The Road to Damascus

The Road to Damascus

Ringo, John

Book 13.0 of Bolo

Language: English

Publisher: Baen Books

Published: Mar 2, 2004

Words: 246025
Pages: 904


From Publishers Weekly Readers interested in ethics as well as tactics will welcome this splendid new entry in the late Keith Laumer's Bolo series from military SF masters Ringo (_When the Devil Dances_) and Evans (_Far Edge of Darkness_). When the planet Jefferson faces an interplanetary *Volkswanderung* every bit as nasty as when the Huns drove the Goths into Roman territory, commander Simon Khrustinov and his Unit SOL-0045, a "Surplus on Loan" Bolo, "but still the finest Bolo any man could claim as partner and friend," defeat the alien menace. (Bear in mind that a Bolo is a self-aware tank roughly the size of the Pentagon that packs more firepower than most combatant powers of WWII.) However, this turns out to be just the start of the trouble. Much of Jefferson's infrastructure has been devastated, and the reconstruction entails unpopular taxes and conscription. When the government falls into the hands of radical utopians, the planet's new rulers eventually attempt to use the Bolo to destroy their class enemies in a blaze of ethnic cleansing. The subsequent conflicts within the sensitive Bolo's core programming cause the machine to question the reason for its existence. Laumer may rest easily knowing that his creation is in good hands. Ringo and Evans have written a strong cautionary tale that entertains as well as instructs, even if at times those lessons can be less than subtle. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Product Description When a ruthless political regime seizes power on a world struggling to recover from alien invasion, a former war hero finds herself leading a desperate band of freedom fighters. Kafari Khrustinova, who fought Deng infantry from farmhouses and barns, finds herself struggling to free her home world from an unholy political alliance, headed by the charismatic and ambitious Vittori Santorini, which has seduced her young daughter with its propaganda and subverted the planets Bolo, using the war machine to crush all political opposition. To free her home world, Kafari must somehow cripple or kill the Bolo she once called friend. Unit SOL-0045, "Sonny," is a Mark XX Bolo, self-aware and intelligent. When Sonny's human commander is forced off-world, Sonny tries to navigate his way through ambiguous moral and legal issues, sinking into deep confusion and electronic misery. He eventually faces a dark night of the soul, with no guarantee that the will understand - let along make - the right decision. And caught in the middle of this volatile battlefield is Yalena Khrustinova, Kafari's young daughter. Will she open her eyes in time to save herself - and millions of innocents - or will Santorini's relentless brainwashing campaign continue to blind her while the tyrant engineers the ultimate destruction of a helpless and enslaved population?