Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

Armor old cover Armor (1984)
military SF sub-genre book

DAW paperback
cover art by James Gurney (left)

DAW paperback - 426 pages
cover art by Jim Burns (right)
Armor new cover

From the back cover of the new paperback:
       Universal Soldier.
       The planet is called Banshee.  The air is unbreathable, the water poisonous.  It is the home of the most implacable enemies that humanity, in all its interstellar expansion, has ever encountered.
       Body armor has been devised for the commando forces that are to be dropped on Banshee -- the culmination of ten thousand years of the armorers' craft.  A trooper in this armor is a one-man, atomic-powered battle fortress -- but he will have to fight a nearly endless horde of berserk, hard-shelled monsters -- the fighting arm of a species which uses biological technology to design perfect, mindless, war minions.
       Felix is a scout in A-team Two.  Highly competent, he is the sole survivor of mission after mission.  Yet he is a man consumed by fear and hatred.  And he is protected, not only by his custom-fitted body armor, but by an odd being which seems to live within him, a cold killing machine he calls "The Engine."
       This is Felix's story -- a story of the horror, the courage, and the aftermath of combat, and the story, too, of how strength of spirit can be the greatest armor of all.

Read for group discussion on February 25, 1998

Amy's Summary : Armor - John Steakley

       Felix is dropped multiple times on the poisonous planet of Banshee to combat the huge aliens called "ants".  His black custom-fitted scout suit gives him superhuman strength, but the ants attack in overwhelming numbers.  Felix retreats within himself to survive.  A few years later on another planet, scientist Holly Ware, tough guy Jack Crow, and research station administrator Lya, replay the events recorded by Felix's suit and are deeply affected by his ordeal.
       This book owes much to Robert A. Heinlein's classic book Starship Troopers (1959).
       If you liked the battle scenes in the movie Starship Troopers (1997) you would probably like reading Armor.

summary written by

How we each rated this book
Dan 8 Amy 4 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri 5 Barb 0
Aaron 6 Cynthia 3
Lars - Jackie 6
Richard 6

John Steakley (1951-     ) Is a US writer. 

As well as Armor (1984), he has written Vampire$ (1990) which features a high-tech team of vampire hunters, which was made into a movie in 1998 starring James Woods.

John Steakley - Wikipedia
The Official Unofficial John Steakley Site
John Steakley - Armor
Steven Wu's Book Reviews Armor (John Steakley) John Steakley

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