The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The White Donkey and Other Tales of War

Posted on | May 5, 2016 | 4 Comments

— by Wombat-socho

Most of you who are interested in the Marines, or military humor period, are probably familiar with Max Uriarte’s webcomic Terminal Lance. Well, Max had a Kickstarter a while back so he could devote all his waking hours not spent on the webcomic, hookers, and booze to his magnum opus, The White Donkey. While Abe and Garcia appear in this too, it is as different from the webcomic as combat is from garrison duty, and it is a harrowing read. I don’t get emotional over books too often, but The White Donkey hit me like a Mike Tyson sucker punch, and I maintain that if you don’t have a similar reaction, you have no soul. I don’t want to get into the details, because it’s really a short story in the form of a graphic novel and to discuss the plot would spoil it, but I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Not quite as hard-hitting, but still containing some first-class combat SF, is the Castalia House reissue of Jerry Pournelle’s There Will Be War Volume IV, formerly subtitled The Day of the Tyrant. Among the great stories in this volume are Poul Anderson’s “No Truce With Kings”, “Interim Justice” by William F. Wu, and “Three Soldiers” by D.C. Poyer; it also includes G.K. Chesterton’s epic poem “Lepanto” and a fair amount of non-fiction that unfortunately seems to be coming around to being topical again. Recommended.

Old stuff I’ve been (re)reading of late: Alexis Gilliland’s The End of the Empire, which I’ve previously reviewed (back in March, as it happens) and am obviously still quite fond of. Also, Robert Frezza’s A Small Colonial War, first book of Frezza’s Suid-Afrika trilogy, previously reviewed here.


4 Responses to “The White Donkey and Other Tales of War”

  1. M. Thompson
    May 6th, 2016 @ 9:38 am

    Ah, I’ll be posting my postmortem on “The White Donkey” this weekend or early next week. I picked it up as reading material for my upcoming flight to Annual Training.

  2. Wombat_socho
    May 6th, 2016 @ 1:34 pm

    Shoot me the link when you do, and I’ll hook you up at In The Mailbox.

  3. M. Thompson
    May 6th, 2016 @ 2:14 pm

    I’ll just throw it on this thread. The only blog I have is for a Traveller RPG solo play that has been far too long in gestation.

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