7.8/101 Votes Alchetron
Country United States
Media type Print (Paperback)
Followed by Cross the Stars
Cover artist Paul Alexander
Publication date 1979
Originally published 1979
Genre Military science fiction
Publisher Ace Books
|Pages 273 pp (Paperback edition)|
Similar David Drake books, Hammer's Slammers books, Military science fiction books
Hammer's Slammers is a 1979 collection of military science fiction short stories by author David Drake. It follows the career of a future mercenary tank regiment called Hammer's Slammers, after their leader, Colonel Alois Hammer. This collection, and other novels and stories in the same setting, are collectively called the Hammer stories, and the setting is called the Slammers universe or the Hammerverse.
Each of the stories in the novel follows various members of Hammer's Regiment in one campaign, starting with how and why the government of Friesland raised the outfit as an auxiliary regiment to put down a revolt on a Friesland colony planet named Melpomene, in which Colonel Hammer is the focal character, and who changes the outfit from a Friesland regiment to an independent mercenary organization. The reader is also introduced to recurring characters like Joachim Steuben, a gay sociopath and master marksman devoted to his colonel; Sergeant (later Major) Danny Prichard; recruit (later Sergeant-Commander) Rob Jenne; Margritte DiManzio, whose husband is killed by mercenaries from a different regiment and signs on with the Slammers; and Sergeant "Ripper Jack" Scratchard, who shows how the Slammers infantry ties in with the Regiment's combat cars and hovertanks. The book concludes with the story "Standing Down," in which Friesland revolutionaries hire the Slammers to overthrow the government of Friedland. Colonel Hammer takes over the revolution and the planet, becomes President of Friedland, and Hammer's Regiment becomes the 1st Regiment of the Friesland Defense Force.
Drake based the Hammer's Slammers on his service with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam and Cambodia in 1970, however Drake also borrows plots from historical or mythological sources for many of the Hammer's Slammers stories as with his other work. For example, he retells the story of Jason and the Argonauts in The Voyage, and part of the Odyssey in Cross the Stars. Other stories borrow from pulp-era fiction (The Sharp End is based on Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest).