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    Keith Laumer
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    Berkley Pub. Corp. : distributed by Putnam; 1st edition (1976)
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    179 pages
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Keith Laumer (1925-1993) John Keith Laumer was an American science fiction author born in Syracuse, New York. Prior to his career as a writer, Laumer was an officer in the United States Air Force

Keith Laumer (1925-1993) John Keith Laumer was an American science fiction author born in Syracuse, New York. Prior to his career as a writer, Laumer was an officer in the United States Air Force. After war service, he spent a year at the University of Stockholm, and then took two bachelor's degrees in science and architecture at the University of Illinois. His first story, Greylorn, was published in 1959, but he returned to the Air Force the following year, only becoming a full-time writer in 1965

A short history of the bolo fighting machines

A short history of the bolo fighting machines. THE FIRST APPEARANCE in history of the concept of the armored vehicle was the use of wooden-shielded war wagons by the reformer John Huss in fifteenth-century Bohemia. Thereafter the idea lapsed-unless one wishes to consider the armored knights of the Middle Ages, mounted on armored warhorses-until the twentieth century.

Bolo: Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Keith Laumer, published in 1976. It includes six stories about cybertanks called Bolos. It will be a rewarding experience.

Formed in the 27th century, the Dinochrome Brigade was the Concordiat 's overarching unit for Bolo forces during the latter half of its existence.

Good book I have read other books of the series and plan download and read others. If you loved the original Keith Laumer Bolo stories, you will love this! The best of future sentient tank warfare stories!

Good book I have read other books of the series and plan download and read others.

In the action-packed Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade, the ultimate fighting machines tell their own fascinating, far-ranging and ultimately tragic story. Contents: A Short History of the Bolo Fighting Machines (1976) The Night of the Trolls (1963) Courier (1961) Field Test (1976) The Last Command (1967) A Relic of War (1969) Combat Unit (1960).

Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read. Whether you've loved the book or not, if you give your honest and detailed thoughts then people will find new books that are right for them.

Bolo The Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade.

A collection of stories The classic military dilemma-preventing those who defend you from turning on you-is seemingly solved with the implementation of the Bolos, mechanical servants with artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art high-tech weaponry. Bolo The Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade.

Bolo: Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade is a collection of stories by Keith Laumer published in 1976. Plot summary Reception

Bolo: Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade is a collection of stories by Keith Laumer published in 1976. Plot summary Reception. It sill be a rewarding experience.

Keith Laumer is known for the Retief stories. Stories from the former chronicle the evolution of super tanks that become self-aware through the constant improvement resulting from centuries of intermittent warfare against various alien races; the latter deals with the adventures of a cynical spacefaring diplomat who has to overcome the red-tape-infused failures of people with names like Ambassador Grossblunder. Most are collections.

The main characters in this series are tanks, intelligent tanks. This one of my favorite series, but they are short stories, not a novel. Some in the near future, some in the far future.
Simple fellow
Short story format. The only theme linking the stories are the tanks which are called Bolos.
i would stop reading another book to read any BOLO book.they are all that good.
Bolo is an excellent series of books.
Good read. On a deeper note, who was the first person to figure out how to milk a cow. And what was he thinking.
Bolo:Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade( 1976)

Bolo: Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade( 1976)

Bolo: Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade (1976) was written by the originator of the Bolo concept, Keith Laumer. It includes seven short stories.

A Short History of the Bolo Fighting Machines,( Reads like a real history book. Maybe it will be.)

The Night of the Trolls. (How it all started. Mr. Jackson went to work one day, but when he wole up, his world had changed...)

Courier ( Bought a Bolo book and a Retief story broke out. If you like Retief stories
Google"Amazon, Listmania,Laumer, Retief"

Field Test To test or not to test? That is the question? Why did you do it?

The Last Command What would you do , if were a Bolo and you suddenly became conscious with no memory of how you got there and you were surrounded by black?

