Natural Selection

Natural Selection.jpg
Natural Selection
Product information
Type Novel
Author Michael A. Stackpole
Pages 288
Cover Artwork Bruce Jensen
Interior Artwork Elizabeth Danforth
Publication information
Publisher Roc Books
First published 7 July 1992
ISBN-10 0451451724
ISBN-13 978-0451451729
Era Clan Invasion era
Timeline 3055

Natural Selection, by Michael A. Stackpole, covers the Red Corsair conspiracy.

The plot of the novel continues in Assumption of Risk.

The novel was made available on BattleCorps on 07 July 2009 as a PDF file (text only, without cover, pictures, or any other interior artwork except for the usual BattleCorps frame graphics). The PDF copy includes a disclaimer stating that it was created from a pre-final edition text that might differ from the printed version and that canon-wise, the print edition trumps the PDF edition.

From the back cover[edit]

The Clan War had ended in an uneasy peace. Sporadic Clan incursions into Inner Sphere territory supply mercenaries like the Kell Hounds with more work than they can handle... border raids sharply divide the Federated Commonwealth's political factions, bringing further instability to the realm standing between Clan's goals and anarchy.

And while secret ambitions drive plans to rip the Commonwealth apart, Khan Phelan Ward and Prince Victor Davion—cousins, rulers, and enemies—must decide if maintaining the peace justifies the actions they will take to preserve it.


The Novel covers the ongoing border skirmishes between the Lyran Alliance and the Jade Falcons after the truce at Tukkayide.

There are 3 major story arcs in the novel. The first is that of a Fedcom mechwarrior captured by the raiding clan unit, and made a bondsman. It documents his struggle to accept the work he is doing against is own people, while trying to protect the other bondsman around him.

The second major arc is the tale of the assassin who is plotting to kill Melissa Steiner.

The Third story arc is that of the kell hounds as they attempt to hunt down and destroy the raiding clan unit.

  • Pre–FedCom Civil War. Arc-Royal; Victor Davion, Katherine Steiner changes name to Katrina, is a charmer.
  • Khan Phelan Kell Ward attends Morgan Kell's retirement.
  • Omi Kurita and Victor's love grows.
  • Melissa Steiner and Salome Kell are killed in an assassination bombing.
  • The Red Corsair raids FedCom territory, Clan Wolf sends the 31st Wolf Solahma unit to stop them. Zimmer's Zouaves were also destroyed in the conflict.
  • Description of first battle Kell Hounds vs. Red Corsair p. 277. Red Corsair is actually a Jade Falcon unit and is in league with the 31st Wolf Solahma (p. 308).
  • On page 324 reference to Clan Wolverine annihilation in retaliation to using a nuclear weapon on a genetic repository.
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Featured characters[edit]

Featured places[edit]

Featured BattleTech[edit]


Aerospace Fighters[edit]

Small Craft[edit]




  • The novel was initially meant to tell that story of Katrina Steiner's 3004 stint as the "Red Corsair" in the Periphery that the author had hinted at, but not detailed, in the earlier Warrior Trilogy. However, the publisher wanted no flashback stories and so the story was rewritten, keeping only the "Red Corsair" nucleus and thereby introducing a new, distinct Red Corsair persona.[1] Stackpole revisited Katrina Steiner's backstory some 20 years later in the 2010 short story Vanish.

Foreign-Language Editions[edit]


A German edition, translated by Reinhold H. Mai, was published by Heyne in 1993 as Natürliche Auslese (ISBN 9783453072428).[2] The book had several printings, including a fourth printing in 1995 under the same ISBN.[3] This was republished as an EPUB by Ulisses Spiele in 2017 as BattleTech Legenden 17 : Natürliche Auslese (ISBN 9783957526694).[4]


A Hungarian edition was published by Beholder in 1999 as Farkastörvény.[5]


A Russian edition, translated by V.V. Andreev, was published by Армада (Armada) in 1995 as Естественный отбор (ISBN 5763200373). [6][7] A reprint was published in 2001 (ISBN 5309002286) by Армада-пресс (Armada-Press) as part of a different series produced in collaboration with Дрофа (Drofa). [8][9]


A Spanish edition, translated by Jaime de Marcos Andreu, was published by Timun Mas in 2001 as Selección natural.



  1. according to Stackpole himself in a blog entry on his homepage
  2. Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Catalog entry for first printing of Natürliche Auslese
  3. Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Catalog entry for fourth printing of Natürliche Auslese
  4. Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Catalog entry for BattleTech Legenden 17 : Natürliche Auslese
  5. Beholder product page for Farkastörvény
  6. Science Fiction Lab Book description for Естественный отбор
  7. National Library of Russia description for Естественный отбор (1995)
  8. Science Fiction Lab Book description for Естественный отбор
  9. National Library of Russia description for Естественный отбор (2001)