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Berserkers: The Beginning (Berserker #1,5)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  178 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Complete at last in one volume--the beginning of the war against the berserkers! The death machines are programmed to destroy all life in the Galaxy. But one branch of Galactic humanity, descended from a world called Earth, stands in the way.
Audio CD, 15 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 1998)
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Walt O'Hara
Berserkers: The Beginning is a repackaging of much older short story collection set in Fred Saberhagen's Berserker universe, a setting where an ancient warfare between two forgotten races spawned the Berserkers-- once thought to have been autonomous killing machines designed to be "ultimate weapons" but time and a long ago scrambling of their code has warped their programming to declare war on all life. Berserkers are the progenitors (or perhaps the heirs) of science fiction plot devices like "T ...more
A collection of short stories spanning several decades covering the beginning of Saberhagen's "Berserker Wars." The wars are about self-replicating war machines built as weapons for a long ago battle between two alien species that has long since ended but the machines don't know it and their programming is all that remains.

That programming is to "destroy all life." The stories are very hit or miss, with some being very entertaining examinations of how a completely inhuman intelligence deals wit
A collection of pulpy short stories where the heroes are brooding, the women are beautiful and headstrong and the villains are cold, calculating and indescribably inhuman. Originally written between 1967 and 1979, some of the stories show their age, but they are written in the classic "magazine" tradition, often with a twist and with a good dose of (usually rather morbid) humor.

Saberhagen uses only the bare minimum of description and exposition to make the story come through, like many of the "
I enjoyed re-visiting these stories that I probably last read 30+ years ago. Some of the ideas explored here were still relevant, and the basic concept of these stories - giant implacable machines, bent on destroying all life - has been interwoven into the general fabric of SF storytelling. Taken as a whole, the overall structure of the stories became a little similar - plucky humans overcome world-destroying alien robots - and the role relegated to women in these stories is laughably dated, but ...more
Lots of short stories about a distant future where self-replicating machines are out to destroy all life

I have read this mainly because I really liked the Greg Bear stories "Forge of God" and "Anvil of Stars" where the same theme appears (but is worked out differently). One of the premises is that if you are an advanced civilisation, you become aware of how fragile you are for intruders and as a pre-emptive strike send out killer machines to defeat all life that might threaten you in the future.
Sidelined by a foot injury I picked this as distraction reading. Not a novel as I'd thought but a collection of interconnected short stories. The main conflict is the long battle between robotic ships programmed to destroy all organic life and the sentient species of the galaxy working more or less together to defeat the Berserkers. Only humans have capacity for actual violent resistance. The stories are a mixed bunch, some much better than others. Interesting allusions to myth, history and the ...more
Paris Chávez
This book was just ok. It was a bunch of loosely connected stories, similar to I Robot or Martian Chronicles. And like I Robot, a lot of the stories dealt with sort of logical or ethical problems encountered during a conflict with an entirely mechanical foe. I think one of my favorite stories was a warship encounters 2 little ships. One is carrying a bit of technology vital to the war effort. Both ships insist they are human. How do you determine which one is telling the truth?

However most of th
Daniel Velazquez
El argumento de la novela, es muy bueno, lo único que le quita es que son una serie de pequeñas historias.
I am so addicted to the Berserker series. For one, it proclaims on the front cover "your galaxy is toast, monkey boys" can you not read a book with a statement like that on the cover - it's insulting AND apocalyptic!

I think what I like is the idea of those dark killing machines (even scarier than Daleks) out there using humans to betray us and calling them Good Life (which means a nice clean death when they're done with you)...I admit I giggle at the Good Life fitness franchise regularly
Ricky Penick
This was an experiment. I downloaded this audiobook from the library without having any idea what to expect. First of all, this is a collection of short stories masquerading as a novel. This wouldn't be so bad if they were actually connected by narrative or characters or location or theme, but unfortunately there is not much that binds them. In the end though, it doesn't matter because they are universally awful.
If I could, I'd rate this between three and four stars. It was very good, slightly dated, but very good because it deals more with the psychological aspects of the characters than with the specifics of the science. There are some great character studies and inventive situations that keeps each of the vignettes fresh and interesting.
Ty Myrick
Good, but dated. A collection of magazine stories, not a one or five novels. I usually enjoy Golden Age sci-fi more, even though these were fine. The read this because I was intrigued after reading a more recent Berserker story. I would be happy to read the rest of the Berserker stories, but probably not in 5 book chunks.
Feb 20, 2008 Michelle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any science fiction fan
This would be an impressive science fiction venture even if it had been written more recently than thirty years ago. This book is comprised of several short stories tied together with related characters and events. It has some really beautiful things to say about humanity and the nature of life.
This restored my interest in the Berserker series. Short stories, many of them very good reads. Definitely a different style than a couple of the later books (see my reviews). I read this probably 30 years ago, so it's good to re-read and know that I still liked it.
Jason Farley
This was a fantastic set of science fiction short stories. Everything from very funny, to very tragic to, to poignant and thoughtful, to a few of the stories that are absolutely must reads.
Very Heavy Metal style. I dug it.
A must-read....driving awesome
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Other Books in the Series

Berserker (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Berserker (Berserker, #1)
  • Brother Assassin (Berserker, #2)
  • Berserker's Planet (Berserker, #3)
  • Berserker Man (Berserker, #4)
  • The Ultimate Enemy (Berserker, #5)
  • The Berserker Wars (Berserker)
  • The Berserker Throne (Berserker, #7)
  • Berserker: Blue Death (Berserker, #8)
  • Berserker Kill (Berserker, #9)
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The First Book of Swords (Books of Swords, #1) Berserker (Berserker, #1) The Second Book of Swords (Books of Swords, #2) The Complete Book of Swords (Books of Swords, #1-3) The Lost Swords: The First Triad (Lost Swords, #1-3)

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