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A series of books by John Ringo that takes place in the 41st century. Advanced nanotechnology, teleportation, and other technologies which are essentially Clarke's law made real have created a utopian society. All of this is controlled and coordinated by an Artificial Intelligence called Mother.

A factional split between two groups within the Council, the group that partially controls Mother, results in all-out war, including cutting off power to the rest of the world. Some people die instantly when their protection or systems fail. Others die from the ensuing battles with the Social Darwinist faction of New Destiny.

The series follows the Council members as they fight the New Destiny faction, and the Muggles who just try to survive the Fallen world, using methods vaguely remembered from historical reenactments.

The series thus far includes:

  • There Will Be Dragons (2003)
  • Emerald Sea (2004)
  • Against the Tide (2005)
  • East of the Sun, West of the Moon (2006)

The series is not to be confused with the other Council Wars, which is what happened when racism met The Windy City's machine politics in the worst possible way.

Spoilers below for those who haven't read the first book


These books provide examples of:

  • After the End - The Fall.
  • AI Is a Crapshoot - The AI Wars, and the subsequent law that no new ones may be produced.
  • All of the Other Reindeer - Herzer got this before his disease was cured.
  • All Trolls Are Different - Changed elves.
  • Always Chaotic Evil - Although most of New Destiny's forces were Changed against their will and are innocent victims, Celine designed them this way and so they get no mercy from the Good Guys because there's no way to Change them back unless the war is won.
  • Asexuality - Rachel.
  • Anyone Can Die - And does. None of the primary protagonists (yet), but some have had some very close calls. Some have the hope of being brought back, once the Net is back up, although there's no guarantee of that. Most everyone else is Deader Than Dead, though.
  • Author Appeal - The story stops at some length so Herzer can go into a rambling discourse about his extremely dominant heterosexuality in the sack.
  • Author Filibuster - Emerald Sea has a scene with Edmund lecturing over the campfire about how people were stupid in the early 21st century for believing in human-caused climate change.
  • Becoming the Mask - Miles "Gunny" Rutherford has been roleplaying a Marine Drill Sergeant Nasty for 150 years, and had previously been roleplaying a Roman Centurion Nasty for an unspecified time.
  • Beware the Nice Ones - Rachel, non-combatant and doctor dedicated to saving lives clinically describes how many ways she and Azure just killed her captor. To his face.
  • The Chessmaster - Edmund, who seems to have a prescient ability to predict events in battles, and plans accordingly. Lampshaded later in the series by Bast, discussing the elven term "gaslan".
  • Children Are a Waste - Mentioned as the reason for the human population dwindling; with god-like technology available to everyone, most people have better things to do than look after kids.
  • Combat Tentacles - courtesy of the krakens working for New Destiny.
  • Days of Future Past - Everything from Fascist states and Feudalism to Swiss-style Confederacies and even a tribe of hunter-gatherers (the Mer)
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty - Gunny Rutherford
  • Drop the Hammer - The preferred weapon of Edmund, aka Charles the Hammer, former ruler of Anarchia. Given that he started as a blacksmith, this probably isn't surprising.
  • Fantasy Gun Control - Played straight; Mother siphons off the energy of any explosion or other release of energy beyond a certain level, rendering guns useless.
  • Finders Rulers - Membership in the council is simply a matter of holding a Key. At least two people have made it to the council by stealing a Key.
  • Fur Bikini - Justified Trope, as it can be a way to distract men, while they are in freezing temperatures that don't have any effect on Bast.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke - Averted. Change is a common method of trying out something new, and common.
    • So common it's basically the cause for the war.
  • I'm a Humanitarian - Changed (and non-Changed) characters on both sides are technically human, but depending on the situation may be be either the dinner or the diner. Lampshaded several times in Emerald Sea.
  • Immortality Immorality - Averted. Immortality, or near to it, is common before the Fall.
    • Only partly averted. Immortality via downloading was available for all, but "live forever or till someone kills you" biological immortality was specifically illegal for most humans, and only available for the bio-engineered Elves and Greater Dragons. Furthermore, it was noted that most people chose to die natural deaths of old age after 2 or 3 centuries, rather than download. Come to think of it, the series reinforces the trope more than it averts it.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun - What do you call a small group of selkie commandos trained to infiltrate and secure an enemy beach? A seal team.
  • I Shall Taunt You - Dionys McCannock tries this, in the climactic battle of There Will Be Dragons, but it's brushed aside by Edmund Talbot, who then replies with sheer awesomeness.
  • Mad Scientist - Celine Reinshafen (vampire hamster, anyone?)
    • The creator ofBun Bun.
