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The central premise is that in 2006, humanity receives greetings from a highly advanced, peaceable Galactic Federation. However, all is not well, for a species of aggressive aliens known as the Posleen are attacking the Galactics. Since the Galactics are almost entirely unable to fight, they are appealing to the proven military abilities of humanity for aid.
However, things are rarely as simple as they seem, and humanity soon discovers that the Galactics are no friends at all. There are plots within plots, some going back to the dawn of humanity and beyond: plots that endanger the very survival of humanity.
The first four novels cover the Posleen War in which the Posleen invade Earth. Another novel, Cally's War, takes up the story a few decades later; The Hero is set nearly a thousand years later. Watch on the Rhine takes place immediately after Gust Front and extends until March 2008, with the very last chapter taking place at some unspecified point far after the end of Hell's Faire but prior to the beginning of The Hero.
A role-playing game based on the d20 system and the Legacy of the Aldenata universe will be published in the near future. An early version of this game is available on the free CD-ROM included in the first hardcover edition of Hell's Faire.
The fourth novel Hell's Faire includes some Sluggy Freelance guest strips by Pete Abrams since the popular internet comic strip is featured somewhat prominently in a way. (A massive armored military vehicle is named after Bun-Bun the mini-lop from the strip.) Some of the strips are samples of the actual comic strip and others are an exclusive alternate timeline setting where the Sluggy characters have to deal with the Posleen invasion.
As the Posleen have yellow blood, the war song March of Cambreadth ("Let their yellow blood run cold") becomes popular with the military. The song, its lyrics, and artist's bio is included in the Baen Free Library.
There are several major races in the universe of the Legacy of the Aldenata.
- Elf-like in appearance, they are the lawyers and bankers of the Galactic Federation and effectively control it, skimming wealth from the labor of others. Although vegetarian, they have razor-sharp teeth. While smaller than humans, Darhel have far greater physical abilities - and some would say their mental abilities are just as advanced, particularly a subtle but potent ranged empathic ability. However, they are devout pacifists. These contradictions are the result of genetic tampering on behalf of a powerful and arrogant elder race, the Aldenata. Although the full extent of this tampering is not detailed, the most crippling is their pacifism - when Darhel are stressed, their bodies produce an epinephrine analogue they call lin - which unlike epinephrine, augments both physical and mental abilities. The Aldenata altered Darhel biochemistry so that heightened lin levels induce a permanent coma-like state known as lintatai. This, in combination with their empathic ability, left them extremely inept at violent acts and physically incapable of taking any form of animal life. Their survival has thus become dependent on their ability to manipulate others to fight their battles for them. The Darhel are implied to be attempting to mold Humans into a race of Mamlukes]; recruiting the planet's most skilled warriors to fight the Posleen on Galactic worlds, preserving their bloodlines by moving family members to protected worlds - and permitting the Posleen to conquer Earth, thus leaving Humanity dependent on the Darhel as all other Galactic races. Ultimately, the majority of the Darhel are wiped out by Humans in the aftermath of the Posleen War, leaving them the underclass of Galactic civilization.
- Short and stocky with green fur (which is actually a photosynthetic symbiote), they are the engineers and technicians of the Galactic Federation. A rare and valued number are more precisely the organic central processing units of the Galactic Federation's nanotech assemblers. Though the products of these assemblers are at least an order of magnitude more advanced than anything humans can produce throughout the Posleen war, the nature of the process means that each item is for all intents and purposes hand-crafted - mass production is impossible. They live in enormous hives in massively overcrowded sweatshop-planets and are effectively enslaved by the Darhel. Many are involved in a conspiracy to bring down the Darhel, called the Bane Sidhe.
- Crablike in appearance, they are philosophers and scientists.
- Resembling a sort of symmetrical frog, they are extremely secretive and capable of camouflage to the point that they can effectively "disappear." Their stealth technology is the finest in the universe.
