I got one of the Hammer’s Slammers anthologies as a belated Christmas gift to myself a while ago. I just started reading it, and I guess I can stop having opinions about David Drake’s writing now, because the author of the introduction did such an excellent job.
It’s kind of weird to hear that a lot of people were/are against having too much military in their sci-fi? Like, intellectually, I know that, I just happen to be in the middle of a bunch of pro-military topics people.
Plus, the chunk of the book-spectrum that I typically read actually includes more fantasy than sci-fi of any kind, so (1) I feel like I Should read more hard sci-fi to compensate/fit in better, and (2) people don’t usually get around to criticizing violence in high fantasy, so it’s kind of dissonant. “Ew, the main character Commits Acts of Violence” is an extremely weird critique from the perspective of e.g. Tolkien.
And that’s all beside the fact that David Drake’s books are clearly not positive about war, and only marginally more positive about the military as an institution, either.
Another interesting genre-y thing: apparently Drake started out writing horror. That probably would have been more obvious to me if I ever voluntarily read/watched anything described as horror. (I did sort of realize, with The Seas of Venus.)