Marko Kloos, the undisputed king of military science fiction

I first heard about Marko Kloos when his novel Lines of Departure was nominated for a Hugo award in 2015. For whatever reason, his book was included on a slate of titles put together by the right-leaning group of fans who called themselves the Sad Puppies. Their goal was to take over Worldcon, the organization whose members vote on the Hugo Awards and elect their hand-picked slate of recipients.

When Marko Kloos found out how he ended up as a finalist for Best Novel, he asked the Worldcon organizers to remove him and his novel from contention. He didn’t want anything to do with the so-called Sad Puppies or their agenda.

I didn’t know anything about Marko Kloos, but I immediately liked the cut of his jib. I immediately bought Terms of Enlistment, the first book in the Frontlines series and I was hooked. When I finished reading that, I moved on to Lines of Departure. Since then I’ve purchased every other book in the series as soon as it’s published.

Marko Kloos writes the best military science fiction I’ve ever read. Yes, I’ve read Robert A. Heinlein, Joe Haldeman, and John Scalzi. Marko Kloos is the better writer of military science fiction. Don’t believe me? Read Terms of Enlistment and then the other books in the Frontlines series.

I’m currently reading or more accurately, thanks to my Audible membership, listening to Points of Impact. I’ve been taking my time with the book. I read on Marko’s blog that his next book will take place outside the Frontlines universe. That means it may be a while before I get to read the sequel to Points of Impact.

Marko Kloos, the undisputed king of military science fiction.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out what a cool guy Marko Kloos is. He was born and raised in Germany and even served in the West German military. He now lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two kids. He writes his books in English, not his native German. Just thinking about that makes me feel puny and insignificant. I speak only one language and at times do so quite poorly.


Audible’s monthly subscription price is stupid

Audible is a company under Amazon that produces and sells spoken-word entertainment, specifically, unabridged audio versions of books. Why read a book when you can listen to a book?

This method of reading comes in handy when you’re driving somewhere or doing some type of manual labor. I also like to listen to a good book while going to sleep. I put my earbuds in and set the sleep timer to 30 minutes. The following day, I go back to my audio book and rewind it back 25 minutes or so to find the exact spot I left off.

I’ve tried setting the timer to a shorter timeframe, but I’m almost always still awake when the book shuts off. There’s just something special about the 30-minute sleep setting. It puts me out like an injection of Propofol.

The problem with Audible is the pricing. You’re expected to keep up a monthly subscription that provides one credit a month. Each book you buy costs one credit. A monthly subscription costs $14.95. That means every book you buy through Audible is $14.95.

I canceled my Audible membership a few months ago. When I originally joined Audible, I received three credits. This allowed me to add a number of books. I needed time to catch up and listen to all the books I acquired.

I still have a few books I haven’t listened to. The problem is Fields of Fire, the fifth book in the military science fiction Frontlines series by Marko Kloos just came out. I love this series. If I wanted to buy the audio version of the book without any Audible credits, it was going to cost $10.49. If I wanted to renew my Audible subscription, it was going to cost $14.95, the price of one audible credit.

Why would anyone choose to renew their Audible subscription over just buying the audio book?

It gets worse. If I buy the Kindle version of the book, it’s only $4.99. If I do that, I can add the Audible version for only $3.99 extra. For less than nine bucks, I would get the Kindle version and the Audible version. Plus, the two formats would sync with each other. I could read the Kindle version on my iPad and then later switch to the Audible version. It would auto sync to where I left off on my iPad.

So that’s what I did, I purchased the Kindle version with the Audible version add-on. Why would anyone do anything different? With the current pricing system, I don’t see myself ever renewing my monthly subscription with Audible. Even though my subscription has lapsed, I still have full access to the app and the books I’ve acquired. I can even add audio books I get through other means to the Audible app.

Amazon should lower the price of an Audible subscription. The current price makes no sense.