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Von Neumann's War Mass Market Paperback – February 26, 2008


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Von Neumann's War + Claws That Catch (Looking Glass, Book 4)
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Product Details

  • Series: Von Neuman (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (February 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416555307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416555308
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author


John Ringo
is author of the New York Times best-selling Posleen War series which so far includes A Hymn Before Battle, Gust FrontWhen the Devil Dances (New York Times best seller), and Hell’s Faire (New York Times best seller), and is the hottest new science fiction writer since David Weber. A veteran of the 82nd Airborne, Ringo brings first-hand knowledge of military operations to his fiction. He had visited 23 countries and attended 14 schools by the time he graduated high school.

Travis S. Taylor is the author of Warp Speed, The Quantum Connection, and One Day on Mars for Baen. He has worked on various pro-grams for the Department of Defense and NASA for the past sixteen years. He’s currently working on several advanced propulsion concepts, very large space telescopes, space-based beamed energy systems, and next generation space launch concepts. “Doc” Travis is also a black best martial artist, a private pilot, a SCUBA diver, has raced mountain bikes, competed in triathlons, and has been the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of several hard rock bands.

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Customer Reviews

It could seem like Ringo is recycling too much of that series.
W Boudville
I very much enjoyed this effort and am looking forward to additional books from the Ringo/Taylor partnership.
Roger Ross
This looks the same: finish a book and you find out in the next book everything is worse.
William A. Howes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bryan on February 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Ok, I like this book. It was a bit slow to start. Think of starting fire with two sticks and it took 120 pages to get fire. Once you sit through the set-up, it's a compelling read that cannot be put down. At a guess, I'd sat John Ringo has been hanging out with a scientist because there is a lot more science in this fiction than is usually the case with his works. I suppose that's the Taylor influence? Anyway, great read and kind of a unique variation on the replicating machine plot. Worth reading. Wait for the soft cover though.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on February 28, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Von Neumann's War (2006) is a standalone SF novel. It takes place in an alternate timeline where Mars probes have failed on a regular basis due to an alien invasion of the planet. Mars has also been losing albedo and turning gray.

In this novel, Roger Reynolds is a believer in off-the-shelf design. For his high school's science fair, Roger designed and constructed a sounding rocket made out of old parts and ordinary materials. He went on to win a first in category at the International Science and Engineering Fair, receiving a scholarship and a job at NASA for his efforts. Later, he joins a defense contractor firm and works on classified projects.

The National Security Council discusses the changes in Mars and decides to send a reconnaissance satellite to check it out. Fortunately, Roger and his friends have prepared a plan for a flyby mission to Mars. He presents this plan to the Director of Advanced Science and Technology at the National Reconnaissance Office shortly after the NSC meeting and the Director passes this information on to the President.

Traci is a waitress and a graduate student in astrophysics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She confirms the Mars albedo change. She gradually learns more about the general background on the problem while on the job at Hooters.

Captain Shane Gries, AUS, was a company commander in Iraq, with Thomas Cady as his First Sergeant. After his combat tour, he was assigned to the Pentagon to evaluate new technology. Naturally, most of the ideas were premature, irrelevant or worthless, but some had definite possibilities.

Megiddo is a renegade scientist and totally paranoid. He is hiding from the government because he knows too much.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Barry on November 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Very interesting spin on one of the staples of the sci-fi genre: the alien invasion. The authors go to some length to give the bots in the book advanced technology but not so advanced that humans would have no chance of winning without some sort of impossible deus ex machina tactic ala "Independence Day".

My criticisms would be that the book falls into a fallacy that many similiar books have done; while US soldiers are able to kill tens of thousands of bots using giant lasers, potato gun grenade launchers and explosive paint ball rounds, a full-scale nuclear strike from Russia and China doesn't seem to slow the bots down at all. And why exactly is the US going it alone in the world and not working with other countries to develop weapons to fight the bots?

Overall it's very entertaining and worth a read. But what happens next? I don't think there is really enough interesting material to keep the series going for two more books as seems likely.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Detra Fitch VINE VOICE on November 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Approximately two years ago NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Russian Space Agency began to lose contact with probes that had been sent to the planet Mars. A little over one year ago, scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute and NASA discover that the color of Mars was changing from red to gray. In a period of less than two years, Mars has been hyper-industrialized. It has been completely developed into a planet-covering grid of giant city-like structures. Recent studies of other planets in our solar system suggest that the outer planets, or their moons, have undergone the same transformations. It did not take long for the real situation to become clear; automated robots (somewhat resembling Starlings) from outside our solar system are transforming entire worlds to meet their goals.

Governments of our world are too late to figure out a way to keep the robots from landing on Earth. When the menace touches down, chaos reigns supreme. Weapons are useless since they seem to eat, or tear apart, metal. Armageddon may actually be near.

***** Much of this book is set in Alabama, around Huntsville. The story has a variety of characters that kept me thoroughly entertained while a complex plot kept me riveted. Traci, a Hooters' waitress and an astrophysics grad working on her master's, is spunky! There are two thirteen-year-old girls that are so smart they can be scary. As for the military, First Sergeant Thomas "Top" Cady is one bad dude! Whatever Captain Shane Gries wanted done, Top is the one who found a way to do it, while killing off as many enemies as possible.

It is not hard to see which parts were written by which author. When it came to the high-tech science stuff, rocket scientist Travis S. Taylor put pen to paper.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ra on October 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was not up to the standards that I usually expect from John Ringo. THe basic premise of the story showed promise but the characters where a little flat and the action predictable. This is a story that neededs a little more thought put in to it. I like John Ringo but this was not his best work
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