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Military Science Fiction

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Military Science Fiction is a subgenre of both Science Fiction and Military Fiction, commonly sliding into the Space Opera territory. At its most basic, Military Science Fiction is Science Fiction that focuses on the military, but the genre has more specific nuances than that.

The Protagonist in this genre is normally part of the chain of command (or becomes part of it in progress), while an ensemble cast is The Squad. The story is usually set against the backdrop of a large-scale (space) war but war is optional. Instead, the story may focus on a Space Cadet Academy or a beleaguered garrison on a Bleak Border Base.

The Science Fiction part mostly manifests in futuristic weaponry and vehicles (first of all, Cool Starships), while the organization structure is mostly based upon contemporary US or Commonwealth military. It should come as no surprise that a high percentage of MSF writers are military veterans. The important role of veterans in writing serious MSF explains why MSF differs from Space Opera, even those Space Operas that focus on huge intergalactic wars. Whereas MSF tends to have a more accurate depiction of military chains of command and strategic doctrine, in Space Opera, the depiction of battles tends to be more about visually exciting spectacle and Rule of Cool.

Often, writers cheat a little by having a Mildly Military organization instead of realistic military for the sake of good story. One particular subgenre of MSF in Video Games is A Space Marine Is You. Another that's especially particular (but by no means exclusive) to anime is the Real Robot Genre.

The acronym MSF may also refer to Mundane Science Fiction, a generally unrelated genre of sci fi.

Tropes commonly used in MSF (in addition to most Military and Warfare Tropes):

Works with notable Military Science Fiction elements include:

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    Multimedia Franchises 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 

  • Schlock Mercenary; while the main cast is a complement of Mercenaries, they tend to become more organized as the stories progress and move away from the Gag-A-Day format. Also, various governmental militaries have been featured, either as background/secondary characters, or as the people hiring the main characters.
  • Star Fighter is an erotic romance between soldiers on a Space Navy, who are engaged in a war against the Insectoid Aliens the Colterons. In addition to the romance plot, the story also deals with the tide of war and political machinations within the miliatary hierarchy.
  • XRS A military sci fi webcomic about a deadly new super-weapon.

    Western Animation