Berserker Kill (Saberhagens Berserker Series Book 9)
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Question of Time, A A reclusive vampire with the ability to manipulate time constructs an escape-proof retreat at the edge of the Grand Canyon where he imprisons a man and a woman abducted from the twentieth century. The seventh book of the Dracula Sequence.
The second book of the Swords trilogy. Thorn An ancient vampire comes across clues suggesting his beloved but long dead wife may actually be un dead. The fourth book of the Dracula Sequence. I look forward to more about his unique.
Veils of Azlaroc, The A group of visitors to the radiation-swept world of Azlaroc fall prey to time-disruptive energy fluxes which isolate them from each other and from their only means of escape. Starts well, but fails to deliver. A potent, suspenseful, and brilliantly spare tale.
Also published as Pressure A drab and unsurprising tale. Visually impressive, but thin on story.
While ostensibly about murderous machines, the tale effectively underscores the tenacity of the living. The intriguing puzzle is undercut by flat characters.
The Berserker Attack
The frequent viewpoint changes, unfortunately, defuse the suspense. A sparely-written, effective tale with a surprising resolution. Also published as The Peacemaker The details of the first contact mission are excellent, but the story lacks emotional conviction. Galaxy , April The story turns on its clever plot, but lacks characters we care about.
A suspenseful, but ultimately unsurprising, tale of human arrogance. Reveals the angst behind leadership, but otherwise unremarkable. Offers the usual potent berserker threat, but suffers from a disjointed and confusing narrative.
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Machines That Kill with Martin H. Standouts include Philip K. Saberhagen describes them thus:. And of the Builders themselves, their own all-too-effective weapons, the berserkers, had left nothing but a few obscure records—video and voice recordings. Those videos had recorded slender, fine-boned beings, topologically like Solarian humans with the sole visible exception of the eye, which in the Builder species was a single organ, stretching clear across the upper face, with a bright bulging pupil that slid rapidly back and forth.
In most of the ancient Builder graphics, no matter how elegantly enhanced, the berserkers' creators showed as hardly more than stick drawing of orange glowing substance.
Now for the first time in history it was plain to Solarian eyes that that orange color and brightness were the result of some kind of clothing, the exposed skin being a dullish yellow where it showed on the face, the four-fingered hands, and across part of the chest. The Builders created the Berserkers in a genocidal war with the Red Race, which ended in both races' extinction by the Berserkers.
The Berserker Attack (Berserker, #9) by Fred Saberhagen - Risingshadow
The Red Race was another precursor race, of which little is known other than that their extinction was the Builders' purpose in creating the Berserkers millennia ago. The Carmpan are a patient and peaceful species; their culture is one of logic, reason, pacifism, and philosophy. They lend what support they can to the Humans, but in non-martial forms. They are incapable of direct aggression, but they do possess one special power, a telepathic ability to speak to other sentients across the stars, a method of communication that the Berserkers cannot spy on. Their most effective help to ED Earth Descended Solarians is the 'Prophecy of Probability' in which they can give information on future events.
This prophecy is very taxing and can even cause the death of a Carmpan. Although their bodies are described as boxy and machine-like, the Carmpan are also a biological lifeform and thus a target for the genocidal programming of the Berserkers. As such, they have allied themselves with the human race against the Berserkers. The first stories in the series are related by an individual Carmpan, the "3rd Historian", who seeks to chronicle life in the Galaxy and the struggle against the Berserkers.
Homo sapiens , referred to as "Earth-descended" or "ED" Humans, or as "Solarians", is the only sentient species aggressive enough to counter Berserkers. The Berserkers have severely threatened human civilizations and wiped out billions of humans and other more exotic species. The remnants of human civilization have learned to be wily in order to survive. In the meantime, the Berserker is using its mind control weapon on the nearest human ship which is crewed only by Del Murray and his aiyan , or dog-ape pet-ally.
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- Berserker Kill (Berserker, #9) by Fred Saberhagen.
One of three humans is dying when they are captured by a Berserker who has raised a captive human, known as an example of Goodlife. That human brutally finishes off the dying man and the other two are brought aboard the Berserker vessel. The man, Hemphill, has a bomb but is holding off until he can use it for maximum effect. The stark and dark conflict in which suicide bombing seems like a decent plan made me think of some Baxter stories, such as the Silver Ghost tales.
The only problem here is that the theme may a bit too explicit at the end. This is less aesthetically significant than the previous two, settling for a decently presented ironic result. Still, the story does generally move along and provides some food for thought. A very effective and exciting tale, albeit a bit conventionally puritanical.