A Boy and His Tank

Leo Frankowski, Author
Leo Frankowski, Author Baen Books $21 (288p) ISBN 978-0-671-57796-4
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Mass Market Paperbound - 288 pages - 978-0-671-57850-3
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Centuries in the future, on the distant and dirt-poor planet of New Kashubia, young Mickolai Derdowski is sentenced to death for getting his girlfriend, Kasia, pregnant. His only alternative is to become a mercenary, a human backup for the artificial intelligence and virtual reality capabilities of a Mark XIX tank. After training in the VR ""Dream World"" (and falling in love with Agnieshka, the female personality of his tank), Mickolai is sent to fight Serbs on the planet of New Yugoslavia. There he meets Kasia again, persuades a division of Serbian tanks to change sides, undergoes a crash course in military science and winds up a victorious commanding general. But in Agnieshka's VR world, nothing is what it seems, and Mickolai (and the reader) must wait until the end of his mission to discover what has really happened. Filled with coincidences and expository lumps, this novel's action scenes are too short, while its sex scenes are too numerous. Frankowski (Conrad's Quest for Rubber) has done better than this disappointing mix of extravagances and implausibilities. (Mar.)
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