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February 2nd, 2005, 03:51 PM
Hi there,

Another newbie, and one who saw a earlier thread about a long-lost old SF book that the poster was desperately trying to remember the title of....and thought "that's me too!"

This is probably going to sound v vague but here goes with what I can remember, any suggestions or even nudges in the right direction extremely welcome!

Read a series of books about 10-15 years ago, think it was probably a trilogy but there could have been more. The basic plot of the story was how an alien ship came to Earth and made first contact with one of us (in this case it was an American, and think it was when he was on holiday on a beach - amazing the little snippets that you seem to remember ;) ). The man involved (the hero of the first book) thought he was honoured to be chosen, but it turned out to be slightly different...

These Aliens were involved in a war but they were completely pacifistic and would never show aggression of any kind. Turned out Humans were to be recruited to be the soldiers, the shock troops, due to our extreme aggression. The same thread/storyline ran throughout the books and Humans usually saved the day, although we were hated by all our Alien allies because of our barbaric nature. One thing I do remember is that even when we smiled most Aliens were scared - as we usually showed our teeth and this was considered 'taboo' and very threatening.

Anyway, does it ring any bells for anyone?

February 3rd, 2005, 10:34 AM
Although I haven't read any of them, that sounds vaguely like Jerry Pournelle's "Janissaries."

February 3rd, 2005, 10:35 AM
Now that I've read your description closer, it's definitely not "Janissaries."

February 4th, 2005, 11:17 AM
Thanks but, yes, it wasn't Janissaries.

Have just done a search on (boo-hiss!) another website using plot details and......result! It was A Call to Arms by Alan Dean Foster - so just off now to order the series from Amazon :)