A Relic of War What would it be like to have an old Bolo from the last war sitting in your town that you could talk to, have the children play on?

Combat Unit What would happen if A Bolo was captured and made a Prisoner Of War? How about more than one?


A Bolo is a fictional type of artificially intelligent super-heavy tank. They were first imagined by Keith Laumer, and have since been featured in science fiction novels and short stories by him and others.
Description and fictional history
Early models were simply super-heavy tanks controlled by programming intended to reduce the need for a human crew through automation. However, as the programming increased in complexity, Bolos became more effective at mimicking intelligence, and finally self-aware. Later models were controlled by artificial intelligences. The first Bolo was developed in the late 20th/early 21st century by the (fictional) Bolo Division of General Motors. As humanity spread beyond Earth, Bolos followed to protect the Empire, and later the Concordiat. For millennia they provided the bulwark of humanity's defenses, participating in numerous wars against various aliens, most notably the Deng and the Melconians in the 30th century. After the end of the Final War with the Melconians, surviving Bolos became crucial in sheltering and protecting the few scattered remnants of humanity while the long slow process of survival and rebuilding began.
Bolos are assigned to the Dinochrome Brigade, which traces its lineage back to various units on Earth, although individual Bolos are occasionally detached to serve with Planetary Siege Regiments.
At a certain phase of their evolution, Bolo psychotronic design[was greatly influenced by the ideal of "the perfect knight" or "knight errant". However later models incorporated circuitry capable of directly interfacing with a feral human mind, and so failed to live up to the ideal. Bolos were designed to be invincible, i.e., to be able to withstand the dominant weapons platforms of their day, but also completely loyal to humanity. Their psychotronic brains were rigorously tested before being installed into a suitable body. Bolos are programmed to avoid killing humans unless by explicit order of their human commanders. One of the greatest fears of humans is that a Bolo's programming will become corrupted and will go rogue. Indeed this happened in Rogue Bolo, and Bolos were turned against their human masters in Bolo Rising and Bolo Strike.[ As Bolo technology has advanced, they have become increasingly autonomous. The first Bolo was essentially a very powerful conventional tank equipped with various servos and mechanical devices to make it possible for limited crew to conduct combat operations. Other early Bolos could be put on automated patrol patterns. Starting with the Mark XX, Bolos became capable of fully independent operation (without a human commander), and with the advent of the Mark XXVI, true independent, strategic planning was possible.
The Mark XXXIII Bolo was the last Bolo built by the Concordiat prior to the Melconian destruction of Earth. There were several Mark XXXIV Bolo designs built by isolated fragments of the Concordiat or their "Seed Corn" colonies. These Bolo designs were made in isolation from each other and were dissimilar in size, design and capabilities. Therefore, there is no "standard" design for any Bolo designated as a Mark XXXIV or greater.
Bolo offensive systems
A Bolo was designed to be a consolidated weapons system capable of taking on any force it might encounter. Bolos from Mark XV on were designed to engage any land based target independently as well as starships in low to medium orbits. Depending on the enemy, a single Bolo was considered the equivalent of a manned armoured assault brigade or better. Bolos came in several forms, heavy "siege" units, smaller scout units but the most commonly produced was the "standard" unit which balanced speed, protection and firepower.
