I've been reading John Ringo's works since he was featured on Sluggy Freelance. Ringo writes just about the closest I'll get to hard military sci-fi. The key factor is his humor, which explains his Sluggy mention. Emerald Sea is the continuation of There Will Be Dragons, a tale of a post-singularity ("death has been conquered") sci-fi universe falling back "pre-singularity" due to actions of several politicians. I was amused by the end of one of the most recent chapters I've read containing some self-mockery as Ringo poked fun at his own writing style and habit of randomly creating characters, focusing them in a chapter or two, and then killing them off. The passage may even be ironic in the fact that it involved a character who was introduced in this second book, and possibly might not survive till the end. I think the character will survive, though, as he appears to be leading some where, but we'll see.