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Literature / Citizen Of Earth

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A 2019 Military Science Fiction work by Joe Kassabian, and the first installment in the "Galaxy on Fire" series. Vincent Solaris is far from the model citizen in service to the Central Committee and the Chairman that his family hoped he would be. Rather, he was barely lucky enough to have graduated high school and earn his Citizenship without being arrested for juvenile delinquency. His luck runs out, however when he and his friends are caught drinking moonshine in an vacant house, and he is sentenced to service in the Earth Defense Forces.

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When Earth unexpectedly finds itself at war with a group of aliens calling themselves The Alliance, Vincent discovers that there are far worse things in life than his regulated hometown of Detroit District Six, and that doesn't just mean the Training from Hell he faces at the hands of his abusive leaders.


Citizen of Earth provides examples of:

  • Apocalypse How: The war starts when Earth's moon is subjected to a Class 6. As Vincent learns, the Alliance's leaders, the Anarch, forced the Mawr into submission by reducing their homeworld to rubble by the same means, and their next target is Earth.
  • Anyone Can Die: At least among the human characters. By the end of the book, it's implied that Vincent and Fiona are the only named human characters still alive.
  • Battle Couple: Vincent hits it off with Fiona, a Martian conscript, and the two come to depend on each other for survival throughout the story.
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  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Nox.
  • Conflict: A wide variety at play:
    • Man Vs Society: Vincent is too much of a nonconformist to mesh with the authoritarian society on Earth, and ends up branded a criminal and conscripted into military service. Fiona, being Martian, gets it even worse, being cast out by a family who didn't want to form an attachment to a firstborn child that they knew would be drafted into a lifetime of military service.
    • Man Vs Man: In the final act of the story, the main antagonist is Colonel Rostov.
    • Man Caught In The Middle: Vincent and Fiona don't have any personal stake in the war (Fiona would probably be happy enough to let the Alliance burn Earth, in fact), but nonetheless find themselves caught in the middle of a three-way conflict between Earth, the Alliance, and the Fidayi.
  • Cool Starship: The ESS Victory, a massive invincible city-sized warship. Seeing it fall from the sky in flames onto the battlefield is one big sign to Vincent and his fellow troopers that the battle is going poorly. The Alliance is revealed to have a similar ship of their own, which is destroyed in a daring Fidayi commando raid.
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  • Enemy Mine: The Earth Defense Forces team up with the Fidayi against the Alliance. Subverted in that neither side trusts each other and are both withholding key information: The Fidayi tell the EDF that the Alliance is about to launch an invasion, because they don't trust the Earthers not to capture the superweapon and turn it on the aliens. The Earthers don't want the Fidayi to know that they have figured out that the superweapon exists and plan to do exactly that. The EDF forces turn on their Fidayi allies, but only succeed in derailing the plan to stop the superweapon before it can fire on Earth, ensuring their own homeworld's razing.
  • Everything Is an iPod in the Future: The Alliance's facilities, in contrast to those of the Fedayi and the EDF, are described as seamless and white.
  • Fantastic Racism: Earthers and "Loons" (humans from the Moon) typically look down on Martians and call them "Reds." The one Martian character in the book, Fiona Olympus, goes into a rage when addressed this way. And of course most of the humans tend towards being Absolute Xenophobes.
  • The Ghost: The Chairman, the wise and benevolent leader of mankind, is often mentioned and never seen, and is presumed dead after Earth is subjected to the Alliance's Plasma Storm.
  • Honor Before Reason: The EDF forces are all too quick to betray their Fedayi allies in hopes of securing the Plasma Storm for themselves. Instead they succeed only in delaying the Fedayi efforts to disable the weapon before it can be fired at Earth.
  • Ironic Echo: "Soldiers are born to die."
  • La Résistance: The Fidayi are a clan of Mawr warriors who refused to join the Alliance after the destruction of their homeworld.
  • Never Given a Name: Fiona Olympus was abandoned by her family, as her being a firstborn meant she'd be given up to the EDF. Since they never bothered to waste a name on her, she named herself for the bar she and the other kids would hang out behind. She takes the name Olympus from the processing center where she was pressed into EDF service.
  • Never Tell Me the Odds!: The odds of the heroes succeeding in their assault on Grawluck are described as being at least better than their odds if they do nothing instead.
  • Not So Different: The Alliance in general is not unlike Earth's government in a number of ways, including forcing other planets to join. Meanwhile, the Fidayi warriors study and recite verses, similarly to how many human citizens study their Books of Ethics. The difference is that for the Fidayi, it's optional (but popular), while among the humans it is mandatory.
  • Proud Warrior Race: What the Mawr are, and what the Earthers seem to think they are.
  • Red Baron: Vincent of Earth, Hero of the Breach, and Fiona of Mars, The Fury of Elysian.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Zinvor rescues Vincent and Fiona from being executed by the EDF troops, they blast their way out of the base, stealing an armored truck and fighting their way past the EDF front lines to help Arai and the other Fedayi warriors.
  • Running Gag: Vincent and Fiona lampshade how common it is for spaceships they ride on to crash.
  • Shocking Defeat Legacy: Defied. Rather than admit to the wholesale destruction of a million-man army, The Chairman claims their ship was ambushed and destroyed before it arrived at Ryklar. Vincent is left to wonder if the EDF efforts to put down the Martian rebellion were as straightforward as claimed in hindsight.
  • Training from Hell: The soldiers in Troop Bravo receive all of their training aboard the Victory en route to the battlefield. It mostly consists of running around the ship until their feet bleed, being beaten by their instructors, terrible food, and combat exercises. Deconstructed when the human task force faces complete destruction, with only two survivors left out of a million men and women.
  • Used Future: Pretty much everything the Mawr have, from their weapons to their spaceships, is cobbled together from whatever spare parts they can find. The Victory, in contrast, is hardly cobbled together, but is described as being old, filthy, and unpolished.
  • War Is Hell: Several members of Bravo Troop die before they even reach the battlefield when their ship is violently bombarded by an unseen enemy, simply from being thrown around in their bunkroom by the force of the attacks. Most of the rest die when their dropship crashes attempting to land on Ryklar. It goes downhill from there for the Victory's task force.
  • The War of Earthly Aggression: When Earth became united under an authoritarian dictatorship, Mars and the Moon were forced to join as well, courtesy of the EDF. Mars attempted a major uprising, which was crushed in turn by the EDF, which as punishment, mandated that every Martian family offer their firstborn child to a lifetime of service in the EDF.
  • You Got Spunk: Sergeant First Class Collins isn't fond of Martians, but when he witnesses Fiona lay out a bigger soldier in a single punch for calling her a "Red", he issues a blanket order authorizing her to beat the hell out of any other soldier stupid enough to call her that.
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