Controlled by their tireless electronic brains which were programmed to admit no possibility of defeat, the gigantic robot tanks known as Bolos were almost indestructible, and nearly unstoppable. Their artificial intelligences were designed to make them selflessly serve and protect humans throughout the galaxy and made each Bolo the epitome of the knight sans peur et sans reproche, and often far more noble than the humans who gave them their orders.
Now, David Weber, New York Times best-selling author of the Honor Harrington series, continues the history of the Bolo, in four short novels, one of them published here for the first time.

One Bolo is driven over the edge by the very humans it is pledged to protect. Another Bolo must decide whether or not to disobey when it is given an order that constitutes genocide. A third must hunt one of its own kind whose robot brain is damaged and rescue two children which the deranged Bolo thinks it is protecting from a nonexistent enemy.
And more, including as a bonus, David Weber's own authoritative technical history of the Bolo, all in a volume that will be irresistible both for David Weber's huge readership and Bolo fans everywhere.


David Weber is best known for his New York Times bestselling Honor Harrington series, arguably the most popular series in science fiction, which has led to reviewers comparing him to C.S. Forester , celebrated creator of Captain Horatio Hornblower. Weber's work ranges from epic fantasy (Oath of Swords, The War God's Own) to breathtaking space opera (Path of the Fury, The Apocalypse Troll, Empire from the Ashes) to military science fiction with in-depth characterization (the Honor Harrington novels). With John Ringo, he inaugurated the Prince Roger series of space adventures with March Upcountry and has continued it with March to the Sea and March to the Stars. Weber and his wife Sharon live in South Carolina with their three children.


Keith Laumer, creator of the Bolo series, was renowned both for his fast-paced stories of science fiction adventure, and for his comical stories of Retief, the only two-fisted diplomat in the galaxy. His novels and story collections have gone through printing after printing for nearly four decades. Laumer was a Captain in the US Air Force and later an officer in the Diplomatic Corps, serving all over the world, giving him a solid background both for his fast-moving action stories, including his Bolo series, and his satirical Retief adventures, which deftly skewer the bureaucratic mentality, whether human or alien. Among his other books, all from Baen, are The Compleat Bolo, The Lighter Side, Retief, Future Imperfect, and A Plague of Demons.

Illustration by David Mattingly
Cover design by Carol Russo Design

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This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

First printing, January 2005

Distributed by Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Weber, David, 1952-
Bolo! / David Weber.
p. cm.
ISBN 0-7434-9872-0 (hc)
1. Artificial intelligence—Fiction. 2. Robots—Fiction. 3. Tanks—Fiction.
I. Title.

PS3573.E217B65 2005

Produced by Windhaven Press, Auburn, NH (
Printed in the United States of America

ISBN-13: 978-0-7434-9872-2
ISBN-10: 0-7434-9872-0

Copyright © 2005 by David Weber. "Miles to Go" and "A Brief Technical History of the Bolo by 'Felix Hermes'" copyright © 1995 by David Weber; first published in Bolos, Book 3: The Triumphant; "The Traitor" and "A Time to Kill" copyright © 1997 by David Weber, first published in Bolos, Book 4: Last Stand, edited by Bill Fawcett; "With Your Shield" copyright © 2005 by David Weber.

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

A Baen Books Original
Baen publishing Enterprises
P.O. Box 1403
Riverdale, NY 10471

Electronic version by WebWrights


The Compleat Bolo by Keith Laumer
Created by Keith Laumer:
The Honor of the Regiment
The Unconquerable
The Triumphant by David Weber & Linda Evans

Last Stand
Old Guard
Cold Steel
Bolo Brigade by William H. Keith, Jr.
Bolo Rising by William H. Keith, Jr.
Bolo Strike by William H. Keith, Jr.
The Road to Damascus by John Ringo & Linda Evans
Bolo! by David Weber
Old Soldiers by David Weber (forthcoming)

For a complete list of titles by David Weber, go to: