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A Just Determination [Anglais] [Poche]

John G. Hemry
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

29 avril 2003

Fresh from the Academy, Ensign Paul Sinclair has been assigned to the warship USS Michaelson/I>, 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...

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Détails sur le produit

  • Poche: 272 pages
  • Editeur : Ace (29 avril 2003)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0441010520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441010523
  • Dimensions du produit: 17 x 10,4 x 2,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 105.245 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Dans ce livre (En savoir plus)
Première phrase
FOR perhaps the thousandth time since receiving them, Paul Sinclair reread his orders. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Un bon début... 7 mars 2011
Par Jean-loup Sabatier TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS
Il s'agit du tome 1 de la série surnommée "JAG in space" aux US. Le principe est effectivement similaire avec la série à succès, à deux ou trois détails près: le roman ne met pas en scène un JAG (Judge Advocate General) mais raconte les aventures d'un jeune officier qui fait fonction (entre autres choses) de Legal Officer (Officier Juridique?) à bord d'un croiseur spatial patrouillant en espace profond pour faire valoir les revendications des US sur un bout d'espace, du fait du droit international qui impose la présence de forces armées pour faire valoir ces revendications. La vie de notre jeune Officier commencera à être compliquée par divers petits incidents judiciaires, des punitions, des problèmes parfois embêtants, qui lui imposent de prendre de plus en plus de son temps sur des questions légales, mais qui sortent à peine de la routine.

Mais le capitaine va mettre les pieds dans le plat sans hésiter: à la première occasion, il toutes les mauvaises décision, couronnées par une décision sommaire et une action "cow-boy". À partir de là, les VRAIS problèmes vont commencer pour notre conseiller juridique, l'imbroglio légal exacerbé par la politique internationale, la diplomatie et les lobbies. Bien sûr ça n'est pas à lui, jeune officier de trier ce sac de noeud. Il aurait pu faire un pas de côté et regarder le spectacle de loin, mais ça n'est pas son genre...

Ça se passe dans guère plus d'un siècle. La technologie est très hard-science, les détails techniques crédibles, les détails scientifiques aussi...
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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  24 commentaires
24 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Heinlein would have enjoyed this 6 septembre 2004
Par John S. Ryan - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book and its sequel (_Burden of Proof_) are the two very best military-SF legal dramas I've ever read.

In fact they're the _only_ military-SF legal dramas I've ever read. Oh, I'm not quite saying John G. Hemry personally invented the genre; at the very least there were a few episodes of the original _Star Trek_ series that attempted it, with varying degrees of success. But if there are other examples out there in The Literature, I haven't read them. Hemry is doing something pretty new here.

And he's doing it mighty well. Both these books are very fine novels in each respect: military, SF, and legal.

I can't speak directly to the 'military' aspect, but I gather Hemry is himself retired from the US Navy and knows what he's talking about. The portrait of shipboard life is also very realistic, I hear, except for one thing: the near-total lack of rough language may well leave you wondering where the expression 'cuss like a sailor' ever came from. Not that you expect naval officers to go around saying 'Request f***ing permission to come the f*** aboard' or anything, but I think I counted two hells, one pi$$ed off, and maybe a couple of stray damns. (I'm not saying this is bad, mind you, just letting you know that Hemry has toned that aspect down, probably in order to keep things suitable for younger readers.) Oh, and the Space Navy is coed.

The SF is mostly in the background, but if you know anything about physics, you'll recognize that Hemry does too; it's buried in the details and sometimes between the lines, but he's done his homework.

(After reading the book, I turned up some online comments suggesting that it might not qualify as 'real' SF because it could have been set without loss in today's navy as a straightforward, non-SF legal thriller. I don't think that's true; not only is there a lot of stuff here about spaceship design and operation, but the single most important 'background' legal question -- how is it possible for the United States to lay territorial claim to a volume of vacuum the boundaries of which are defined in part by moving planets? -- is one that can arise _only_ in space, and the fact that it hasn't yet been answered underlies a key plot point involving some vaguely worded orders. No, this legal question isn't brought out very clearly or very often in the story itself, because it's something of a side issue with respect to the main plot. But it's there, and the book couldn't happen without it.)

