The Lost Fleet Reading Order: How to Read Jack Campbell’s Space Opera Series

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Also called the Gearyverse, The Lost Fleet Universe is a military science fiction universe written by John G. Hemry under the pen name Jack Campbell.

Reading The Lost Fleet Universe Series in Order

The Lost Fleet Book Series

The Lost Fleet Universe consists of several series, a comic book, and a few short stories. The following listing doesn’t follow the publishing order but offers a Lost Fleet order by series, as you can read them individually.

The Lost Fleet (the main series)

The Lost Fleet: Dauntless (2006)
The Lost Fleet: Fearless (2007)
The Lost Fleet: Courageous (2007)
The Lost Fleet: Valiant (2008)
The Lost Fleet: Relentless (2009)
The Lost Fleet: Victorious (2010)

The Lost Fleet – Beyond the Frontier (sequel)

Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught (2011)
Beyond the Frontier: Invincible (2012)
Beyond the Frontier: Guardian (2013)
Beyond the Frontier: Steadfast (2014)
Beyond the Frontier: Leviathan (2015)

The Lost Stars (spin-off series)

The Lost Stars series (formerly known as The Phoenix Stars) takes place alongside The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier.

The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight (2012)
The Lost Stars: Perilous Shield (2013)
The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword (2014)
The Lost Stars: Shattered Spear (2016)

The Genesis Fleet (prequel series)

The Genesis Fleet: Vanguard (2017)
The Genesis Fleet: Ascendant (2018)
The Genesis Fleet: Triumphant (2019)

The Lost Fleet – Outlands (second sequel series)

Outlands: Boundless (2021)
Outlands: Resolute (2022)
Outlands: Implacable (2023)

Short stories

– Grendel, published in So it Begins (2009)
– Flèche, published in Best Laid Plans (2013)
– Shore Patrol, published in Infinite Stars (2017)
– Ishigaki, published in Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers (2019)

Comic Book

Corsair (2017)

Artwork for The Lost Fleet from ACE Books by Patrick Turner

The Lost Fleet Universe in Chronological Order

Since the publication of the first book in 2006, the Lost Fleet Universe has expanded in various directions, including a few short stories and a prequel series. Because of this, the publication order is different from the publication order.

For those who want to explore the Lost Fleet Universe in order, here’s the list:

The Genesis Fleet: Vanguard (2017)
The Genesis Fleet: Ascendant (2018)
The Genesis Fleet: Triumphant (2019)
Shore Patrol (2017, short story)
Grendel: A Lost Fleet Campaign (2009, short story)
Ishigaki (2019, short story)
Fleche (2013, short story)
The Lost Fleet: Dauntless (2006)
The Lost Fleet: Fearless (2007)
The Lost Fleet: Courageous (2007)
The Lost Fleet: Valiant (2008)
The Lost Fleet: Relentless (2009)
The Lost Fleet: Victorious (2010)
Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught (2011)
Beyond the Frontier: Invincible (2012)
The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight (2012)
Beyond the Frontier: Guardian (2013)
The Lost Stars: Perilous Shield (2013)
Beyond the Frontier: Steadfast (2014)
The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword (2014)
Beyond the Frontier: Leviathan (2015)
The Lost Stars: Shattered Spear (2016)
The Lost Fleet: Corsair (2017, Comic book)
Outlands: Boundless (2021)
Outlands: Resolute (2022)
Outlands: Implacable (2023)

The Story of The Lost Fleet

The war between the Syndicate Worlds and the Alliance has been going on for a century. And when the story begins in Dauntless, the Alliance is losing badly. Now its fleet is crippled and stranded in enemy territory. Their only hope is a man who’s emerged from a century-long hibernation to find he has been heroically idealized beyond belief….

Captain John “Black Jack” Geary’s exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic “last stand” in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance Fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.

Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance’s one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic “Black Jack” legend….

Beyond the Frontier: Leviathan cover by David Demaret for Editions L’Atalante.

More about The Lost Fleet series

Does The Lost Fleet series need to be read in order?

Each book in the series is written in a way to make it accessible for any reader, with a beginning and an end. Also, with several series, it is possible to pick up a later series.

But, the books in The Lost Fleet Universe have naturally many connections with each other. There are strong references and character developments throughout the whole series.

It is still advised to begin with Dauntless, and the first series published, The Lost Fleet.

How many books are there in The Lost Fleet series?

The Lost Fleet, the main series, consists of six novels. It ended in 2010 with Victorious.

Jack Campbell has expanded The Lost Fleet series with several spin-offs:
Beyond the Frontier (5 books) is a sequel focusing on the main character from the Lost Fleet.
The Lost Stars (4 books) is a companion series taking place at the same time as Beyond the Frontier but focusing on the Syndicate Worlds.
The Genesis Fleet (3 books) is a prequel, set before the forever war.
Outlands (2 books, ongoing) is a second sequel, after Beyond the Frontier.

And, of course, 4 short stories, and a comic book.

One inspiration behind The Lost Fleet

Jack Campbell credits the story of Xenophon’s Anabasis as being an inspiration for The Lost Fleet series.

What is it about? the Persian prince Cyrus the Younger is marshaling an army to usurp the throne from his brother Artaxerxes the King. When Cyrus is killed in battle, ten thousand Greek soldiers he had hired find themselves stranded deep in enemy territory, surrounded by forces of a hostile Persian king.

When their top generals are arrested, the Greeks have to elect new leaders, one of whom is Xenophon, a resourceful and courageous Athenian who leads by persuasion and vote. What follows is his vivid account of the Greeks’ harrowing journey through extremes of territory and climate, inhabited by unfriendly tribes who often oppose their passage.

The Genesis Fleet: Vanguard book cover by David Demaret for Editions L’Atalante.

About the author of The Lost Fleet series

Who is Jack Campbell?

Jack Campbell is the pen name of John G. Hemry, American writer of military science fiction and steampunk.

He is a retired U.S. Navy officer, who uses his experience for his writings. He first published the Stark’s War and Paul Sinclair series under his real name before launching The Lost Fleet series under his famous pen name Jack Campbell.

What has Jack Campbell written beyond The Lost Fleet series?

Jack Campbell is known for the Lost Fleet series and the steampunk/fantasy The Pillars of Reality series. It is set in a world dominated by two rival Guilds, the Mages and the Mechanics, who despise and lie about each other. They have a rigid system in place who begins to crack.

He has also written over a dozen short stories, and several non-fiction works.