The main weapon of early Bolo Marks was either an enhanced tank gun (Early marks featured DSFSLRP, or discarding sabot, fin-stabilized, long-rod penetrator munitions) or a railgun. As Mankind moved off-planet and the Bolo designs became bigger and more powerful; these were replaced by a Laser Cannon for a short period of time, until the Hellbore was developed.
The Hellbore is a complex plasma weapon mounted on a turret, akin to other main guns which first saw service with the Mark XIV. On some models, there is more than one main gun, and most recent models have smaller "support" Hellbores. Hellbore power output is measured in megatons/second, although the diameter of the tube is also often used as a quantifying measure. Hellbores of 50cm and larger range can destroy orbiting spaceships from the ground, often with one shot -- indeed, Bolo primary weapons are equivalent to the main battery weapons of Concordiat Naval capital ships during the time period they are in service. Main armament Hellbores for Bolos range in size from 25cm (Mark XIV) to 200cm + (Mark XXXI and later).
Hellbore ammunition consists of slivers of highly-pressurized frozen deuterium which, when fired, are ignited (by a laser) in a fusion reaction. The resulting bolt is contained and directed using strong magnetic fields in the breech and barrel. The resulting plasma travels at a considerable fraction of light speed. Since the Hellbore was designed as naval armament for Concordiat vessels, modifications had to be made to use them in an atmosphere to avoid losing a significant portion of the shot's energy to dispersal. To this end, a fraction of a second before using the Hellbore a powerful laser will be firing to create a momentary vacuum along the path of the bolt. Later Bolo marks are capable of internally manufacturing Hellbore rounds, using water as a raw material, whereby the deuterium isotope of hydrogen is separated and cooled cryogenically into splinters of frozen hydrogen. The Mark XXXIV carries a variant of the Hellbore known as the Hellrail, an anti-starship railgun weapon, possessing an output of 90 megatons per shot. Hellrails are designed for planetary defense and cannot normally be depressed to strike ground targets.
Bolos are also equipped with rapid-firing batteries known as infinite repeaters, though the term later came to be used for automatic secondary weapons with anti-armor ability. On early models, these were Gatling guns or small-bore railguns. Later Marks progressed to energy weapons such as lasers and ion-based weapons, and finally to small Hellbores. Depending on the Bolo, additional secondary armaments include rapid-fire mortars, heavy howitzers, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, anti-personnel flechette launchers, and other point-defense weapons to intercept incoming threats. Bolos are equipped with both conventional and thermonuclear missiles, though they will use the latter only as a last resort.
Mark XXXIIIs are known to carry Dragon hover-tanks and Wyvern scout flyers in combat in order to scout for, and to supplement the firepower of, the Bolo itself.
Bolo defensive systems
The complex armor of a Bolo Unit of the Line can withstand direct hits from all weapons systems up to (and in later models, including) nuclear weapons. Hulls are built of (in increasing order of protection) durachrome, flintsteel, duralloy or in the last marks, endurachrome. Many models would also use ablative or ceramic tiles to provide additional protection against plasma weapons.
Beginning with the Mark XIX, Bolo's also began to be protected by external energized battlescreens. These battlescreens could convert much of the damage done by enemy weapons fire into energy that would be redirected into the Bolo's own weapons. In addition beginning with the Mark XXIII, internal disrupter fields were added to limit and redirect from vital systems such damage as did manage to penetrate the Bolo's formidable outer defenses.
