They are very vulnerable to physical damage but are going to fight a war with humans. An organization something like "star watchmen" try to make war look so bad that no one will fight one. The man selected to train the humans thinks war would be glamorous and really tries to train the humans. I think he finds out war is not glamorous after all.

  • When was this written, approximately? What language was it in? Can you describe any additional plot points? Please try to provide some more detail, otherwise I'm afraid this question is likely to be put on hold.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 22:50
  • Movie, TV show, novel, short story, comic book? Does "fight a war with humans" mean "fight alongside humans, as allies" or "fight against humans"?
    – user14111
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 22:54
  • Star Watchman by Ben Bova?
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 23:30
  • No it's not Star Watchmen (good book though!) I think I remember reading it in the 1980s. Since my question was written in English you could probably correctly assume that I read books in English also.
    – Dennis
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 2:08
  • It was either a novel or novella. Fight a war against humans. About the only other thing I can remember is a part where the main character is showing the men he was training how camouflage works.Some of them are standing in front of the troops and everyone is laughing at the rags and bushes they are wearing. The troops all stop laughing when they move into the forest and seem to almost disappear.
    – Dennis
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 2:16

1 Answer 1


I think this might be "Occupation Warrior" by James White, originally part of the Sector General series (later expunged for being too grim and violent).

The story features an alien race called Keligans who are a cylindrical species that resemble large caterpillers that are very vulnerable to damage. They are fighting in a war with humans in a controlled manner. There is reference to a multi-species police like group known as the Monitor Corps. I don't remember the story exactly myself, but I do remember that there is some mention of how war is not glamorous from the point of view of the human character Dermod.

  • That's what occurred to me too. If the story had 4 character species classifications (I think humans were probably DBDG) then it's almost certainly one of James white's Sector General series (Based around a multi-species hospital, though some stories happen away from it). There's also another story in the same series where a human only empire ends up attacking the hospital (since it's the only contact point they have the coordinates for) which probably also has Kelgians in it, though "Occupation Warrior" sounds like a better fit.
    – JerryTheC
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 18:44
  • That's it!! Occupation Warrior was the one I was trying to remember. Thanks a heap!
    – Dennis
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 21:22

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