Content here is by Michael Still mikal@stillhq.com. All opinions are my own.
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These posts mostly relate to books I am reading or series I am collecting to read in order (I tend to collect the series and then read it in one block). You can see a see a list of the books I am currently seeking, as well as a list of all the books I've bothered to catalog if you're interested.


Sat, 28 Aug 2010



Their Finest Hour

posted at: 21:22 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 25 Feb 2010



Bolo Series

posted at: 18:47 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 24 Feb 2010



Old Soldiers

posted at: 03:11 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 20 Feb 2010



The Road to Damascus




    ISBN: 0743499166
    Baen (2005), Mass Market Paperback, 768 pages
    LibraryThing
    I didn't like this book. Bolo books should be about combat and human interactions with AI machines, which this book starts nicely with. However, the book then diverts from that and spends hundreds of pages ranting about how bad socialism is. Sure, the baddies are nasty, but its not a very believable rendition of communist Russia. Worse, the story is told with a whiney teenager I found deeply annoying as a character (she's meant to be annoying, but I just didn't care about her). Finally, after about 400 pages of such drivel, we finally get around to having some more actual bolo story. The finish of the story is ok, I just wished it didn't take so long to get there. This is by far the weakest Bolo book I have read so far.

    Tags for this post: book keith_laumer bolo combat communism totalitarianism john_ringo linda_evans
    Related posts: Bolos 6: Cold Steel; Their Finest Hour; Bolos 3: The Triumphant; Bolos 4: Last Stand; Bolo Strike; Bolos 2: The Unconquerable


posted at: 21:49 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 10 Dec 2009



Bolo!

posted at: 17:42 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 03 Dec 2009



Bolo Strike

posted at: 14:38 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 18 Nov 2009



Bolo Rising

posted at: 20:01 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 26 Sep 2009



Bolo Brigade




    ISBN: 067187781x
    LibraryThing
    There seems to be a formula for bolo books -- an obsolete bolo or two, and alien invader, a solitary bolo commander, and preferably a management chain which either doesn't trust bolos, the officer, or preferably both. Its even better if the chain of command is also grossly incompetent. This book has all of those, and I am left feeling that it didn't really add much to the overall bolo universe. Other books have explored some new aspect of the bolo psyche, or expanded on the history of the concordiat universe in some way, whereas this book didn't feel like it did any of that.

    However, this was an entertaining book, and is reasonably well written. It just wasn't as ambitious as I'd hoped it would be.

    Tags for this post: book keith_laumer bolo combat william_h_keith_jr aliens
    Related posts: Bolos 5: Old Guard; Their Finest Hour; Bolos 4: Last Stand; Bolo Strike; Old Soldiers; Bolo!


posted at: 03:02 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 22 Sep 2009



The Stars Must Wait




    ISBN: 0671698591
    Baen (1990), Paperback, 283 pages
    LibraryThing
    This book is a novelization of "Night of the Trolls", which I have already read as part of The Compleat Bolo and Battlefields Beyond Tomorrow. I'm pretty fond of the short story, and this book version didn't start out strongly -- there is a prelude to explain some background, and then the book launches into what feels like the exact text of the short story. You can tell it hasn't been edited much, because there are minor continuity errors between this first chapter and the prelude. There are other continuity errors as well -- the blurb on the back says that the main character goes into stasis in 2002, but his wife dies in 1992 which is meant to be after the main character goes into stasis, and the map that he uses once out of stasis is copyright 2011 (even though the main character claims to have bought it just before going into stasis). Note that these dates are different to those used in the short story. These errors are distracting although the underlying story is still a good one.

    However, the good bits of the story are all contained in the short story. This feels like a poorly edited and heavily padded version of that short story, and I think we would have been better off without it. There is in fact a whole heap of seemingly pointless dialogue in the center of the book, where I think what we're meant to be learning is that post-apocalyptic life isn't much fun. I think we could have worked that out, and perhaps saved 50 or so pages. Worst of all, Laumer has changed the ending to a much less satisfying one.

    I recommend just sticking with the short story.

    Tags for this post: book keith_laumer bolo combat post_apocalypse
    Related posts: Bolos 1: Honor of the Regiment; Battlefields Beyond Tomorrow ; Bolos 2: The Unconquerable; Old Soldiers; Bolo Brigade; Bolos 5: Old Guard


posted at: 00:19 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Fri, 28 Aug 2009



Bolos 6: Cold Steel

posted at: 04:38 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 14 Jul 2009



Bolos 5: Old Guard

posted at: 01:02 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 28 Jun 2009



Bolos 4: Last Stand

posted at: 16:27 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 23 Jun 2009



Bolos 3: The Triumphant

posted at: 20:49 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 04 Jun 2009



Bolos 2: The Unconquerable

posted at: 22:06 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 30 May 2009



Bolos 1: Honor of the Regiment

posted at: 22:18 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 13 Jan 2009



The Compleat Bolo




    ISBN: 0671698796
    Baen (1990), Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
    LibraryThing
    I read this book on flights. This book is a collection of several Bolo short stories, as well as two longer stories. This was a pretty common technique it seems with early science fiction, and it works ok here as long as you remember that the chapters are unlinked short stories. In fact, several of them are inconsistent with others in the collection, but I think that's a minor annoyance.

    YearTitleNotes
    1963Night of the TrollsThis story appears in Battlefields Beyond Tomorrow as well
    1961CourierThis is a Retief (Laumer's other major series) story which includes a Bolo. This is my first encounter with Reteif, and it felt a little like a Stainless Steel Rat story, but where the hero isn't a criminal, and without the requirement to suspend disbelief as much as you need to for the Rat.
    1966The Last Command
    1969A Relic of War
    1960Combat Unit
    1986Rogue Bolo Book 1
    1986Rogue Bolo Book 2No relation to the Rogue Bolo Book 1, despite


    Tags for this post: book keith_laumer bolo combat anthology
    Related posts: Bolos 6: Cold Steel; Bolos 2: The Unconquerable; Their Finest Hour; Bolo!; Bolos 5: Old Guard; Battlefields Beyond Tomorrow


posted at: 22:49 | path: /book/Keith_Laumer | permanent link to this entry