cover image Tin Men

Tin Men

Christopher Golden. Ballantine, $26 (368p) ISBN 978-0-345-54885-6

Golden (Snowblind) spikes this superior near-future shoot-’em-up with hints of deeper concerns. The U.S. uses the “Tin Men” of its Remote Infantry Corps—virtually indestructible robots controlled at long distance by American soldiers—to enforce its will on the rest of the world. One platoon patrolling Damascus, however, is attacked by anarchists who have new bot-killing weapons, just as a worldwide electromagnetic pulse fries all electrical circuits and seals the soldiers’ minds inside the metal bodies. The isolated Tin Men must get to Athens, where a global anarchist group is targeting a conference of world leaders. Meanwhile, a saboteur is at work back in the robot operators’ underground headquarters in Germany. The characters sometimes note that bullying by world powers inevitably produces hostility among the people who are being pushed around; immediately, however, this is drowned out by the clamor of dying anarchists and exploding robots. Within its chosen limits, this is a wonderfully effective SF thriller. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (June)