All the science fiction and fantasy books that you should check out this month

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I studied military history in grad school, and in the years since, I’ve been keenly aware of how warfare is imagined in science fiction and fantasy. There are some books, like Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, that have some pretty good portrayals that go beyond just arming characters with guns and pointing them toward the nearest hostile aliens.

As such, I’ve been reading R.F. Kuang’s debut novel The Poppy War (which came out in May), with interest. The basic premise of the book can be described as a sort of Ender’s Game or Harry Potter meets Sun Tzu, at least to begin with. In it, a war orphan named Rin is sent off to a prestigious military academy, and later serves in a specialized unit as her…

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