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Author Topic: Michael Z Williamson--Lib SF  (Read 2828 times)

azcoyote

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Michael Z Williamson--Lib SF
« on: October 24, 2008, 01:30:24 am »

I really got turned on by this guy with his first (I think) novel "Freehold". It's about a woman in the UN military (think about all the bad things today with UN peacekeeping forces and you've got it) who is forced to go on the run and winds up on the Freehold planet of Grainne (named after a famous Irish female pirate). Like Dagny in Galt's Gulch, she's got to earn her own way and ends up in their military, but has to also unlearn all her UN training. Eventually, Earth gets pissed off at Grainne and launches an invasion. Our heroine, Kendra, has to make a choice.

While there is a lot of hardcore military SF stuff, it's mostly about Kendra's transformation into a freethinker and takes a whopping 650 pages to get her there. I found myself thinking of Heinlein a lot while reading it. Yes, it's derivative sometimes, but I was thoroughly engrossed by the character and her story.  I highly recommend it.

"Hero", co-written with John Ringo is also good. It takes place in the same time as "Freehold" but concerns a military guy who goes undercover on Earth to take the war to them. There's lots of good stuff about how to stay under the radar by fair means and foul. I found the climax a bit disturbing but worthy of thought. Not as good as "Freehold" but still very readable.

Unfortunately, the latest one I read--"Better To Beg Forgiveness"--I found not very good at all. It's about a group of Blackwater-type mercenaries guarding a president on a Somalia-type world. When things go to shit, they decide to disobey orders and get this guy to safety on Grainne. I felt that the correlation to current events was too "in-my-face" and character development lacking. Three of the team are fairly well developed but the others, I was going "which guy is this?". I kinda hurried up to finish it so I could go on to something better. Fortunately, I bought it used.

Williamson has some non-SF sniper stories that are pretty good. I got a collection of 3 from the Military Book Club. Liked the hero, stories were good. He seems to know his stuff, so they can be educational as well.

This guy has the right idea and he proved to me in "Freehold" that he can write a damned fine novel. I will read his future stuff and hope he lives up that passion and quality he had in the beginning.

Coyote
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Always keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark. Robert A. Heinlein

Myrkul

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Re: Michael Z Williamson--Lib SF
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 01:52:16 am »

Yup... And, He actually responds to fan-mail. At least, he did when I e-mailed him about Freehold and Hero.

I so wanna live on Grainne.
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"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." -Robert A. Heinlein
"If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner, and wink your eye at some homely girl." -H. L. Menken

Junker

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Re: Michael Z Williamson--Lib SF
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008, 06:16:32 pm »


Freehold at Amazon

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    3.0 out of 5 stars  Nolo Contendere, January 10, 2004

    By   Michael Z. Williamson (Greenwood, IN United States)

    Hi, it's Mike. I'm told it's a bad idea to respond to reviews, but I'm lousy at taking advice.

    The comparisons of me to Heinlein are appreciated, of course, but not fair to him. Heinlein was a master of human experience and soul, and I learn something every time I read his better works. I'm simply not that good. As to the statements propounding this obvious fact, I wouldn't think a PhD would be necessary for the conclusion.
    Nor did I "invoke" Heinlein. I mentioned him in tribute and quoted him twice with permission of his widow. And who in hard SF wasn't inspired by him?

    It's true there's influence from him in "Freehold." The political system is a combination of that in Starship Troopers, and one he mentioned in passing in Expanded Universe. "Farnham's Freehold" has no bearing on it, except that we both used the term "Freehold," a thousand year old term for land held without being a tenant owing fealty. There's no deeper meaning behind the title than that.

    ...
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HardRock

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Re: Michael Z Williamson--Lib SF
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2008, 05:48:41 am »

     I've read "Freehold" about a dozen times, although I've not read any of his other works.

     I met John Ringo last year, I wish I had known he wrote a book in the Grainne universe, he is a natural story teller. Easy to find, smoking a cigar while wearing a chocolate chip camoed kilt.

Henry
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socalserf

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Re: Michael Z Williamson--Lib SF
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2008, 08:13:58 am »

I liked this book as well.
He is very much like RAH.
Just more anarchic.
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khagler

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Re: Michael Z Williamson--Lib SF
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2008, 06:20:42 pm »

I've read Freehold and Weapon. I wouldn't call Weapon an entertaining story, but it does provide a really excellent look at the mind of a terrorist.

The society in those books is somewhat libertarian, as are many of the characters, but their leaders are definitely not.
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Myrkul

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Re: Michael Z Williamson--Lib SF
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2008, 10:30:43 pm »

I've read Freehold and Weapon. I wouldn't call Weapon an entertaining story, but it does provide a really excellent look at the mind of a terrorist.

The society in those books is somewhat libertarian, as are many of the characters, but their leaders are definitely not.

Let's say I have a Boat. We go out on that boat. I, as the owner, am Captain. On land, you're welcome to do as you please. On MY boat, I am responsible for your life. therefore, you will do EXACTLY as I say, without hesitation, without argument, Or you will not get on my boat. Same goes If I am getting on your boat. You're Captain, I'm Crew.

In situations where one person is responsible for the actions of another, that person can, and should, completely control those actions. Read Farnham's Freehold, and pay special attention to the scene, early on in the book, where they first enter the fallout shelter.
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"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." -Robert A. Heinlein
"If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner, and wink your eye at some homely girl." -H. L. Menken

socalserf

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Re: Michael Z Williamson--Lib SF
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2009, 09:59:28 pm »

I just finished reading 'Weapon' which is a 'Freehold" prequel.
I liked it almost as much. the body count was in the billions!

Also read the first of the 'Scope of Justice' recently and enjoyed that as well. Freehold is still the favorite so far.
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mutti

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Re: Michael Z Williamson--Lib SF
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 10:03:35 pm »

I like Ringo - but unless S&M is your thing avoid "Ghost". I was disappointed as I had read Kildar first - not that there is anything wrong with the whole 250 of of 359 pages having sex - but it was more like soft porn. JMO.  In fact for postage I'll send it to the first PM I get (not Kildar though - it was a good concept).
Mutti
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Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.  Jefferson

"The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract." Heinlein

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Re: Michael Z Williamson--Lib SF
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2009, 03:04:37 am »

I've read Freehold and Weapon. I wouldn't call Weapon an entertaining story, but it does provide a really excellent look at the mind of a terrorist.

The society in those books is somewhat libertarian, as are many of the characters, but their leaders are definitely not.

Let's say I have a Boat. We go out on that boat. I, as the owner, am Captain. On land, you're welcome to do as you please. On MY boat, I am responsible for your life. therefore, you will do EXACTLY as I say, without hesitation, without argument, Or you will not get on my boat. Same goes If I am getting on your boat. You're Captain, I'm Crew.

In situations where one person is responsible for the actions of another, that person can, and should, completely control those actions. Read Farnham's Freehold, and pay special attention to the scene, early on in the book, where they first enter the fallout shelter.

Or, more pointedly, all of The Number Of The Beast (a very undervalued work from his later period), which was written in part as a treatise on 'lifeboat rules.' Heinlein believed that the US was going to fall in the near future and that the only hope of survival for the concept of liberty was small groups (mostly family) fighting, running, and keeping the fire alive.
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