Lost Dorsai – Gordon R. Dickson

“What is your series? What are you reading, right now?”
“Well….a couple of different ones. The main one I’m working on right now is the Dorsai books. Those are like…well, in the future, mankind has spread out to different planets, and because they’ve spread out, they’ve also diverged. So like, because the planets all have different specialties, and because the people who go there are selected, it becomes like we’ve evolved into different sub-species. So there’s like the religious race, there’s the merchant race–or planet, really–there’s the mystic race who like, have psi-powers–there’s Old Earth, which is like the seedstock. And then the Dorsai are like the warrior race and they’re the main protagonists, because this is mostly Mil-SF.”
“Ok, and they like take over?”
“No, they’re mercenaries. There’s not really enough of them to take over, probably. The one I’m working on right now is about one of the Dorsai who goes through the Academy and gets commissioned and all that, and then realizes that he’s a pacifist. He’s a complete pacifist. He absolutely has decided that he will not take life, he will not engage in violence.”
“So the others reject him because he won’t fight.”
“No, because the Dorsai are very individualistic. So he’s free to go his own way and everybody respects his decision. But the problem is that he’s kind of at a loss, because the Dorsai are also very….they’re like: you pick your path and then you stick to it. So when he started off as one thing–he joined the military–and then he abandoned it, he’s lost his way. He’s Lost Dorsai. So he doesn’t know where he fits, and they don’t know where he fits. Because a Dorsai goes all the way with whatever he does.
“So the story itself is about how he and the other characters have been maneuvered into a situation where it seems that the only possible way is to fight their way out. And, fighting is going to kill them–and not fighting is going to hurt everybody else in the long run. It’s complicated. Also I keep skipping the, like, political parts.”
“Oh, heh. So, what happens in the end?”
“So, in the end, he finds a way to be a Dorsai and save his friends–and his world–and not use violence to do it.”
“So, like, the point is: you don’t have to use violence to win?”
“Well, if you’re willing to die to be a hero…”

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