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Literature / The Nameless War

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Several decades after First Contact, the technology gained has allowed humanity to expanded beyond Earth's solar system. Those alien races since encountered have been either faced down, defeated or befriended. This is a time of peace and expansion as Earth and her new colony worlds are guarded by the independent military force - Battle Fleet. The first warning that the age of peace is ending comes from the edge of explored space when the aging cruiser, the Mississippi under Captain Ronan Crowe is attacked by an unknown ship. Who this Nameless race are and what they want is unknown, all that is certain is with their long range weaponry and superior scanning technology, they represent a threat far different from any Battle Fleet has either expected or planned for.

The Nameless War is a military science fiction trilogy by Edmond Barrett, the first book of which was published in 2011. The second and third books of the trilogy are respectively The Landfall Campaign (2012) and The Last Charge (2014). The story is told from the points of view of multiple characters, most military but a few civilians. The 'Fog of War' effect with characters making decisions based on information that might be incomplete or out of date is a central theme along with the importance protecting supply lines.

As well as the three books of the trilogy, Edmond Barrett has released (as of 2015) two technical manuals detailing the development and operational histories of cruisers and battleships within the setting.


  • Anyone Can Die: Not all characters die — some are only maimed.
  • Asteroid Miners: The fuelling station within the rings of a gas giant.
  • The Battlestar: Battleships and cruisers are equipped with fighters to provide an additional layer of defence against Nameless missiles. Not all captains look upon this development with favor.
  • Boarding Party: Marines from the cruiser Phantom board a Nameless space station.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The Geriatrics, mothballed relics of the last war, manned by whatever volunteers and reservists are available then sent into action to make up the numbers.
  • The Cavalry: Averted, the Geriatrics defending the colony world of Dryad and on the cusp of defeat receive word the relief force is still days away.
  • Curbstomp Battle: The attack on Baden Station sees the Third Fleet largely destroyed at its moorings.
  • Fate Worse than Death: When the Nameless capture the civilian population of Junction Station to use as lab samples in their work to discover an efficient way to eradicate humanity.
  • Inscrutable Aliens: The Nameless make no attempts at communication, expeditions after the Mississippi Incident discover their handiwork but not the Nameless themselves. In Last Charge, the Nameless do offer to allow humanity to go extinct peacefully.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Railgun rounds have right of way. Secondary weapons on most larger human ships, railguns, while they have a short effective range are massively destructive. No practical scale of armour will stop a kinetics strike projectile, in fact against such weapons having no armour is better as a solid projectile can punch cleanly through and as long as its course doesn't intersect with something vital could be survivable. Railgun designers have compensated by creating munitions that fragment on impact, widening the area of the ship damaged.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Nameless almost exclusively favor missile armament which significantly out ranges the human plasma cannons.
  • Orbital Bombardment: Both kinetic and nuclear weapons are available for this task however since a general bombardment is likely to cause major environmental damage, both sides use it sparingly. In Last Charge, a Nameless World is hit by a combination of kinetic and enhanced fallout nuclear weapons.
  • Plasma Cannon: Standard human anti-ship weapon.
  • Point Defenseless: Partly averted, while effective against smaller enemy missiles, the larger cap-ship missiles are sturdy enough to survive.
  • Ramming Always Works: Although mutually destructive for both the rammer and rammee.
  • Space Fighter: The earlier Vampire space fighters have no atmospheric flight capability while the more modern Raven can at least fall with style.
  • Space Marine: Are there to provide Battle Fleet with an organic infantry force for rapid deployment, the expectation being that in the event of larger operations, elements of the national militaries will be deployed. While not equipped with a fully enclosed power armour, the marines do wear a supporting exoskeleton that allows them to carry armour far heavier and more protective than could otherwise be carried. The marines are primarily intended for operations on planets but do storm an enemy space station.
  • Space Navy: plays this extremely straight, with a navy style command structure while ship classifications take their cue from the World War One / Two time period.
  • ISO Standard Human Spaceship: Human ships are noted for their blocky appearance but given that they are neither designed for, nor capable of atmospheric flight, the additional difficulty of constructing rounded hull plates hardly seems worth the effort.
    • Although most human warships are equipped with 'wings' to provide additional radiating surfaces and mountings for maneuvering engines which gain from the additional leverage.
    • The author has also produced a number of separate books detailing the design and service histories of ships within the setting.
  • Stealth in Space: Played semi-realistically, as it can only be achieved by shutting down and drifting. The Flak Cruiser Deimos hides inside a planetary ring formation but her captain, Ronan Crowe is aware that once the ship's heat sink is saturated then even inside the rings his ship will be detected.
  • Tagalong Reporter: Jeff Harlow, our man at the front. Intrepid reporter hoping to get a scoop that will make him a household name but not actually kill him.

Alternative Title(s): Namelesswar