space infrastructure for Earth, a lot of these pop up and get in his way of doing what they and their parent organizations wouldn't.
* OccupiersOutOfOurCountry: Vernon's initial goal. He's got bigger ones.
* OhCrap:
** When the Rangora realize the Troy is mobile, and just what it uses [[OrionDrive for a drive]]. One crewman does not handle the [[GoMadFromTheRevelation revelation well]].
** The humans get their turn in the barrel, so to speak, when the ''Thermopylae'' jumps into Epsilon Eridani to rescue their diplomatic mission from a Horvath attack, and run into so many missiles set up as part of a trap of the Rangorans that they literally blot out the sun[[note]]well, technically the system's star[[/note]]. One of the human commanders even invokes the relevant phrase from the RealLife battle after which the station was named. It gets worse when [[spoiler: said swarm of missiles is discovered to be ''the bait'']] The Rangora are equally surprised.
* OnlySaneMan: One Rangora officer is assigned to analyze humanity and determine a battle plan. High Command keeps ignoring him, and keeps sending entirely insufficient force. He even says he's not sure it's possible to overestimate humans. [[spoiler:And when High Command ''does'' decide to listen to him, they don't have the resources to implement his suggestions because they were destroyed earlier, because of the aforementioned stupid plans. He even mentions in private that he's worried about holding the Rangora homeworld, not taking Terra, and hopes that the humans give him a job after they win.]] His PoliticalOfficer is herself somewhat in alignment with his views.
* OrionDrive: Troy adds an OrionDrive so that it can get to the PortalNetwork and go crush enemy alien fleets out-system. Upon first seeing the Troy begin detonating the bombs, the aliens think it's been hit, only to [[LaughingMad suddenly realize it's actually the drive.]]
* ParanoiaFuel: In-universe. Like its parent series, the [[Mohs/PhysicsPlus sole piece]] of AppliedPhlebotinum is gravity manipulation. What bothers the hell out of Vernon is that the only known way to build an efficient gravity manipulator is with ''another'' efficient gravity manipulator - and no one knows who invented the damned things...
* PortalNetwork: Being based on TheVerse of ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', this is the primary means of CasualInterstellarTravel. At the beginning, it's ''interplanetary'' travel that is extremely difficult.
* POVSequel: Part of ''Citadel'' to the final events of ''Live Free or Die''. Including the one-in-a-million survival of the ''Myrmidon'' caught outside ''Troy'' during the attack, from the perspective of the pilot.
* RammingAlwaysWorks:
** [[SubvertedTrope Not]] when you're smashing a couple million tons of spacecraft against several ''trillion'' tons of asteroid it doesn't, as the Rangora found out to their chagrin, in ''Citadel''. The damage was patched over before the next book.
** In ''The Hot Gate'', however, several partially completed cruisers are hastily converted to overglorified battering rams, which are used along with [[MacrossMissileMassacre a whole mess of missiles]] for both [[HeroicSacrifice taking shots intended for the rammers]] and to batter down Rangoran defenses in preparation for ramming Assault Vectors.
* RockBeatsLaser: Or at least [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness Hard Science Beats Soft]] once you're [[IWantMyJetpack finally in space]]. While the aliens have all the [[RequiredSecondaryPowers uber-gosh-wow technology it takes]] to make [[CasualInterstellarTravel Interstellar Travel Casual]], in direct battle its repeatedly trumped by human [[strike:insanity]] ingenuity. Vernon's [[FunWithAcronyms Acronym]] "lasers" are so simple that every species sneered at them - at least until he started outproducing and outgunning rivals. The climax of Citadel shows exactly why HumanityIsSuperior when Vernon finally gets around to fitting ''Troy'' with [[spoiler:an OrionDrive.]]
* ScaryDogmaticAliens: The Rangorans manage to convey aspects of both Nazi Germany (big on eugenics and genetic purity) and Soviet Russia (led by a constantly-backstabbing Oligarchy, use of SecretPolice to keep 'dangerous intellectuals' in line), with shards of Imperial Japan (fanatical dedication to TheEmperor, in ideal if not in practice, strong warrior culture) on top of it. And yet, at the same time, they manage to be remarkably human.
* SecretPolice: For Rangorans, the Kazi fills this slot.
* ShoutOut:
** Vernon orders tea.
---> [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot."]]
** Scattered throughout the book there are enough shoutouts to cause alcohol poisoning if you turn it into a {{drinking game}}. Further examples include a ship captain ordering the helm to a course with [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration "Make it so."]], a gas mine called [[StarWars "Bespin"]] and the decision to have turns in the battle station's missile tubes is inspired by the need to [[StarWars "stop the farmboy dropping an energy torpedo into the main power plant."]] References to ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' are uncountable. It's worth noting that most of the Shout Outs are being done by the characters on purpose.
