A Just Determination (#1)

This title was initially published under John Hemry.

Next: Burden of Proof

First in a “superior military SF” (Booklist) series that follows a young officer who must fight to see justice done.

Fresh from the Academy, Ensign Paul Sinclair has been assigned to the warship USS Michaelson, whose mission is to stop any foreign vessels from violating U.S. sovereign space.

When Captain Peter Wakeman mistakenly destroys a civilian science ship perceived as hostile, Sinclair must testify against Wakeman at a court-martial hearing. But Sinclair believes that the severity of the charges against the captain are unjust–and becomes a witness for the defense…


“Superior military SF […] The last third of the book recalls nothing so much as The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial in an SF setting, and it attains the same high level of achievement. Although Hemry probably has too much taste to launch a googolplexology from this book, if he were to do so, discerning readers might applaud.”


“Nicely set up and executed […] a[n] absorbing story.”

Science Fiction Chronicle

“A trim novel and a promising series start by an author who obviously knows what he’s writing about […] avoids the blood and thunder prevalent in the field. Hemry instead opts for courtroom tension and readable interaction between finely crafted characters. This series has promise to stand on its own among similar mature works, such as Poul Anderson’s Dominic Flandry books and the Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle Moteworld collaborations.”


“A very interesting story with believable characters and a strong moral. The details of military life and the justice system that are explained are fascinating, vital to the story, and smoothly integrated into it. It also lays the groundwork for a series which I am looking forward to reading. I recommend it heartily.”

NY Review of Science Fiction

“A strong space ship legal thriller that provides incredible insight into life on an outer space vessel, as if John G. Hemry served on one […] fans of tales focused on the relationships within a military science fiction will want to trek to the stars with Paul.”

Best Reviews (H. Klausner)

“Being an officer on a combatant vessel underway is exhausting, exasperating, and exhilarating, in other words […] fascinating and addictive. And that’s what Hemry has managed to capture. […] Young Paul Sinclair is exactly the kind of guy you want to serve with, and exactly the kind of reluctant hero that great series are made from.”


“For intelligent and well thought out sci-fi, you shouldn’t look any further the Jag in Space. Highly recommended.”


“Hemry gives sf its own JAG with this intelligent and engrossing legal drama […] one of the more worthwhile and provocative novels I’ve read in 2003. The climactic court-martial scene is something of a tour de force […] Hemry’s nuanced approach is praiseworthy, and I think Hemry’s future adventures of Paul Sinclair can only grow more rewarding.”

SF Reviews

“A remarkably impressive work of military science fiction. Hemry’s writing kept me deeply interested in the story at all times. I would never have expected a legalistic work of military science fiction to prove as exciting as A JUST DETERMINATION most definitely is. This is military science fiction at its best.”


“A gripping finale […] Hemry has managed again to provide the reader with an absorbing and intelligent science fiction drama.”

Fantasy Book Review

“Hemry explores gallantry, honor, duty, and patriotism—as well as their opposites—in a book where both the court scenes and the space-chase scenes are page turners.”

Steve Miller, co-author of the Liaden Universe novels

“A JUST DETERMINATION is the 'Caine Mutiny' of the Space Age. A page-turning Sci-Fi thriller that captures you at the beginning and shocks you at the surprise twist in the ending.”

Capt. David E. Meadows, USN, author of The 6th Fleet and Joint Task Force series

“Your book was crafted with care, love and precision. I had a hard time putting it down, and was sorry when it was over.”

Stephen L. Burns, award-winning author of Flesh and Silver

Awards & Accolades