6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Story 1: Miles To Go
Bolos are kin to self-aware, indestructible, giant tanks. Human creators granted them the initiative of a rock and a literal-mindedness which, coupled with multiple layers of override programming, had made them totally dependent upon humans for directions. A rogue Bolo is, of course, worse than any possible nightmare. The Dinochrome Brigade had spent decades hunting down abandoned and obsolescent Bolos from the Mark XX to Mark XXIII series and burning out their command centers to prevent rogue (faulty) possibilities.
Captain Paul Merrit had once, on Sandlot, forgotten that a Bolo is a machine. But now he has a second chance. Merrit is sent to the planet called Santa Crus, "out in the middle of nowhere." Ursula Central has finally noticed a "sleeping" Bolo there. Merrit's duty is to locate the Bolo, inspect it, and assume command if it is still operational. The Bolo has been in Stand-By mode for close to eighty years. Central never realized that there has not been any real Navy personnel on the planet's base in all that time either.
However, Merrit locates the Bolo (nicknamed "Nike"). Nike is special in that he is more self-aware than any other Bolo. Nike is an experimental prototype that has emotions and keeps her high alertness even when not in battle mode.
The GalCorp company is run by Madam Osterwelt. She sends her only son, Gerald, to Santa Cruz to buy up land ... ALL land ... the entire planet. Yet to do so, Gerald must get rid of the three things that stand in the way: civilians, Merrit, and Nike. But Nike is having none of it!
Story 2: The Traitor
This is a short story. One Bolo is tracking down another Bolo that seems to have deserted during battle - something Bolos are supposed to be unable to do.
Story 3: With Your Shield
Lieutenant Maneka Trevor is sent to Fort Merrit on Santa Cruz for her first command (ever) of a Bolo, "Benjy". As Trevor learns from her team about strategy, she learns even more about her own human race from Benjy.
Story 4: A Time To Kill
The Final War saw the Concordiat of Man and the Melconian Empire end in fire and death. Humans and Melconians had finally wiped each other out. A hand full of survivors are all that is left of each race. The Humans settle on the planet where the last mission, Operation Ragnarok (the massacre of ALL Melconians on the planet) took place. Only the ruins of cities from decades ago and the husks of a few Bolos remain.
One Bolo, "Shiva", is slowly coming back on line. The timing could not have been better either. The last remaining Melconians, in dying ships, have no choice but to land and try to survive. Which race will win the right to live?
Story 5: A Brief Technical History Of The Bolo - From Bolos In Their Own Words
This is exactly what it sounds like. This section tells about each Bolo created. However, it is supposedly compiled AFTER "Story 4". The Bolos put together this section based upon the data it could piece together. Much information was lost after the "Longest Night".
**** The first story consumes half the novel space. It is also the best story in the collection. Though the Bolo series was created by author Keith Laumer, David Weber did an exemplarily job with this off-shoot. If you have never read any of the Bolo novels, you may find yourself rushing out to purchase them. This is very well done indeed. ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2005
This is the first time I have read a Bolo book, and I have to admit that the only reason I bought it was because I have read everything else by David Weber, and this was the only thing left! Needless to say, the writing and style is very tight, with few of the arcane technical explanations which have a tendency to slow down Webers books. The characterisations of both Humans and Bolos was well observed, and the battle scenes were (obviously) breathtaking. All in all, a recommended read. I will now be tracking down the other Bolo books, I hope they turn out to be as good as this one
on 1 January 2015
First time reading a BOLO book and after the first short story I ordered the rest of the books, very good charaterisation and intense battles make for a gripping read. The fact that you see things from the BOLOs perspective is perticularly effective and the way the Boloverse is conveyed subtley through idle converstion and charaters thoughts is done well. Sci Fi often goes to the limits of imagination with extraordinary technology, and while the boloverse uses some intresting tech It manages to feel more realistic than convention al sci fi and i feel has more relatable characters, even those that are not human.