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A Boy And His Tank [Mass Market Paperback]

Leo Frankowski
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2000
He was a rugged, hardened combat veteran who had gone to hell and back -- in virtual reality! Now he had to face the real thing! The planet New Kashubia was rich in heavy metals, but its surface was baked with deadly radiation, so the colonists lived in tunnels drilled in a thousand foot thick layer of solid gold. Lacking carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, or even dirt, they were the poorest people in the universe. But when they combined virtual reality with tank warfare, giving their warriors a close symbiosis with their intelligent tanks, neither war nor the galaxy would ever be the same. Not to mention sex . . .

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From Amazon

Leo Frankowski, author of the popular Conrad Stargard series, postulates a future in which the former Yugoslavia is still torn by civil war between Serbs and Croats. But now they've taken their endless conflict to space, and wars between minority factions are fought by starving workers symbiotically bonded with Mark XIX Main Battle Tanks. These sentient tanks provide for all their human pilots' needs (and we do mean all their needs).

Our hero, Mickolai Derdowski, is a Polish Kashubian who chooses to be inducted into the Croat branch of the army and bonded with a sexy female tank in lieu of being reduced to his organic components and used as fertilizer in the hydroponic vats. The real forces behind the war are the Tokyo Mining and Manufacturing Company, which makes money off the hapless Kashubians unfortunate enough to have colonized a brutal, barren metallic hunk of a planet, and the Wealthy Nations Group, which squeezes water from turnips all over the galaxy.