Each unit is also equipped with an impressive array of sensing equipment for all light conditions, IR, magnetic spectrum, and FTL comm. Units also came equipped with stealthy flying drones and other remote sensing capabilities, with later models having the capabilities to orbit their own MILSAT spy satellites. Later Bolos also contain their own maintenance robots to repair battle damage.
Power for weapons, battlescreens, and mobility is most often provided by one or more fusion reactors, however earlier marks relied on high capacity ionic batteries often linked to a high efficiency solar energy system (which continued to be used as a secondary power source in later Bolos) or a fission reactor. As a last resort, Bolos may detonate their reactors to destroy an enemy, or at the very least, thwart capture.
Artificial intelligence
Beginning with the Mark XX, Bolos began to be equipped with psychotronic "brains" which allowed them to be fully aware artificial intelligences. Early versions of this technology could become unreliable if damaged in battle causing the damaged Bolo to, on occasion, perceive its friends as enemies. Because of this, Bolos model XX through XXIII's psychotronics were limited by inhibitory programing that basically gave the Bolo the initiative of a rock when not in full battle mode. To accomplish this, designers separated the Bolo's personality center from its main processing center allowing the Bolo to fully integrate its cognitive functions only when in battle. In addition to these safeguards, Bolos were also equipped with the Total Systems Override Program (nicknamed Omega Worm) which, if a Bolo refused an authorized order, or if initiated by its human commander, would crash all of the Bolo's primary execution files rendering it brain dead.
These inhibitory features began to be relaxed beginning with the Mark XXIV version but were not completely removed until a review of the combat performance of unit 23/B-0075-NKE (Nike), a experimental autonomous self aware unit, in the Battle of Santa Cruz (approx 3030 A.D.), proved both the capabilities and reliability of a self aware autonomous psychotronics. Nike herself was killed by the Omega Worm by refusing an order from a traitor of the Dinochrome Brigade and this led to a revision of the parameters that would lead to the execution of the Omega Worm in later model Bolos.
Beginning with the Mark XXV versions, Bolos became completely autonomous, capable of full self direction in all situations. However, it was found that the intuitive capabilities of human commanders working in conjunction with intelligent Bolo's increased the effectiveness of the units and so, with some exceptions, human commanders continued to be assigned to, fight with and if necessary, die with their Bolos. This partnership was further enhanced with the introduction of the Mark XXXII which pioneered a neural interface which allowed the Bolo and its human commander to mentally merge human intuition and Bolo processing speed.
Early versions of the Bolo were not self aware artificial intelligences and up through the Mark IX were only systems which automated the functioning of the vehicle under direct human command. Beginning with the Mark X, Bolos began to use limited AI systems using pre-packaged battle plans which allowed them to function relatively independently provided the situation on the battlefield fell within the parameters of its pre-loaded plan. If not, then the human commander needed to directly intervene either selecting a new battleplan or taking over the functions of the Bolo personally. This system was further advanced beginning with the Mark XV-R which was given a basic AI core capable of choosing between various pre-loaded plans based upon actual battlefield conditions. However, what these earlier Bolos were not capable of doing was developing their own independent battle plans.
