I think this scene was from a military sf or fantasy book, but I can't place it.

Commander: Well, you've seen what they did to [men's names]. How many of you want a chance to get back at the sons of bitches who did that?

[several volunteers jump forward]

Commander: Okay, you men turn in your weapons and get back inside. Anyone else who feels the way they do can stay behind too. We are not organising a vengeance party, this is about delivering justice.

  • The scene does not ring a bell, but I'm keeping an eye on the Q because it sounds like the kind of book I'd read ;)
    – drxzcl
    Commented Sep 4, 2011 at 13:30
  • i'm leaning towards andre norton's "star soldiers"; if no one comes up with anything i'll dig up my copy and reread it. it's very well worth reading anyway :) Commented Sep 4, 2011 at 17:53
  • @Martin: I seem to remember that scene, but I haven't read Norton. Could that be Heinlein? Maybe Starship Troopers? What else have I read recently? <walks_to_shelf/> Lots of stuff by Alistair Reynolds, some Niven. Does that ring a bell for anyone?
    – sbi
    Commented Sep 4, 2011 at 21:11
  • Definitely not Starship Troopers. It sounds like something Lois McMaster Bujold might write, maybe.
    – Tom Zych
    Commented Sep 5, 2011 at 6:22
  • might be heinlein, but if so, one of the juveniles - those are the only ones i've read recently. definitely not niven, and i haven't read any reynolds, so not that either. another possibility is somewhere in the "song of ice and fire" books, since i reread those this year, but though it sounds like it would fit in there i can't think of a specific scene where it could have played out. Commented Sep 6, 2011 at 5:32

1 Answer 1


It's Heinlein, "The Roads Must Roll" (I read it about 25 years ago and that scene stuck in my head too).

"You saw Hughes brought in-how many of you want a chance to kill the louse that did it?" Three of the cadets reacted almost at once, breaking ranks and striding forward. Gaines looked at them coldly. "Very well. You three turn in your weapons, and return to your quarters. Any of the rest of you that think this is a matter of private revenge, or, a hunting party, may join them."


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.