- Resembling reptilian centaurs, they are rapacious conquerors who strip whole planets the way locusts strip a field. They have been genetically engineered to be resistant to all known toxins, to have an incredibly short maturity time, and to have skills programmed into their DNA. Only a small percentage are truly intelligent, while the rest are semi-morons telepathically bonded to an intelligent master, or God King.
- The "Blobs," they resemble giant amoebas, although they must have a more complex internal structure. They are a relatively late addition, appearing only in The Hero, while at war with Humans
- A mysterious [elder race, they created Galactic society and then vanished without a trace, apparently having transcended the need for material bodies. The glossary in "Yellow Eyes" describes the Aldenata somewhat disparagingly as "Galactic Tranzis", largely disappeared from the Galactic scene in sheer funk and shame at the damage they had, despite all the best intentions, wrought." Elsewhere in the book they are described, similarly disparagingly, as "Galactic do-gooders." They were consummate masters of genetic engineering, and had no qualms against modifying sentient species into what they felt were more "suitable" - both the Posleen and the Darhel were confirmed to have been modified in "Yellow Eyes" and "The Hero", respectively. It is speculated that all sentient races in the Galaxy carry their "legacy" of genetic tampering. The implied author statement is that none of the factions encountered in the series are malicious, but merely forced into destructive acts by their modified natures - the Aldenata are the only true "evil" in their namesake fictional universe.
Main Posleen Series story LineEdit
- A Hymn before Battle (ISBN 0-671-31941-8) free online edition
- Gust Front (ISBN 0-671-31976-0) free online edition
- When the Devil Dances (ISBN 0-7434-3540-0) free online edition
- Hell's Faire (ISBN 0-7434-3604-0) free online edition
- Watch on the Rhine (with Tom Kratman; ISBN 0-7434-9918-2) free online edition
- Yellow Eyes (with Tom Kratman; ISBN 1-4165-2103-8)
- Eye of the Storm
- The Tuloriad
Cally's War Spinoff SeriesEdit
- Cally's War (ISBN 0-7434-8845-8) free online edition
- Sister Time (ISBN 1-4165-4232-9)
- Honor of the Clan (2009)
According to John Ringo's website, five more books in the series are planned, with two following the continuing adventures of Cally O'Neal and the remainder following Mike O'Neal, the hero of the first four Aldenata books. Two electronic books, set in England and Saudi Arabia, have been created by a fan and are considered canon by Baen Barflies, but the canonical status of such works is uncertain. Copies have been floating around the Baen forum and a request there will find one.
- The popular sci-fi game, Starcraft was referenced in the book Hell's Faire, when the repair brigade commander in charge of the repairs to SheVa Nine mentions that the civilian consultant wants to use AI of a computer game for targeting, then mentions that the Darhel will be Protoss (due to their appearance) and the Himmits will be Ghosts (due to their stealthy nature).
The series premises total mobilization of the human population of Earth. The US military expands tremendously with near-disastrous results. See also US forces.
The technology made available includes rejuvenation and life extension. The desperate straits of the setting lead to the revival of the Waffen-SS in The Watch on the Rhine. With the rejuvenations in full swing in Germany, many ex-SS officers have become young again. While the majority of the ex-SS were just soldiers, a few are hardcore Nazis. This causes a lot of dissent in the German Parliament and citizenry. The Greens and the Reds (political parties within Germany) organize riots and protests; the re-integration of the SS officers and the choice of the Parliament and Chancellor to give to those officers control of the training of the young men of Germany.
- ↑ http://www.amazon.com/Hymn-Before-Battle-Posleen-War/dp/1416533214/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-2246223-0903259?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183474974&sr=1-1 Amazon.com listing]
- Fleet Strike - John Ringo's Homepage
- Series listing at SciFan
- Bibliography - Fantastic Fiction
- Thriller Novels - Best Thriller Novels Around
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Legacy of the Aldenata. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with John Ringo Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|