I read this post about the Ringworld series, but am curious about the main influences. I just started reading the Forever War and am reminded a lot about Halo; also, I read once that Starship Troopers was a big influence. Did either of these influence the original Halo plot? What were the main influences?

  • I'm giving this a +1 to offset the -1; it seems reasonably well-scoped and conforms sufficiently with the most recent decision I can find about "influence" questions, here: meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/1950/…
    – user8719
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 18:16
  • @JimmyShelter So a list of stories about the end of humanity is a no-no, but a list of stories with similarities to "Halo" is a yes-yes? I'm never going to understand the Rule Against List Questions.
    – user14111
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 19:23
  • 2
    @user14111 - I would guess because of the scope of the answer. Halo influence is going to be arguably a small group. The "end of world" is going to invite extended discussion and argument about "What about book X", and "Why not book Y", where you would have people arguing about the intent and scope of a massive amount of literature.
    – JohnP
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 19:38
  • @JohnP has it right; this question has established that by having a definitive and authorative answer, the end-of-world question is open-ended (also note that this question was not "similarities" to Halo but was explicitly influences on Halo).
    – user8719
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 19:59

2 Answers 2


According to the wiki entry for Halo:

  1. Ringworld (Niven) and the Culture Series (Iain Banks, particularly Consider Phlebias and Excession) gave rise to the ringworld concept
  2. Armor (John Steakley) - Sense of hopelessness by fighting the same war again and again
  3. The Vang (Christopher Rowley) - The engulfing alien incursion, basis for The Flood. (Possibly also influenced the name of the Master Chief)
  4. Speculation that the SPARTAN program and design of the Covenant drones was influenced by Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
  5. Bungie has acknowledged the film Aliens (James Cameron) as a cinematic influence

Also, a report by Roger Travis published in The Escapist compares the Halo series with the Latin epic Aenid by Virgil.


Biggest inspiration StarShip Troopers: - Powered armor - A global governing body bordering on fascism (Colonial insurrection) - A vast military with no enemy to fight until the arrival of the Bugs/Covenant - Both Halo and SS had a soldier named Jenkins - The Bugs and the Flood

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