I'm trying to remember the title of a book I read perhaps in 2010 or 2011. The book was a used paperback at the time, and might have been published in the naughts or the nineties. The cover of the copy I had showed some sort of slug creature that was very reminiscent of the Ohm from Nausicaä and the Valley of the Wind. It was a small, thick paperback like most other sci-fi shlock.

The book opened with two soldiers arguing about whether they were on a forest planet looking up at its forest moon, or on a forest moon looking up at its forest planet. An answer is given to them by a passing scientist. The general plot of the book, at least in the portion that I read, was the conflict between humans and a group of aliens that resembled robotic slugs, and maybe some insects or arachnids or something. The robotic slugs were prone to torturing captured humans and press-ganging them with mind-controlling chips, sort of like the Borg.

I'm sorry that this question is so vague, but I can't remember even the name of the main character. It's been bugging me (heh) for six or seven years now. Thank you in advance.

  • Can you remember any character names?
    – Edlothiad
    Jun 20, 2017 at 0:11
  • One female marine was called Yellow. The others had ordinary modern names.
    – V. Harlan
    Jun 20, 2017 at 0:14
  • Maybe have a look at this list? It's other Story-id questions we've had that have slugs in them. I only had a quick glance, but I don't think they were quite the same
    – Edlothiad
    Jun 20, 2017 at 0:15
  • Isn't any of those. I'm looking through lists of 1990's and 2000's science fiction, but it's all a shot in the dark
    – V. Harlan
    Jun 20, 2017 at 0:17
  • 1
    Could it be one of Neal Ashers Polity novel?goodreads.com/series/49128-polity-universe-chronological-order A major antagonist in them are the aliens called Prador who are giant bio mechanical crabs, that use 'coring' technology to convert human slaves into drones.
    – Sarriesfan
    Jun 21, 2017 at 7:47

2 Answers 2


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Star Corps by Ian Douglas (William Keith)

He hesitated, looking up at the vast and seething globe of Marduk. "Hey, Captain?"


"Some of the guys were having a friendly argument the other night. Is Ishtar a planet or a freakin' moon?"

Pearson chuckled. "Look it up on the local net."

"I did. Didn't understand that astrological crap."

"Astronomy, not astrology. And it's both. Marduk is a gas giant, a planet circling the Llalande sun. Ishtar is a moon of Marduk...but if it's planet-sized and has its own internally generated magnetic field and atmosphere and everything else, might as well call it a planet, right?"

  • That's the conversation alright. Thank you.
    – V. Harlan
    Jun 25, 2017 at 8:04

Could it be the Starfist series? I don't remember which one had the forest, but I have about ten of them. They are from the late ninetees (and early 2000s), they have marines fighting ugly aliens every time, and I vagely remember that scene with the forest (it's the type of humor typical for the series).
I am not going to re-read them all now to check, so here is a shot of the first one. It's not the right one, but maybe the series is correct:

enter image description here

enter image description here

If you want, I can upload a pic of all ten.

  • It seems that none of the books in the Starfist series are the one I'm looking for. At least not any of the ones with plot summaries on Wikipedia. Thanks anyway.
    – V. Harlan
    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:14
  • Can you expand on this, what points actually match the OP's requirements?
    – Möoz
    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:17

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