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Old 09-03-2023, 10:50 PM   #1
Critteranne
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Looking for Mecha Books (Like Battletech, etc.)

I’m looking for recommendations of books about mechas — in other words, about robots controlled by people, and usually shown in battles. That is, books like Mobile Suit Gundam, BattleTech, Robotech, Titanicus, etc.

There are a lot of books based on those shows and games — and it’s hard to navigate the field. (*metallic stomp stomp stomp*) So I’d love suggestions about which books to try.

Also, I’d love to find books inspired by mechas — but using their own worlds and settings. Can anyone recommend something in this vein. I’ve seen quite a few indie SF books in this field.
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Old 09-05-2023, 12:08 AM   #2
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Here's a list of things I've read, things I've heard about and want to read and things I'm interested in but they are just a guess.

Stuff I read:
James Luceno and Brian Daley, using the pen name Jack McKinney wrote a series of novelizations of the series Robotech. There were a total of 21 books, a dozen covering the series and then some continuations. The come and go out of print. Looks like they are coming back in print over the next year. I really enjoyed them.

Yoshiuki Tomino wrote a trilogy novelization of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series. Because of Del Rey's success with the Robotech books, they translated them. He also wrote novelizations of the sequel series Zeta Gundam, but those haven't been translated, so far as I know.

I read a novella called Messenger by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne & R.R. Virdi. It was nominated for some awards and was freely available. It doesn't seem to be for sale anymore as the collection it was in is OOP. But you can likely find it online. It was free and may still be.

Stuff I've heard good things about, but haven't read:
Michael Stackpole has written a number of Battletech novels. But he wrote a trilogy that are generally considered to be the best Battletech books:
En Garde
Riposte
Coupé

Stuff I discovered by poking around Amazon, but haven't read:
The Messenger by J.N. Chaney. This is a long series, fifteen books so far. I believe the first thirteen tell a story and book fourteen starts a second one. The first book is $1.

An author with the unlikely name of Jake Bible has written Fighting Iron, which has since been renamed A Fistful of Mechs.

Lastly, Mark Wandrey has a series called The Revelation Cycle. I picked up the first one, Cartwright's Cavaliers.
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Old 09-05-2023, 12:23 AM   #3
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Duh! There's also of course Starship Troopers, which inspired just about every mecha show ever.
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Old 09-05-2023, 01:00 AM   #4
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In the category "inspired by", there's Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series. First world war. Eastern Europe has steam powered mechas, the Darwinists in UK and allies have genetically modified war creatures. It starts in mecha-using Austria-Hungary, but most of the story takes place on an airship/genetically modified flying whale.
A good series, I liked it.
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Old 09-05-2023, 06:00 AM   #5
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From the top of my head I can recommend two books:
  • All You Need Is Kill by Japanese author Hiroshi Sakurazaka. It's a light novel and there is also a manga adaption as well as the movie adaption Edge of Tomorrow which takes a lot of liberties with the material but it still entertaining. Even if you have already seen the movie I still recommend reading the novel. It's about an invasion of aliens that can only be fought with the use of a battle mech but even then only a single battle against them has only ever won. The book follows a grunt named Keiji Kiriya.
  • Iron Widow by Canadian author Xiran Jay Zhao is a full length novel that is also about an alien invasion. A pair is always needed to take control of a Kaiju like creature the fight enemies. The book is very much inspired by Chinese history and you should definitely make the effort of googling all the character's names as soon as they appear. The book contains a bisexual love triangle so skip this book if such themes make you uncomfortable. The sequel Heavenly Tyrant is currently in the works and is supposed to be released in spring. Also follow the author on TikTok.

Last edited by rantanplan; 09-05-2023 at 06:02 AM. Reason: Readability
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Old 09-05-2023, 07:22 PM   #6
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*wildly adds books to wish list*
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Old 09-05-2023, 07:59 PM   #7
Apache
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The best mech book, I think is Armor by Robert Steakley.
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Old 09-05-2023, 11:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apache View Post
The best mech book, I think is Armor by Robert Steakley.
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There's a Kindle edition! When did that happen? Weren't people requesting that one for years and years? Or am I thinking of another author?
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Old 09-08-2023, 11:50 PM   #9
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Myke Cole's Armored Saint novellas are mecha in a more fantasy setting if that interests you.
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Old 09-09-2023, 07:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrangerhere View Post
Myke Cole's Armored Saint novellas are mecha in a more fantasy setting if that interests you.
There's an animated series, Aura Battler Dunbine that plays with the same idea. I put the trilogy on my eReaderIQ.
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