** There's an amusing one in ''The Hot Gate'', when the commander of the Thermopylae has to report that he's walked into a trap and balks at saying '''[[MemeticMutation IT'S A TRAP]]''' for a moment. His subordinate all but explicitly makes the StarWars reference. [[FunPersonified As well as what seems like a dozen others]].[[invoked]]
* StrawmanNewsMedia: Courtney Courtney of CNN, who always tries to be as [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad Politically Correct as possible]] while seeming to have a slightly antagonistic view towards Vernon due to his economic success.
* StrawmanPolitical:
** The [[OurPresidentsAreDifferent President of the United States]] in "Live Free Or Die". Elected post-invasion, he won't give Vernon even the slightest assistance in attempting to eject the Horvath from Earth, and is pretty much just TheQuisling because his family (and assets) is old money.
** After the Horvath get their nose tweaked, the Air Force. When Vernon contracts Boeing with developing a ArtificialGravity-based space shuttle, the Air Force makes them use the money to build a (crappy) space fighter armed with [[spoiler:gravity warheads]]. First, {{Space Fighter}}s are all but ''useless'' in this 'verse, where gunboats are the kings of space combat. Second, the Air Force invested ''just'' enough money to figure the basics of gravtech, then spent all of Vernon's money on the armament. Finally, they declare the armament to be above Vernon's clearance, and it takes a DepopulationBomb for them to even acknowledge what they've spent most of his money on.
* TakeThat: When Vernon contracts Boeing to build a shuttle with ImportedAlienPhlebotinum, those {{Professional Butt Kisser}}s take his money and build a ''really'' crappy SpaceFighter for their buddies in the Air Force. Until now, nobody knew that Ringo hated ''Series/BabylonFive''.
-->'''Tyler Vernon''': ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfury Star Fury]]? ... Oh, my God. What [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Michael_Straczynski nimrod]] came up with that name? It just reeks of bad SF.''
* ThatsNoMoon: Troy is the size of a small moon and is ''mobile''.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill:
** Pretty much the basis for armament design of the Troy and it's sister Battle Globes, as well as the SAPL network and it's Ung lasers.
** The trope title is nearly quoted word for word in ''The Hot Gate'', in regards to 20,000 human missiles sent at a Rangoran AV that had its point defense systems almost completely destroyed.
* TooDumbToLive:
** In the first part of ''Live Free or Die'', NASA. The day the Ring is set up, they are present for the InstructionalDialogue from the Grtul: "By 'anyone can use the ring' do we mean that another species can use it to enter your system? Yes. Does that mean that hostile or friendly forces can use it? Yes. Are you allowed to block the ring? No. Good bye." They then spend ''three years'' screwing around, so the Horvath just walk in and take the planet in a single afternoon. [[KarmaHoudini They're still around years later to try to claim jurisdiction over Vernon's ship.]]
** In the second part of the same book, the "religious terrorist" states. Upon being informed that Earth has been hit by a DepopulationBomb, they whip their populations into frenzies, insisting that the '''cures''' being distributed are the source of the plague, spiritually poisonous, etc. [[LaserGuidedKarma They all die]], and Earth is thus rid of religious fanatics for the foreseeable future.
* TrilogyCreep: The series was originally planned to be a trilogy, but word on the Ringo forum on [[Creator/BaenBooks Baen's Bar]] is that his Muse insisted on continuing the series, much to the joy of many of his readers. The current plan is for five books total... unless Ringo's Muse insists on more.
* UnfriendlyFire: Star Marshall Lhi'Kasishaj kills Star Marshall Gi'Bucosof for incompetence and cowardice with a lethal pain stick.
* VichyEarth: Initially, Earth can't do much to protest their treatment by the Horvath, and thus take a "go along to get along" approach, including sending out soldiers to harvest the maple syrup that the locals refuse to gather just for the purpose of giving it up to the Horvath for free.
* WalkingTechBane: PVT John "Chaosman" Peterson, one of the Marines stationed on Troy, is infamous for breaking anything technological he uses, even if the item is supposed to be completely immune to complete and total failure. Considering [[SpaceMarine his job]] involves operating in space, this isn't exactly the best of situations.
* WaveMotionGun: SAPL for the win.
* WeComeInPeaceShootToKill: The initial contact is peaceful, by a race that's only interested in trade with Earth. Contact with the Horvath is... not, and for rather less voluntary purposes than trade.[[note]]Well, unless you mean trade as in, "Give us your stuff, and in return we give you the right to live."[[/note]]
* WhatsInItForMe: In ''The Hot Gate'', the subject of personal benefit from cooperating with one another comes up in a conversation between "Comet" Parker and one of the engineers for the [=143rd=].
* WorthyOpponent: Increasingly, the humans and the Rangora.
* WriteWhoYouKnow: A staple of Ringo's writing.
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