Most later mark Bolos have several processing centers, the main core, the personality center, the damage control core (in later models) and the unit's survival center. Some Bolos were given a secondary main core however this was not typical. Of these the survival center was the most heavily protected being at the center of the Bolo's mass directly under the human commander's command deck. In the event of the destruction of the Bolo the survival center was designed to protect the Bolo's core personality and programing for later retrieval and reactivation.
Each Bolo contains several computer "cores" with different functions, each of which contains multiple fully functional duplicates in case of failure. If a Bolo's logic becomes dysfunctional enough, it regresses to the original Resartus protocol, which was embedded in all self-aware models just for such a case.
Many Bolo stories are told from the point of the view of the Bolo itself, with its internal thoughts printed in italics throughout the text]
] Bolo personality
One of the defining characteristic that resounds in all the works is the Knight in Shining Armour. In many stories, Humanity is redeemed via the Bolo service and self-sacrifice and reminds Humanity what honor is
Bolo marks, years of introduction, & notable Bolos
Number Official Name Year of Introduction Notable Bolos
Mark I
N/A 2000 None known
Mark II
N/A 2015 "Lesser Troll"
Mark III
N/A 2018 "Greater Troll", Combat Unit #27A22245 "Markee"
Mark IV
N/A 2116 None Known
Mark V
N/A 2160[
None Known
Mark VI
N/A 2162[
None Known
Mark VII
N/A 2165 None Known
N/A 2209 None Known
Mark IX
N/A 2209 None Known
Mark X
N/A 2235 None Known
Mark XI
N/A 2235 None Known
Mark XII
N/A 2240 None Known
N/A 2247 None known.
Mark XIV
N/A 2307 ALG "Algy"
Mark XV/B-M
Resartus 2396 "Resartus"
Mark XV/R-Q
Horrendous 2626 "Horrendous", JNA "Jonah/Johnny"
Mark XVI
Retarius 2605 "Retarius", DAK "Das Afrika Korps", "US Seventh Corps", "Indefatigable", "Zhukov"
Implacable 2650 None Known
Gladius 2672 Unit 76235 ALG "Algy"
Mark XIX
Intransigent 2790 None Known
Mark XX
Tremendous 2796 CSR "Caesar", DNE "Denny", "Moseby", DGR "Digger", GWN "Gawain/Gonner", JSN "Jason", LON/SOL "Lonesome Son"/"Sonny"
Mark XXI
Terrible 2869 MLS "Miles/Resartus", LRH-1313 "Light Reconnaissance Headquarters/Little Red Hen"
Thunderous 2890 DNR "Danar"
Invincibilis 2912 B (Experimental)-0075-NKE "Nike"
Cognitus 2961 721 KNE "Kenny", 96875-FRD "Ferdy", 96876-FRD "Freddy", HNK 0808-50 "Hank", NDR 0831-57 "Andrew"
Mark XXV
Stupendous 3001 954-BBY "Bobby", D-0098-ART "Arthur", D-1162-HNR "Honour", Combat Unit D-0982-JSN "Jason", D-0103-LNC "Lance"
Monstrous 3113 None Known
Invictus 3185 None Known
Triumphant 3186 LNE "Lenny", TTN "Titan", RPT "Rampart", MLN "Merlin", DGN "Dragon", BWK "Bulwark", DJN "Donjon", CHT "Chateau", HWK "Hawk", PGY "Peggy", 28/G-862-BNJ "Benjy", 28/G-179-LAZ "Lazarus" LZY "Lazy" JRM "Jeremy"
Victorious 3190 LRS 1-8-12 "Laura Secord", "Victorious"
Mark XXX
Magnificent 3231 "Maldon", KCC-549 "Casey", LIS-668 "Luis", JNC-147 "Janice", DBC "Death by Chains" DBQ "Death by Quarter", JBH-377, LLB-444, "Kal", UGN-404 "Eugene", LXR-107 "Luxor", PTE-900 "Petey", MXM-823 "Max"
N/A 3303 MKY-403 "Mickey"
N/A 3356 DLS "Dallas"
N/A Unknown SHM "Sherman", D-1005-JNE "Jenny", D-1097-SHV "Shiva", "Victor", HCT "Hector" IVN "Invictus" HRR "Horror" FLM "Flame"
N/A 3356-3408 "Cephalus", R-0012 ZGY "Ziggy", TRK-213 "Turkey", RVR "Rover" ADY "Andy" HRC "Hercules" CRG "Craig"
Resurgent Unknown A-001-SBR "Sabre"
Mark XLIV N/A Unknown LKT "Leuctra/Lucy"
Mark LX Juggernaught Unknown None Known
Mark XXXXX Mobile Fortress Unknown NKE 462-135-4327-42B
Bolos appear in these books by Keith Laumer and others:
* Laumer, Keith. Bolo: Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade. cover by Powers, Berkley Books. ISBN 042503450X.
