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.”


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

Book Blurb

Awards & Accolades


Audible: Military Sci-Fi Bestseller List


Unbound Worlds: “Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of July 2018”


2019 LUBIMY CZYTAĆ Readers’ Choice Finalist: “Book of the Year Awards”