Like most military SF, the lighthearted Boy and His Tank is full of guns, girls, and galactic adventure, and Frankowski throws in a surprise ending that will make you either laugh or cry. --Adam Fisher --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light and human military SF June 24 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
New Kashubia is a planet of almost pure wealth. When its star went nova, the lighter elements were blown away leaving a complete planet of molten metal--which then cooled in neat layers. New Kashubia is a miner's delight, an industrialist's best dream, and the worst possible nightmare for any colonists unlucky enough to be sent there. With no oxygen, no hydrogen, no organic chemicals, essentially nothing to support life, the Kashubian population is condemned to slowly starve--while living in their gold-lined caves. When they discover that the industrialists left a vast array of military equipment, the Kashubians see a ray of hope--they can become mercenaries, exchanging their equipment and soldiers for the organics they require. Of course, without enough volunteers, it is tempting to resort to stripping the prisons--hence tank operator Mickolai.
The warring clans of the former Yugoslavia form ideal targets for mercenaries. The Kashubians sell their services to all sides and prepare for a friendly time with plenty of shooting and no casualties. Unfortunately for their plans, the Serbians discover that the divisions they paid for are severely undermanned and take over the largely automated tanks themselves. As a result, the hoped-for cake walk turns into real battle.
Author Leo Frankowski follows the tradition of Robert Heinlein more than that of David Drake with a personal adventure and coming of age story--yet he certainly doesn't neglect the battles. Frankowski's descriptions of the future tanks is a reasonable extrapolation from modern trends, which makes his story more compelling and interesting.
I did think that Mickolai's relationship with Kasia went a little too easily and the romantic conflict between the tank, the boy, and the girl could have been more fully developed, but this is a small quibble. A BOY AND HIS TANK is fun light reading.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
A KASZUBIAN with Polish ancestry - parents - Ellis Island at a tender age in the very early 1900's; I am the youngest of 10 siblings, 5 girls/5 boys, expanded to continuing generations. I spent two spectacular weeks in Poland, including Warsaw and Cracow hosted by Poland friends met in Manhattan NYC - my first trip 1999 and the first sibling to do so. I am drawn to anything written by those who care enough about Poland and its heritage(s), struggles no matter the classification of media.
Frankowski's books got my attention due to the Kashubian & Poland connection. I read the author's sci-fi series but allow only two stars for the author's vivid imagination; his Polish name even though I am not sure of his ancestry and where his heart lies... and less stars due to the negatives for his presentation of the story(ies) with obvious outlandish chauvinism (resolved bachelor or not), his blatant and insulting unsuitable comedy of the Polish people, and his spite, bigotry, prejudice and discrimination throughout the whole series of his sci-fi pundits... his books do not "Stand Tall" in the science fiction category of reads. Readers look more for James Luceno; Kevin Anderson; Kathy Tyers; Vonda McIntyre; Matthew Woodring Stover; Kathryn Rusch, and so many more who deserve readers attention.
To readers interested in Poland's history - novels, etc. I strongly refer you to fiction and non-fiction translated classics by authors including Henry Sienkiewicz (classic "Quo Vadis"), plus his trilogy including "With Fire and Sword", trilogy made into theater movies in recent years, and don't miss Sienkiewicz's other novels; Nobel winner writer/poet Czeslaw Milosz (whom I had the humbling experience and honor to personally meet in Manhattan); author W.S.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book I have read from Leo Frankowski. The only reason I came across it is that due to some genealogical research I recently found out I am 25% Kashubian and so have become somewhat obsessed with finding anything pertaining to that particular region/ethnic group.
My opinion of the book´¿if you are a high school male interested in military sci-fi, and can fantasize about making love to a tank (literally), you´¿d probably think it´¿s great.
The part that bothered me the most is that the book´¿s core plot actually had some potential, but was very poorly written. It should have taken place in an entirely different setting. Mr. Frankowski thinks it´¿s important to perpetuate racial stereotypes and conflicts, even hundreds of years into the future. In fact, the whole book is based on the ´¿Wealthy Nations Group´¿ giving each minority its own planet. Well, after all those people are given their own planet, who the heck is left in the ´¿Wealthy Nations Group´¿?? He never does explain. The Japanese, who are one of the wealthiest nations in the world is not part of the group, although they apparently live on Earth. The American Blacks are given a planet by the name of ´¿Soul City´¿ (puh-lease Mr. Frankowski, this is pitiful!), but he never explains what happens to the African Blacks, or any of the Hispanic or Native Indian cultures. However, we do know that the Chinese, Kashubians, Croats, and Serbs are all given their own planets.
But then the rules get even more confusing.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars When you live in hell WAR is paradise!
The planet of New Kashubia is a ball of heavy metals in orbit about a pulsar that bakes the planet's surface with deadly radiation. Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2003 by Michael Valdivielso
5.0 out of 5 stars A Boy and His Tank
Best book in my collection I just hope there will be a sequel coming out soon. the ending leaves you wonting more and then you find out that your not going to get it. Read more
Published on April 19 2002 by Michael Kenney
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for what it is...pulp, pulp, pulp
This is a 4-star rating for books in this genre, not 4 stars against my other rated books. That said, this is really good pulp sci-fi. Read more
Published on June 21 2001 by Michael F. Maddox
1.0 out of 5 stars Suprise ending means I'll never trust Frank again
I loved the paperback but I will never be able to trust the author after I discovered the 'surprise' ending in the hardcover. Read more
Published on April 7 2001 by "jcaldwel@indy.com"
1.0 out of 5 stars War Ain't Pretty - Neither Is This Book
Leo Frankowski answers the time old question of what happens when a good author goes bad. Into a future feudalistic society in which Serbians and Croatians are still killing each... Read more
Published on June 22 2000 by Robroy A. Mccandless
4.0 out of 5 stars FROM A KASZUBIAN (POLISH-AMERICAN) VIEWPOINT...
I appreciate the reviewers who have given impetus to decision on whether to read or not to read. This book was brought to my attention because of the Kashubian element. Read more
Published on March 14 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars A Boy & His Tank is too Political
This is the first book I read of Leo's, and I enjoyed it for its action and technological bs. The technical advances were, well ... magnetic, shall we say? Read more
Published on March 9 2000 by Mike Varela
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise, mediocre execution
Frankowski ventures into territory charted by Drake, Laumer, Heinlein, and Saberhagen, and actually comes up with a number of original twists on the theme of space-age armored... Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2000 by Ben Klausner
2.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Frankowski, for good or bad
This is a fairly typical Frankowski novel, written in a typical Frankowski voice. If you have read any of his other novels, you'll recognize the narrator by his self-righteous yet... Read more
Published on Feb. 10 2000 by Gregory
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for a Frankowskiesque future setting
I just finished this book, and I enjoyed it. I have read all of his novels and this is the first that takes place in the distant future on different worlds. Not a bad attempt.
Published on June 30 1999
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