FICTION / FANTASY /GODS
THE BERSERKER SAGA by Fred Saberhagen
Praise for Fred Saberhagen's bestselling Berserker Series
"Saberhagen has given science fiction one of its most powerful images of future war in his Berserker Series. -- Publishers Weekly
"The Berserkers, in their single-minded pursuit of their pre-programmed course of destruction, attain a kind of perverse stature that makes them worthy stand-ins for the dark side of human nature." -- The New York Times
"The Berserker stories are war stories, but war stories in the tradition of The Red Badge of Courage and All Quiet on the Western Front." -- The Baltimore Evening Sun
[Saberhagen's] homicidal robots manage to make Aliens look like wimps.--Science Fiction Age
Information on the Berserker Series
Berserkers have been continuously in print for more than thirty years. (First story, 1963, first book 1967.)
BERSERKER, the first book in the series, was published in 1967 and is still in print thirty years later. By now the series has extended to thirteen books (the latest to appear in 1998) and has been translated into nine foreign languages.
Our wars were behind us. Earth had a unified government and mankind had moved out from the planet of its birth. New worlds were settled and with the wealth of the galaxy at hand, poverty was eliminated. Then came the first berserker attack. The berserker was a vast automated fortress, its prime directive to eliminate all life. It -- and many others like it -- was the inheritance of a war fought between unknown interstellar empires, in some time that could hardly be connected with any Earthly calendar. The berserker machine hung over a planet colonized by humans and in two days pounded the surface into a lifeless cloud of dust and steam.
These are the tales from the battles between life and non-life, between the great killing machines we came to call berserkers and humanity, all that it was or ever held dear. For of all the starfaring races, only Man has brought with him untamed the heritage and instinct of battle.
The main character: BERSERKERS, exquisitely programmed, near sentient death machines capable of any treachery, motivated only by their prime directive: seek out and destroy life wherever it may hide.
The more notable human characters, some of them ongoing through several books, include:
Johann Karlsen, the saintly warrior.
Mitchell Spain, the wounded poet.
Nifty Gift, Spacer First Class, who, when he was sent for help, left his shipmates to die and kept on going.
And-- Spacer Second Class Traskeluk, who did not die as expected, and who from that moment on was looking for Nifty Gift.
Colonel Frank Marcus, who with most of his body replaced by artificial parts still fights on--and still enjoys the love of women.
The Lady Genevieve, deprived of the human body that once was hers, now in the form of a computer program tries to regain a new form as beautiful as the first.
Jory Yokosuka, who wanted to be a war correspondent, but had all she could do to survive the war.
The Carmpan, peace-loving organic aliens, who with the other life-forms of the Galaxy depend upon the warriors of Earth to save their planets from destruction.
The Builders, ancient aliens responsible for the construction and unleashing of the Berserkers, fifty thousand years ago. Long thought extinct, but incredibly a few survived, in suspended animation.
BERSERKER is a registered trademark of Fred Saberhagen and can not be used without permission.
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