Posted on | March 25, 2014 | 8 Comments
— by Wombat-socho
Just about everybody familiar with the combat SF subgenre knows about Keith Laumer’s Bolos, which evolved over a number of short stories from moderately advanced main battle tanks into cybernetic war machines utterly loyal to their human commanders and their comrades of the Dinochrome Brigade. Whether in the era of the Concordiat or Jame Retief’s Corps Diplmatique Terrestrienne, Bolos could be found on the front line against any alien menace, cybernetic knights sans peur et sans reproche.
What if the Bolos had been created by a less worthy humanity, one that cared little for their AI-driven mercenaries and used them to commit atrocities not only against aliens, but also against humans of the wrong religion or political stripe? What if the commanders of these war machines had been unworthy of their charges, throwing them away in stupid and pointless actions, and treating them with the same lack of respect you or I might show the malfunctioning Mr. Coffee in our kitchen? Tom Kratman explores those questions in Big Boys Don’t Cry, a novella that sometimes seems nightmarish in its inversion of all the honorable and glorious tropes that made the Bolo stories what they were. Let Colonel Kratman introduce you to Maggie, a Ratha reviewing her long career shortly before its end…or a new beginning.
Big Boys Don’t Cry is on sale at $0.99 for the next twelve hours. It’s an outstanding deal. Go buy it and read it.