The legal stuff is both realistic and gripping -- and as far as I can tell (I didn't specifically study military law in law school) accurate as well. Hemry can write courtroom scenes like nobody's business.

The tale is well-crafted too. The narrative style is utterly transparent, as well-engineered expository prose should be. There are no stylistic flourishes here to call attention to the author; there's a story to be told, and the narrative tells it very straightforwardly and economically, making sure the reader never gets left behind or confused _and_ that things never drag. For obvious reasons, this approach is well suited to the subject matter.

That subject matter is the experience of Ensign Paul Sinclair in the US Navy in 2099 -- space navy, that is, but the same branch of the service as today's wet navy, and up to its ears in the same unaltered traditions. The first hundred or so pages introduce us to Sinclair and let us watch him settling in to life aboard the USS _Michaelson_. After that, when his captain does something mind-bendingly stupid but apparently within the scope of his special orders, Sinclair finds he has a tough personal decision to make.

I'm not going to tell you any more than that, and I strongly advise (if it's not too late) that you avoid reading the cover blurb and the summaries elsewhere on this page. With _both_ of these books, Ace has for some reason written blurbs that give away things that happen over a hundred pages into the action. I strongly disapprove and wish _I_ hadn't read those blurbs.

Great stuff, anyway, and some of the very best recent SF I've had the pleasure to read. Hemry seems to be aiming these tales at 'young adults' but they're suitable for us older adults too: there's a lot of depth in his explorations of the various sorts of duty (moral, ethical, legal, professional) and the dilemmas to which they give rise, and (as in real life) he's not afraid to leave some matters ambiguous and/or unresolved.

There's supposed to be a third Paul Sinclair book coming out in March 2005; I'll be watching for it (and I hope Sinclair changes his mind and decides to become a lawyer). Hemry is also the author of the _Stark's War_ series, which I guess now I'll have to read.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A deeply impressive novel of military science fiction 9 juin 2003
Par Daniel Jolley - Publié sur Amazon.com
John G. Hemry's A Just Determination is a remarkably impressive work of military science fiction. The critical action upon which the story hinges is actually rather brief, with the second half of the novel basically taking the form of a legalistic presentation of facts, charges, and adjudications. A book of this kind could easily be dry, analytical, and far from engaging, yet Hemry's writing kept me deeply interested in the story at all times. A large part of his success can be traced to his powerful character development skills as a writer. As the futuristic novel opens, Ensign Paul Sinclair, fresh out of the naval academy, embarks on the USS Michaelson for his first real tour of space duty. We see the ship through his eyes, and Sinclair's impressions and observations of ship dimensions, claustrophobic compactness, and cramped living conditions really make the Michaelson come vividly alive in the reader's own mind. Hemry then paints amazingly lifelike portraits of the many important players in this legalistic thriller, men and women whose discrepancies in terms of my expectations of their actions helped me reach a better understanding of these fascinating individuals; if anything, they are too human. Ensign Sinclair, for his part, is a sympathetic and remarkably likable character, making his share of mistakes as he attempts to juggle the demanding half-dozen important assignments he is given on board ship. The fact that his character rings so true to this reader made his ultimate decisions all the more meaningful and honorable. His shipmates seem every bit as real as he does: the irascible captain whom no one really respects or likes; the inscrutable Executive Officer whose commitment to the U.S. Navy determines everything she says and does; the officer who spends most of her time trying to avoid responsibility in spite of her obvious skills; the sympathetic mid-level officers who lend support to the new guy; the fellow officer who will say anything about his cohorts in an effort to make himself look good; etc.
We spend the first half of the novel learning the ropes alongside Ensign Sinclair as the Michaelson heads out to patrol a region of space. Several months into its mission, the ship detects another craft illegally in its zone. After several weeks of pursuit, events take place very quickly once the paths of both vessels finally converge outside of the Michaelson's proscribed zone. The captain ends up giving the order to fire upon the vessel after it changes vectors to what is potentially a collision course with the Michaelson. It is soon discovered that the other vessel was an unarmed civilian ship posing no real threat at all to the mighty warship, at which point the Michaelson is ordered to return to base, where the captain is to face court-martial proceedings for his actions. Ensign Sinclair finds himself in the middle of all this drama; it was he who had delivered a summary of the ship's mission orders and rules of engagement; in his capacity as legal officer (for which he had only four weeks of training), he had told the captain, when asked, that the vague mission orders did seem to leave the decision as to how to proceed up to his own best judgment. Notwithstanding this fact, Sinclair did not approve of the captain's decision to fire on the vessel, and he faces a moral dilemma in terms of the court-martial proceedings. The captain is charged with broad violations that Sinclair legally does not believe are warranted, yet he wants the captain to be punished for his obvious mistakes in judgment and leadership failures. As he ponders these weighty issues in his own mind, the reader is treated to an instructive lesson in morality, ethics, duty, and patriotism. The end result is a praiseworthy course of action that definitely inspired this reader.
There is something of a love story theme advanced in the late stages of the plot. Ordinarily, I might question the inclusion of such a device, but in this case it does really reinforce the points about duty, honor, and service that Hemry seems to be making. The final chapters detailing the courtroom proceedings are far from mundane, having made me creep ever closer to the front of my seat in anticipation of the final judgment of the case. 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.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent space-based military fiction 11 juillet 2006
Par Scott R. Lucado - Publié sur Amazon.com
I picked up this book not sure what to expect; I was hoping for something mildly entertaining.

