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SFF Author: John Ringo

John Ringo(1963- )
John Ringo had visited 23 countries and attended 14 schools by the time he graduated high school. This left him with a wonderful appreciation of the oneness of humanity and a permanent aversion to foreign food. He chose to study marine biology and really liked it. Unfortunately the pay was for beans. So he turned to quality control database management, where the pay was much better. His highest hopes were to someday upgrade to SQL Server, at which point, he thought, his life would be complete. But then Fate took a hand: John has become a professional science fiction writer. With his bachelor years spent in the airborne, cave diving, rock-climbing, rappelling, hunting, spear-fishing, and sailing, the author is now happy to let other people risk their necks. He prefers to write science fiction (both alone and in collaboration with David Weber) raise Arabian horses, dandle his kids and watch the grass grow. Someday he may even cut it. But not today. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe he’ll just let the horses eat it.



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There Will be Dragons: Standard

There will be Dragons by John Ringo

The premise of There Will Be Dragons is interesting, the kind of premise that made me want to read the book just to see where John Ringo would go with it. Ringo paints a unique, utopian world with a nearly perfect society. Then, in this perfect world, an apocalypse happens and forces these individuals to live in pre-industrial style. I would consider There Will Be Dragons a science fiction/fantasy hybrid.

This is a broad undertaking for any author,


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Live Free or Die: I wouldn’t pay for this

Live Free or Die by John Ringo

Humans were alarmed when the first aliens that arrived to introduce themselves to Earth set up a hypergate that immediately connected Earth with all the outside universe. We were no longer alone. At least the Glatun were friendly aliens.

Tyler Vernon, a smart hard-working guy who chops wood for a living, decides to take this opportunity to improve his fortune. He finds a product that our new alien friends love and begins a business empire. Soon he’s the richest man on Earth, and that means he’s got a lot of influence on how things get done.


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Citadel: Better than first book, but still not good

Citadel by John Ringo

Citadel is the second in John Ringo’s TROY RISING series. The first book, Live Free or Die, had an interesting plot that was totally derailed by John Ringo’s intrusive and ugly political views which seem closer to neo-Nazism than anything else. So why did I read Citadel? Only because the audiobook publisher sent me a free copy and, out of a sense of completion, I wanted to review it for FanLit. I was prepared to hate it.


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The Hot Gate: Did Not Finish

The Hot Gate by John Ringo

The Hot Gate is the third novel in John Ringo’s TROY RISING series. This series started off well with the first half of the first book, Live Free or Die. Then Ringo’s protagonist, Tyler Vernon, turned out to be an outspoken Nazi-sympathizer and TROY RISING plummeted. The second book, Citadel, was better, but still not good enough to recommend. (Please see my reviews for specifics.) I began reading the third book,


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Under a Graveyard Sky: Here comes the Zombie Apocalypse

Under a Graveyard Sky by John Ringo

I have friends who are “preppers”:  people who stockpile supplies and make solid plans for what to do in the event of a natural disaster or complete collapse of society. Under a Graveyard Sky tells the story of the kind of scenario my friends have planned for, and of how the world as we know it could unravel if the Zombie Apocalypse occurred.

Steve Smith and his family are normal people who have taken serious precautions in case the world comes to an end.


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To Sail a Darkling Sea: A credible zombie story

To Sail a Darkling Sea by John Ringo

To Sail a Darkling Sea is the second installment in the BLACK TIDE RISING series.  Ringo continues to tell the story of the Smith family who are the virtual seed of humanity that survives the Zombie apocalypse and starts the fight to save the world from perpetual barbarity.

Trying to re-establish civilization is complex work. For “Commodore” Smith and his family, that becomes increasingly difficult as numbers of people rescued and the implied logistics support begin to increase commensurately. 


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Islands of Rage & Hope: This series takes a bad turn

Islands of Rage & Hope by John Ringo 

How is it possible to remain interested in the somewhat plodding description of how mankind slowly tries to save itself after a zombie apocalypse? The first book in the BLACK TIDE RISING series, Under a Graveyard Sky, had the novelty of describing how the world was falling apart and the small, at times very painful steps that were taken to keep some hope alive. The second book, To Sail a Darkling Sea,


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The Valley of Shadows: Doesn’t hold up to the rest of the series

The Valley of Shadows by John Ringo & Mike Massa

My experience with authors who write in another author’s world has been mixed. On the good side you have the work that Janny Wurts did with Raymond Feist in the EMPIRE CYCLE. On the less impressive side you have The Valley of Shadows (2018). This is the fifth installment in the BLACK TIDE RISING series and takes a tangential track describing what happens with Tom Smith, the corporate security guru,


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Next SFF Author: Rick Riordan
Previous SFF Author: Ransom Riggs

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