I read a paperback novel in 1999 when I was suffering from pneumonia. My mother had purchased it from a thrift store for me, so it could have been from the 70s or 80s.

In this story, a squad of space deployable infantry is trapped on a planet (I believe it was a transport crash landing - I do not recall if their ship was attacked or had mechanical failure) , and is being observed or hunted by a small group alien beings as well as fighting off the alien wildlife. This planet has jungle and river areas. I believe that the group of infantry were attempting to reach a rescue zone or pickup point, or some high ground for a transporter.

I distinctly remember the following points:

One of the infantrymen describes a squad machine gun, telling the reader that this particular model of machine gun is nicknamed "The Hose", similar to the way an M60 machine gun is nicknamed "The Pig".

The aliens observing the infantry may not be totally adversarial in nature. In the epilogue, I believe one of them is discussing the interactions and what they have learned about the humans in a positive way. The terms that humans "contingency planning", "emergency procedures", and "grid navigational system" are great achievements or positive attributes for a "potential alliance".

The planet may have been in a "restricted area" or "off-limits space".

A sequence described the navigational methods of mapping space (the three-dimensional grid system mentioned at least three times), and lightly described the method of FTL travel in this universe.

I've scoured the internet with a few key words, but the title of this book eludes me. It is not the StarFist series. The feeling I get is that this book was published in the 80s.

  • 4
    If it wasn't first published in 2001, I would swear that you were describing March Upcountry by David Weber & John Ringo.
    – Mike Scott
    Apr 6, 2016 at 18:40
  • That plot is remarkably similar, looks like a good read. Thanks for the suggestion!
    – PhasedOut
    Apr 6, 2016 at 18:55
  • 2
    Sounds like both books are based on Xenophon's Anabasis.
    – sjl
    Apr 7, 2016 at 6:14
  • My mom collected all the books in my old room at her house - unfortunately, this one was given away in a box of Robotech and Battletech novels.
    – PhasedOut
    Nov 14, 2016 at 13:58
  • 1
    Given that you've already ruled out multiple suggestions here, you might want to add to the question what it isn't.
    – Valorum
    Oct 10, 2018 at 19:31

1 Answer 1


It could be the Fifty Million Years War published in the 80's, authored by Kevin Randle and Robert Cornett:

  • The Seeds of War (1986)

    It was war. The enemy...Alien, unknown, incredibly distant. The troops...reluctant volunteers, young and afraid. The stars... their training ground, the school where each must learn the soldier's craft. The journeys end...a battle unimaginable, on a planet decades from home.

  • The Aldebaran Campaign (1988)

  • The Aquarian Attack (1989)

    Through twelve thousand light years, and eight and a half centuries, the Troops of Earth have pursued the faceless alien enemy. Now, one of the alien ships has crashed on the water world known as Planet Five. It lies in the ocean's depth, intact, an answer to centuries of questions. Major Tony Fetterman and Captain Lara Masterson have their orders: find the enemy vessel. But on Planet Five, the seas are hostile, alive with savage creatures. And it will take more than firepower to survive...The Aquarian Attack.

  • I've added some basic information to this but can you edit in why you believe this is correct and how it matches the OP's description?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Oct 15, 2018 at 9:42
  • Hey Lethal Carrot thanks for the info. Been a long time since I've read them. Oct 15, 2018 at 11:47
  • @TheLethalCarrot - thanks for the info - I looked up as much info I could find on these books and just bought the series on Ebay. Once I get them, I will quickly be able to find out if these are the ones!
    – PhasedOut
    Oct 23, 2018 at 15:38

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