The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

This Is Not A Bolo Combat Unit. This Is Not The Concordiat.

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.


8 Responses to “This Is Not A Bolo Combat Unit. This Is Not The Concordiat.”

  1. rustypaladin
    March 25th, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

    This is a must read if you enjoyed the Bolo books by Laumer. It turns the idea on its head.

  2. joethefatman
    March 25th, 2014 @ 9:53 pm

    I’ve been seeing this lately and thinking about getting it. Now I have it. Thank You Wombat.

  3. Wombat_socho
    March 25th, 2014 @ 10:24 pm

    You’re very welcome.

  4. ChandlersGhost
    March 25th, 2014 @ 11:55 pm

    I read the sample of Big Boys Don’t Cry on Amazon last night and downloaded it along with A Desert Called Peace. I like Kratman’s writing style.

  5. arioch1066
    March 26th, 2014 @ 1:13 am

    I picked this up on my kindle the day it came out. I was so impressed, that it’s the only thing I’ve bothered to do a review of on Amazon. I believe it’s the best thing he’s ever written.

  6. Unix-Jedi
    March 26th, 2014 @ 1:16 am

    Thanks for the heads up. Grabbed.

  7. Loren
    March 26th, 2014 @ 3:16 pm

    A good read.

  8. Wombat_socho
    March 26th, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

    The whole series of Carrera novels is filled with win, brutality, and awesome.