* Laumer, Keith. The Compleat Bolo. cover by Stephen Hickman, Baen Books. ISBN 0671698796.
* Laumer, Keith. Rogue Bolo. cover by Vincent di Fate, Baen Books. ISBN 0671655450.
* Laumer, Keith. The Stars Must Wait. cover by Laurence Schwinger, Baen Books. ISBN 0671698591.
* Stirling, S. M.; S.N. Lewitt, J. Andrew Keith, Todd Johnson, Mike Resnick, Barry N. Malzberg, Christopher Stasheff, Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon, David Drake. Bill Fawcett. ed.. Bolos Book I: Honor of the Regiment. cover by Paul Alexander, Baen Books. ISBN 0671721844. [...] Retrieved on 24 December 2006.
* Stasheff, Christopher; S. M. Stirling, S. N. Lewitt, Shirley Meier, Karen Wehrstein, Todd Johnson, William R. Forstchen. Bill Fawcett. ed.. Bolos Book II: The Unconquerable. cover by Paul Alexander, Baen Books. ISBN 0671876295.
* Evans, Linda; Robert R. Hollingsworth, David Weber. Bill Fawcett. ed.. Bolos Book III: The Triumphant. cover by Paul Alexander, Baen Books. ISBN 067187683X. [...] Retrieved on 24 December 2006.
* Weber, David M.; S. M. Stirling, John Mina, William R. Forstchen, Robert Greenberger, William H. Keith, Jr., Todd Johnson, Steve Perry, John DeCamp, Mark Thies, Linda Evans. Bill Fawcett. ed.. Bolos Book IV: Last Stand. cover by Paul Alexander, Baen Books. ISBN 0671877607.
* Goulish, Michael. Air Force One. [...]
* Keith, William H.; Mark Thies, John Mina, J. Steven York, Dean Wesley Smith. Bill Fawcett. ed.. Bolos Book V: Old Guard. cover by Dru Blair, Baen Books. ISBN 0671319574. [...] Retrieved on 24 December 2006.
* Smith, Dean Wesley; J. Steven York, Linda Evans. Bill Fawcett. ed.. Bolos Book VI: Cold Steel. cover by David Mattingly, Baen Books. ISBN 0743435494. [...] Retrieved on 24 December 2006.
* Keith, William H.. Bill Fawcett. ed.. Bolo Brigade. cover by C. W. Kelly, Baen Books. ISBN 067187781X.
* Keith, William H.. Bill Fawcett. ed.. Bolo Rising. cover by Charles Keegan, Baen Books. ISBN 0671577794. [...]
* Keith, William H.. Bill Fawcett. ed.. Bolo Strike. cover by Dru Blair, Baen Books. ISBN 0671318357.
* Weber, David M.. Bill Fawcett. ed.. Bolo!. cover by Carol Russo Design, illustration by David Mattingly, Baen Books. ISBN 0743498720. [...]
* Ringo, John; Linda Evans. The Road to Damascus. cover by David Mattingly, Baen Books. ISBN 0743471873. [...]
* Weber, David M.. Old Soldiers. cover by David Mattingly. ISBN 1416508988. [...]
1. ^ Laumer, Keith. Bolo: Annals of the Dinochrome Brigade. cover by Powers, Berkley Books. ISBN 042503450X.
2. ^ Weber, David; Linda Evans (1995). "A Brief Design History of the Bolo". Bolos: Book 3 The Triumphant. New York: Baen Books. pp. 363. ISBN 0-671-87683-X.
3. ^ Weber, David; Linda Evans (1995). "A Brief Design History of the Bolo". Bolos: Book 3 The Triumphant. New York: Baen Books. pp. 363-364. ISBN 0-671-87683-X.
4. ^ Weber, David; Linda Evans (1995). "A Brief Design History of the Bolo". Bolos: Book 3 The Triumphant. New York: Baen Books. pp. 364-365. ISBN 0-671-87683-X.
5. ^ Weber, David; Linda Evans (1995). "A Brief Design History of the Bolo". Bolos: Book 3 The Triumphant. New York: Baen Books. pp. 365. ISBN 0-671-87683-X.
6. ^ Weber, David; Linda Evans (1995). "A Brief Design History of the Bolo". Bolos: Book 3 The Triumphant. New York: Baen Books. pp. 365-366. ISBN 0-671-87683-X.
7. ^ Weber, David; Linda Evans (1995). "A Brief Design History of the Bolo". Bolos: Book 3 The Triumphant. New York: Baen Books. pp. 366-367. ISBN 0-671-87683-X.
8. ^ Weber, David; Linda Evans (1995). "A Brief Design History of the Bolo". Bolos: Book 3 The Triumphant. New York: Baen Books. pp. 367. ISBN 0-671-87683-X.

Highly recommended for fans of military science fiction and action books. You'll want to read them all.

Gunner, December, 2008
While written back in the 1960's and assume's nuclear war between the Russians and the United States, it does foretell the rise of intelligent machines.