Planetside (#1)

Next: Spaceside

A seasoned military officer uncovers a deadly conspiracy on a distant, war-torn planet…

War heroes aren’t usually called out of semi-retirement and sent to the far reaches of the galaxy for a routine investigation. So when Colonel Carl Butler answers the call from an old and powerful friend, he knows it’s something big—and he’s not being told the whole story. A high councilor’s son has gone MIA out of Cappa Base, the space station orbiting a battle-ravaged planet. The young lieutenant had been wounded and evacuated—but there’s no record of him having ever arrived at hospital command.

The colonel quickly finds Cappa Base to be a labyrinth of dead ends and sabotage: the hospital commander stonewalls him, the Special Ops leader won’t come off the planet, witnesses go missing, radar data disappears, and that’s before he encounters the alien enemy. Butler has no choice but to drop down onto a hostile planet—because someone is using the war zone as a cover. The answers are there—Butler just has to make it back alive…


“PLANETSIDE is Michael Mammay’s debut novel, and it’s one of the best bits of mil-sf I’ve read, and more than that […] [It] is a compelling novel about war that speaks in authoritative tones and should be on the reading list of more than just fans of grunts and guns, though it’s got plenty for them, too.”


“Mammay capably writes Butler’s gritty, old-school soldier’s voice, and the story delivers […] intrigue and action for fans of military SF.”

Publishers Weekly

“It’s clear Mammay is a seasoned veteran who draws extensively on his own military experience to craft both his dialogue and worldbuilding […] This leads to a believable setting filled with natural characters that never feel like caricatures or one-dimensional tropes. The action is fast and fluid, and does a great job at conveying the chaos of violent encounters while still being easy to follow. I also felt the suspense portion of the book was decently crafted—there are enough breadcrumbs to figure out “whodunnit” before the actual reveal, but not so many that it feels transparent.”


“PLANETSIDE, the debut novel by Michael Mammay, is an easy book to love […] For those who already love this genre, the portrayals of honor, teamwork, and devotion to duty will resonate. The author is a retired Army officer, after all […] PLANETSIDE is a page-turner and an extremely satisfying read. ”

Washington Independent Review of Books

“PLANETSIDE comes into its own during skirmishes and chases and Mammay’s writing is crisp and moves well. It’s a picture he obviously feels confident painting. If you’re a fan of military science fiction, this one won’t let you down.”

Scientific Inquirer

“It’s a highly impressive first novel that left a real impact.”


"PLANETSIDE is, at its heart, nestled within a framework of military science fiction, a multi-layer and very cleverly written mystery."

Book Blurb

“The first thing you realise when you start this book is that it’s the work of someone who knows what they’re talking about. Mammay is a retired war veteran and has a masters degree in military history. It shows. PLANETSIDE is high stakes military sci-fi at its very best…I can’t wait for what comes next from this great new author.”

Gallifreyan Buccaneer

“A good read and a great writing voice for this first time author.”

“PLANETSIDE is […] a damn good page turner […] that leaves you with plenty to digest when you put it down.”

1000 Year Plan

“If you enjoy military sci-fi with grit, dramatic and explosive gun fights, and plenty of mystery wrapping, give PLANETSIDE a go.”


“A riveting listen from start to finish! […] This new sci-fi offers the perfect blend of science fiction, mystery, military strategy, humor, and momentum. R.C. Bray is the perfect narrator for Carl Butler, as his gruff voice fits the shrewd, matter-of-fact Colonel to perfection. He BECOMES the character, making it seem as though Butler is recounting the story himself. Bray’s impeccable timing and cadence will keep listeners hanging onto his every word. While he builds intensity as the mystery unfolds, his sharp delivery may even startle listeners into a few laughs. It’s a good thing audiobooks are great for multitasking because with PLANETSIDE listeners won’t want to put down their earbuds!”


“If Cold Welcome and Old Man’s War had a love child you might get something like PLANETSIDE. And it would be, and is, pretty damn awesome. I would say it’s awesome for a debut novel, but that isn’t nearly praise enough. It’s just plain awesome. Period. Exclamation point…I have extremely high hopes for more from this author. Soon, please! I already know that PLANETSIDE will be on my Hugo Ballot next year.”

Reading Reality, 5 out of 5 stars!

“PLANETSIDE is a rollercoaster ride of action, adventure, and conspiracy.”

Audio Book Reviewer

“PLANETSIDE is an excellent novel […] Michael Mammay is able to combine writing skill with military experience to come out with a book that I’m almost certainly going to be reading again.”

Terminus Coffee Shop

“A tough, authentic-feeling story that starts out fast and accelerates from there.”

Jack Campbell, The New York Times bestselling author of Ascendant

“Not just for military SF fans—although military SF fans will love it—PLANETSIDE is an amazing debut novel, and I’m looking forward to what Mammay writes next.”

Tanya Huff, author of the Confederation and Peacekeeper series

“PLANETSIDE is a smart and fast-paced blend of mystery and boots-in-the-dirt military SF that reads like a high-speed collision between Courage Under Fire and Heart of Darkness.”

Marko Kloos, bestselling author of the Frontline series

“Definitely the best military sci-fi debut I’ve come across in a while.”

Gavin Smith, author of Bastard Legion and Age of Scorpio