Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Just thought I'd drop a new thread in this dark and desolate corner of SSC in order to recommend a series of novels I'm really enjoying 🙂
The Legend of the Galactic Heroes series is translated from a bunch of novels written in Japan in, I believe, the 1980s. I just picked up the first one in a bookshop because I liked the cover and because the binding and paper was aesthetically pleasing to hold and leaf through - you'll see what I mean if you find the same editions!
The genre is what I would loosely describe as military/political dynastic sci-fi. The books focus on the intrigues and wars between two great galactic superpowers, the Empire (think Austro-Hungarian Empire) and the Free Planets Alliance (think Asimov Foundation), and resolves around the exploits of the greatest generals on each side. The focus is really on the personalities of the key figures on each side and on the politics and military tactics, rather than on tech or scene-setting, but it still works really well.
Even in translation, the writing is clever, the plots and politics well-described, and the characters very believable - I'm on the second book now and thoroughly enjoying it. I love this kind of Traveller-style sci-fi, and I love it even more when (as in this case) there are no aliens at all!
Anyway, if you pick these up - enjoy!
You look good through a crosshair.