Thursday, April 12, 2018

Berserker Covers

from If Magazine
It's been a long time, but I remember Fred Saberhagen's Berserker books with great fondness. The short stories were better than the novels, but even those weren't bad. I only read the first seven books. Saberhagen went on to write another ten books, and I have no idea how good or bad they are.

For those who haven't read them, in the far future, humanity is attacked by titanic, intelligent, self-replicating machines. Ages past, they were created by a species to wipe out its enemy. Now, only the machines remain, operating under their original programming: destroy all bad life.
"Mr. Jester" illustration from If

While the novels tend toward military sci-fi and thrillers, many of the short stories are good old fashioned problem stories. As most of the plots have faded from my brain (except "Mr. Jester"), so I'm thinking of digging them out and giving them a spin soon. When I do, I'll try to write something about them.


  1. I really like the first book, still haven't gotten to the other ones. Have you read Saberhagen's dracula books? Are they any good? It would be great if you reviewed the berserker books you've read.

  2. My memories of the novels are "eh." No, I've never read the Dracula books and the few people I know who did didn't like them very much. It's in the short stories that Saberhagen and the Berserkers shine. If I do read them, I'll definitely write it up.

  3. Rereading them in the original IFs has been great fun. I remember reading them in paperback. My admiration is much greater this time. I always considered his Vlad and Swords stuff brilliant but the Berserkers more potboilers. Not any more.They are worthy of a re-read.