    • The scientist responsible for creating one of the ancestors for a dragon carrier's captains. She's a cat-girl, non-Changed. Her several-times great-grandmother was an actual cat, Changed to a humanoid cat-girl. The scientist responsible did this for exactly the reasons one would assume. The uplifted cat-woman did not respond well to discovering she'd been named "Muffins" and ended up breaking his heart by leaving for someone else - from which relationship the captain was indirectly produced
  • Magic From Technology - The series is described as "Clarke's Law made real".
  • Master Computer - Mother. Who, due to a bit of savviness by her initial programmers, is specifically set up to not care about the fate of humanity, only to run and maintain the Net.
    • It's implied she cares, but is limited in what she's allowed to do. John Ringo has let slip that eventually she has to take a much larger role as both humanity and Mother are dependant on each other. Unfortunately the only way to let her get around the restrictions will be to get 13 counsel votes AND a Kernel Programmer, all of whom have been dead except one, named Arthur King, who mysteriously disappeared...
  • Our Elves Are Better - Or at least they think they are. They were created as part of a Super Soldier project.
    • Bast alone is worth a platoon in any fight and both sides acknowledge that if the elves stopped being neutral the war would be effectively over.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same - Lampshaded; Angus had himself Changed to fit the trope.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different - Changed.
  • Parental Abandonment - Herzer's parents turned him out at fourteen.
    • Legally, he was emancipated at fourteen (i.e. as soon as the law would allow.) However it's heavily implied that while still legally responsible for him, his parents hadn't really had much to do with him since he was about six.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something - Edmund.
  • Sapient Cetaceans: This series has "Delphinos"; humans who have used advanced genetic engineering to turn themselves into dolphins and have lost all sense of their own humanity as a result.
  • Scary Scorpions: In East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon. Giant ones. At first, we don't even see them, only the results of their work. One character, based on evidence left behind initially confuses them for Solifugae, better known to 21st century audiences as Camel Spiders. They turn up later when sent to try and kill the protagonists, and again in the book's climax.
  • Schizo-Tech - Although the overall technology level of most of the world has been reduced to pre-industrial levels, they do have some equipment made pre-Fall that still works if it doesn't depend on power from the Net, and the Council members on each side supply their allies with the odd useful tool. Also, while most people are limited in what technology they can implement, what they can use is often vastly improved over what was historically available due to the accumulated knowledge humanity has acquired: better metal alloys and ways of working it, more efficient farming techniques (with genetically engineered crops), compound bow designs, sailing ships with flush toilets, and so on.
    • The giant spaceship in orbit. It is kinda hard to get to, though.
  • Selkies and Wereseals: In Against the Tide, selkies are used with tongue-in-cheek humor, as the fantasy counterpart of Real Life U.S. Navy SEALs.
  • Shout-Out - several, most notably Bun-bun from Sluggy Freelance.
    • The Wyverns in the council wars universe will eat anything if there's enough ketchup on it - probably a reference to the well known take-off on Tolkien's line about wizards.
  • Social Darwinist - Paul Bowman, and the New Destiny group by extension.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting - Slowly emerging from an After the End scenario during the course of the books, complete with characters growing into specific plot stereotypes. Repeatedly lampshaded by characters, especially regarding how unlikely some developments are.
  • Stockholm Syndrome - Paul admits he's intentionally set up his harem so that this will happen.
  • Strange Syntax Speaker - Bast occasionally slips into a Mr. Miyagi syntax.
  • Stuffed Into the Fridge - A rare variant where the stuffee is left alive.
  • Stupid Evil - Seen all over the place but explicitly called out by Rachel when a New Destiny officer with an amputated leg is killed as being "useless", without, as she points out, first finding out if he had skills or abilities that might have been useful.
  • Too Dumb to Live - Dionys McCanock
  • The Spartan Way - The Blood Lords, who are an interesting combination of Roman legions and English longbowmen.
  • We Have Reserves - Explicitly named as the military strategy of New Destiny.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist - Paul Bowman.
  • Wooden Ships and Iron Men - Quite a lot of Emerald Sea and Against the Tide are about 40th century recreations of this era, due to the Fall and restrictions imposed by Mother, that make combustion-based engines beyond a certain low power output unavailable.
  • Worthy Opponent - Edmund complains about the lack of these in There Will Be Dragons.
  • Writer on Board - Aside from the examples of Author Appeal and Author Filibuster mentioned above, the reader will learn John Ringo's views on gun control, welfare, sexual equality, the US invasion of Iraq...
  • Write Who You Know - The merpeople in The Emerald Sea were based on the crew of a Caribbean cruise ship, as well as some Ringo fans given a fictional counterpart in the series.
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