Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The General series
The General (also known as the Raj Whitehall series after the lead character) is a set of military science fiction books written by S.M. Stirling from an outline by David Drake. Clearly inspired by the Byzantine commander Belisarius, the series shares numerous common elements with the Belisarius series by Drake and Eric Flint.
Centering on Raj Ammenda Halgern da Luis Whitehall
The first two books were also published as an omnibus Warlord (2003), with the next three in another as Conqueror (2003).
The books are set on the planet Bellevue. Previously part of a high-technology galactic civilization, the planet has collapsed, including extensive fusion bomb destruction. Technology has redeveloped slowly. The concept of technology has become the basis for a schismatic religion, the Holy Federation with priestly Hierarchs, Sysups and so on, an inquisition called Anti-Viral Cleansers. The people speak various mangled tongues, including Sponglish and Spanjol, with elements of English, French and Spanish apparent. Actual technology has reached the level of double-expansion steam engines, wrapped brass-cartridge breach-loaders (Martini lock) or lever-action carbines, cast-steel breech-loading cannon, simple revolvers, etc. In a curious incident the planet has no horses, cavalry is mounted on 1000-lb dogs of various breeds.
The books begin in the Year of the Fall 1103, Whitehall accidently stumbles across a working remnant of the old technology, "Center", which he assumes is an avatar and is a "sentient artificial entity of photonic subsystems tasked with the politico-military supervision". Center commands Whitehall with uniting Bellevue and provides him with a constant mental link, strategy assessments and simulations, historical data, and a number of other handy features as aid.
True to their historical model the books focus on the convoluted "strategic offensive, tactical defensive" campaigns of General Whitehall around the Midworld Sea and his fraught relation with his paranoid 'emperor' - Governor Barholm Clerett - and the avaricious Chancellor Tzetzas. Whitehall's nation is called the Civil Government, amongst his opponents are the Colonists, the Brigade, and the Squadron.
- Raj Whitehall Universe listing at SciFan
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