What I found instead is an extremely taut, well-written, suspenseful story of a junior ensign aboard a military space ship patrolling the solar system.

While somewhat lacking in "hard science", it is a terrific tale of the stresses of the military, legalities of conflict, and the behavior of individuals under trying circumstances.

Although the characterizations were somewhat cliched (sneaky rivals, martinet commanders, Captain Queeg, etc.), I was very impressed with the author's structure and pacing of the novel. I got the sense that it was like a fictionalization of a real-life event. The situations and resolution rang true.

I literally couldn't put this book down. I had nearly the same sense of enjoyment that I had when I read my first Hornblower book. I'll definitely be looking for more books by this author.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 More, Please. 1 novembre 2004
Par Harvey A. Lewis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
I have read both of the the books in Hemry's Space Navy / legal books and eagerly await the one not yet in print. The characters are rich, detailed and believable - more human than David Drake's grim killers. If you have ever been on a warship, you will recognize there is a right way, a wrong way and the Navy way, and the Navy way is the way you have to do things, irrational or not. There was not a false note in the book, nor a miracle resolution on the last page. The plotting is more detailed, and the time frame longer than Hemry's "Starks War" books - I liked them, but these are better.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Starts weak but ends strong 17 décembre 2012
Par D. Thompson - Publié sur Amazon.com
The basic tale is that a young ensign goes out on his first assignment in the space navy. While the ship is out on its tour, something happens, and it results in an investigation and trial for another officer. The stuff on board the ship and out on the patrol did not thrill me and in several cases it outright annoyed me. However, the investigation and the trial were top notch. The legal stuff was precise, engaging, and it seemed real. The space stuff, no, not really.

Apart from some physics gaffes dealing with zero gravity and how things are different in a vacuum, the two things that bothered me the most had to do with this space navy and its mission. Specifically, it was the United States space navy. I'm not necessarily and big-happy-peaceful-earth kind of guy, but having nation to nation conflict in deep space seemed a little pointless.

The other naval detail that bothered me was that the purpose of their mission, specifically to defend a US "sovereign claim" on certain regions of interplanetary space. I'll skip a long diatribe about that and just say a) I found it ridiculous, and b) that kind of us "sovereign claim" is counter to longstanding US Navy policy and actions.

Now, having picked at my personal nits here, the book did finish strong. The trial was a good look at the issues around specific orders vs. standing orders along with what to do with vague or contradictory orders. It also dealt with what happens when there is disagreement along the chain of command, and where your duty lies.

So, I really enjoyed the last third of the book, and I had a hard time putting it down. It was just hard to get that far in the first place. As such, I'm still iffy on whether I'm going to give the guy another shot with the second book.
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