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Quoted in Other Men's Flowers
by Field Marshall Earl A.P. Wavell

On Warriors and Warrior Scientists 

My "day job" is to be on the road, almost 300 days a year, training soldiers (the Green Berets, the Rangers, the USMC, etc.) and cops (the FBI, the ATF, the CHP, the RCMP, etc.) about the psychology and physiology of combat. It's a great job. I teach them and then they teach me, in an endless, ever refining feedback loop. I can never thank them enough for putting it on the line for us, every day, and for sharing their experiences with me. You can get a better feel for what I do, and take a look at some of my scholarly writings on these topics, on my web site:, or my books, On Killing and On Combat. 

I need to thank my fellow "warrior scientists." The concept of science fiction has usually involved the integration of science, or projected science, into fiction. This is the first book to integrate the new field of "warrior science" into fiction. The characters in my book cite real "twenty-first century" researchers such as Alexis Artwohl, coauthor of Deadly Force Encounters, and Bruce Siddle, the man who coined the term "warrior science" and the author of Sharpening the Warrior's Edge. I sincerely believe that hundreds of years from now these pioneer friends of mine will be remembered and cited.

The combat experiences of my characters are based upon the latest research, on what I'm teaching, and on what those who have been there have taught me. Any errors are my own!

On Poetry and Science Fiction 

If not otherwise indicated, the titles and authors of the poetry used throughout the book are listed at the end. Lord Wavell and his book, Other Men's Flowers, deserve special mention. Wavell was the commander of the British Empire's armed forces in World War II. After the war he put all the poems that he had committed to memory (that's right, to memory) in a book. Wavell, perhaps the last of the great "warrior poets," is one of the models for my hero, Lieutenant Melville.

I've tried to craft a world in which deep respect, even veneration for poetry could exist, but in reality there's no need to make up such a world. Throughout history, from Homer through Lord Wavell, warriors existed in that world. In an environment such as two-space, where technology can't exist, the power of well crafted words would again be the key to men's hearts. The leader who masters such words would have a powerful edge in mastering his men.

I also wanted to construct a world in which science fiction would be the primary literature to survive from our era. The creators of SF are "pure poetry" to my soul, giants on whose shoulders I stand.

On Poets 

But most of all I thank the poets who have gone before me. The poets of words and the poets of bullets, blows and swords. They wrote down their poems, or their narratives of combat, or they allowed me to interview them. They made it possible for me (as Lord Wavell puts it, quoting Montaigne) to build a garden "of other men's flowers."

When you read these poems, I encourage you to read them aloud. Or, if you're in a public place, at least mumble them quietly! For poetry was meant to be spoken, not read, and you lose half the joy if you don't let these words, these ancient, powerful words, roll off your tongue and o'er your lips.

Hopefully the words in between the poetry will give you some small measure of pleasure as well.

And Finally 

To Leo Frankowski, a great partner and true gentleman, friend, and scholar of the old school. To our publisher, Jim Baen, who has proven himself to be a good friend and a man of vision. To my faithful and true friends and proofreaders: Rocky Warren, Steel Parsons, John Lang, Elantu, CC, and many others.

Most of all, to my princess and favorite proofreader, my Jeanne. In Beethoven's words, "From the heart it has come, to the heart it shall go."


Dave Grossman

The Crew
of Her Majesty, the Queen of Westerness'
24-Pounder Frigate, Fang 

Lt. Thomas Melville, Captain
McAndrews, his steward
Ulrich, his coxswain, "cox'in"
Archibald Hargis, his clerk
Lt. Daniel Fielder, First Officer
Lady Elphinstone, Ship's surgeon, a Sylvan
Mrs. Vodi, her "lob-lolly girl"
Pete Etzen, a corpsman (medic), "Doc"
Thadeaus Brun, a corpsman (medic), "Doc"
Brother Theo Petreckski, Ship's purser, a monk
Mr. Caleb Tibbits, Ship's carpenter, "Chips"
Mr. Darren Barlet, Ship's master gunner, "Guns"
Sgt. Don Von Rito, Ship's gunnery sergeant, "Gunny"
Chief Petty Officer Bronson Hans, "Chief." Later "Mr."
and Ship's sailing master


Sgt. Broadax, a Dwarrowdelf. Later "Lt."
Cpl. Kobbsven
Private Harold Jarvis


Josiah Westminster
Aubrey Valandil, a Sylvan


Jarad Crater. Later "Lt."
Buckley Archer. Later "Lt."
Garth Aquinar
Faisal, Chang, Hezikiah Jubal, Lao Tung, Kande Ngobe, and Ellis Palmer

Ship's Dogs

Ship's Cats

The Monkeys

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