is an American writer of Speculative Fiction
, being best known for Military Science-Fiction
which draws on his experience as an United States naval officer. He wrote two series under his own name, the Stark's War
and Paul Sinclair
series. Poor sales had him resort to a pen name Jack Campbell
for The Lost Fleet
series; its success has lead to the reissue of his earlier work (with both bylines listed on the cover).The Other Wiki
has more here
Works by John Hemry that have pages here:
Tropes found across multiple works:
- A.I. is a Crapshoot: Stark's War and The Lost Fleet come up with different arguments to state why automating warfare is a bad idea.
- Armies Are Evil / Straw Civilian: Explored and desconstructed. Both Stark's War and Beyond the Fronter (part of The Lost Fleet) deal with the topic of military-civilian relations, and each side believes that one of these tropes is in effect — the military sees the civilian government as corrupt, petty, ineffective, and ungrateful, whereas the civilians see the military as warmongering, insubordinate, would-be dictators. In reality, there are good and bad people on both sides, and the mutual distrust is bad for the whole society.
- Gender Is No Object: It's consistent across the future militaries which the author depicts that they seem to be 100% gender-integrated, and it frequently doesn't make any difference either to the plot or to other people what gender a given character is.
- General Failure: Stark's War and the early books of The Lost Fleet have parallels in that they feature militaries where incompetent leadership is endemic until the protagonists institute reforms. (The Paul Sinclair series, by contrast, features a military in which incompetence is the exception.)
- Humans Are White: Averted. Physical descriptions of characters are rare, but in the works where characters all have real Earth names (Paul Sinclair and Stark's War), they're a notably diverse bunch.
- Military Science-Fiction: Most of Hemry's work falls within this genre, but in differing ways. Stark's War, his earliest novels, are probably the most action-y, being about front-line soldiers, while at the other end of the spectrum, you have the Paul Sinclair books, which each start out with life in a space navy but climax with Courtroom Drama rather than combat. The Lost Fleet is predominantly fleet tactics, while The Lost Stars is more a mixture of things.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Leans pretty strongly towards the idealism side of things. Winning may require fighting, but it also requires reforming systems and building bridges. Antagonists are seldom cackling villains; rather, they can't escape the evils of the system they've been indoctrinated into, or are well intentioned but stuck in a cycle of miscommunication and distrust. Evil is frequently less about personal depravities than it is about flawed systems and institutions — and those can be fixed, resisted, or replaced. (See: Stark dissenting against a lethally incompetent military hierarchy; Sinclair resisting miscarriages of military justice; Geary reforming dangerous and unethical military doctrines and trying to improve civilian-military relations; Drakon and Iceni rebelling against a repressive, poisonous government; Mari and Alain defying their mutually-hostile, closed-minded Guilds.)