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Seeking the contraband he and his separated partner Becky Sharp have hidden, Harry Silver and his beloved ship the Witch Of Endor become stranded on a mysterious minor planet of a binary star system. The planet's only inhabitants are a military installation, purportedly maintaining a weather station. An old acquaintance, Claire Normandy commands the base. Claire's base is more than a weather station, as the biggest baddest berserker, Shiva, has discovered. Shiva plans destruction of the base and all life on the planet. Harry, Becky, Claire and others on the side of humanity must defeat Shiva, the god of death, or die. Others oddly on the side of life include a mad leader of a religious cult, a psychotic serial killer, and a pig headed military commander bent on a suicidal plan of attack. Another action filled adventure in the on-going struggle against the life destroying berserkers.
Super saber-rattler Saberhagen strikes again, with the eighth installment of his popular Berserker series (Berserker Fury, etc.). Solarian humanity is fighting galaxywide for survival against ultimate-weapon machines able to redesign themselves and bent on exterminating all forms of life. With Shiva, a newly developed artificially intelligenced Berserker, heading her way, Commander Claire Normandy musters her slim force of converted courier ships piloted by a motley assortment of pickup crews in order to defend her top-secret code-breaking installation on the planetoid Hyperborea. While Normandy fights off the invading swarm of Berserkers, space-weary combat pilot-turned-smuggler Harry Silver and his lost-found-lost-again love Becky Sharp lead Saberhagen's crisply drawn characters through complicated maneuvers involving an autodog Sniffer, military monomaniac Major Marut, self-anointed Galactic Emperor Julius and an escaped homicidal lunatic. Saberhagen's taut tough-guy dialogue counterpoints the satisfying punch of man-vs.-machine combat, and his settings--especially aboard ship and in the lofty tech areas of Hyperborea--are convincing. When the moondust and starship debris settle, Commander Normandy's good guys have won some breathing room, but odds are Shiva's out there lurking for episode #9--and so is the durable Harry Silver.