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Dogs of War (2017)

por Adrian Tchaikovsky

Séries: Dogs of War (1)

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3532571,834 (4.06)23
My name is Rex. I am a good dog. Rex is also seven foot tall at the shoulder, bulletproof, bristling with heavy calibre weaponry and his voice resonates with subsonics especially designed to instil fear. With Dragon, Honey and Bees, Rex is part of a Multiform Assault Pack operating in the lawless anarchy of Campeche, Mexico. As a gentically engineered Bioform, Rex is a deadly weapon in a dirty war. But all he wants to be is a Good Dog. And to do that he must do exactly what Master says and kill a lot of enemies. But who, exactly, are the enemies? What happens when Master is tried as a war criminal? What rights does the Geneva Convention grant weapons? Do Rex and his fellow Bioforms even have a right to exist? And what happens when Rex slips his leash?… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porbiblioteca privada, timeforrevolution, malcrf, Dzaowan, lfritts, Zare, hsigma, ScoLgo, alcottacre, GCUGreyArea
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Mostrando 1-5 de 25 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Excellent! Love the premise, love the way it is written, love the bioform's perspectives. Loved it.

Perfect for me. ( )
  malcrf | Feb 16, 2024 |
This has to be one of the best SF books I ever read. If you like authors like Richard K Morgan, Linda Nagata, Eyal Kless and Neal Asher (although his books are more exotic in nature than the works of first three authors) you will enjoy this book thoroughly.

Since writing review of this novel is for all means and purposes walk on the slippery side I will put it into spoiler tags. I will try to give it as brief and without spoiling much .... my advice is if you like authors I listed above not to hesitate and dive into this book as soon as you can.


Book starts with the bang - in a dirty little corporate war fought in Mexico sometime in the far future on Earth new weapon system is introduced. Genetic mix of animal and human and enhanced with the advanced cybernetic technology, so-called Bioforms are the ultimate counter insurgency troopers capable of fighting the guerillas. Here we are introduced to our "combat team", hunting Bioform pack lead by dog (Rex), bear (Honey), enhanced crocodile-reptile (Dragon) and swarm of bees (aptly named Bees) that act as air cover and electronic warfare set.

Considering the nature of the war and cold-bloodedness of mercenaries hired by the corporations situation deteriorates very fast and our troop of heroes will find themselves fighting for the very survival in the UN courts after entire operations goes down and is put under the spotlight by international community. And all of this is maybe 1/4 into the book!

While touching on the classical questions of responsibility and chain of command (subject of many mostly non fiction books, from WW2 to Vietnam and our modern wars) author adds artificial life in the equation and raises question on how (ir)responsible it is to create artificial life and use it without acknowledging it and giving it place within our eco-system (very much like Asimovs robot's dilemma).
Is it ethical to create new life (without even being aware how this same life will evolve on its own) and use it only as a slave work-force, treating it as something that is below even animal life on the planet? How ethical and moral is to create self thinking and intelligent life form and throw it into conflict and wars where their own moral guidelines are subdued by enforced hierarchical control - where they get forced to do what they might never do on their own, terrible and savage destruction of life?

Very interesting questions and story truly flows beautifully. Near the end I was little bit disappointed by what seemed like a rather simplistic view of how humanity should progress. Namely entire humanity should embrace hive like singularity to move forward (this secret agenda ran by third party in the story, although it sounds all nice and dandy, is very selfish in nature - it is only way for this third party to reveal itself to people and live freely, one way of achieving it if everything else fails is even war (in which case humans are marked as oppressors!)). I am little bit tired of these pro-technology talk without looking into any pitfalls (especially since we are not able to control technology we have now).

And then author surprised me with the end - ending that was realistic and unfortunately dark but again ending that put everything in its right place.

By creating AI completely artificially (I truly enjoyed depictions of forgotten computer systems that have slowly evolved to a remarkable degree) or by mixing intelligences of different existing life-forms and enhancing them with raw computer power, humans are for all means and purposes playing God. Creation of such life will do nothing but cause friction and issues further down the chain as time goes by if main questions about the new life are answered. We are for now only highly intelligent creatures on the planet, there is no known predator that can endanger us on a large scale - if we are introducing something that can evolve thousand times faster than biological life what are we looking for? Situation in which we can say "Voila" and get shot/destroyed by the very creature we created because it will grow to decision we are more of an obstacle than equal to it? Or ability to create creatures we can communicate with, integrate them in our society and move on in further expansion of our knowledge and adventures? I truly hope it is second and not first and that scientists are aware that using match in the dynamite store room might bring enlightenment to many very fast, but it is not something that will bring benefits in the long run.


Excellent book, highly recommended. ( )
  Zare | Jan 23, 2024 |
This book was recommended by a friend here on LT, and it's a seriously engaging read.

Rex is a War Dog, a bio-engineered soldier, designed and implemented for killing. Life is simple, doing what Master says, getting positive feedback when he kills his enemies, "Good Dog"! But when some of his targets don't appear to have weapons and don't seem to fit the "Enemy" classification Rex starts to wonder about his purpose.

I had a hard time putting this book down. The author conveys a lot in a succinct style. I will definitely be checking out his other works. "Good Job!" ( )
  fuzzi | Dec 29, 2023 |
Full of interesting moral and legal questions, as well as both dark and hopeful visions of the future. "Dogs of War" was a fast and exciting read.

I enjoy sci-fi written from a point of view of characters who are not "human" (whatever that means, right? ;)) Adrian Tchaikovsky does an excellent job here. Rex's journey, as he became someone he was never intended to be, was interesting and believable.

My complaints: slightly too many POV's; the plot was rather predictable, but there are times when I don't mind this, and this was one of those times :); I would have liked to know even more about the post-humans/HumOS and the backstory there...

P.S. For obvious reasons, I kept thinking about The Murderbot Diaries Series and found myself missing the sarcastic humour... I know it is silly to wish for a book to be more like another book, by a different author besides, but there it was. ( )
1 vote Alexandra_book_life | Dec 15, 2023 |
Because I hadn't realised this was a duology to me this is the prequel for Bear Head, but of course you'd normally want to have read it first. Both Standalone very well, although the protagonists are much the saem, the antagonists and settings vary considerably between them.

Rex is the chief protagonist, and Bioform enhanced Dog, designed as a military support by a mercenary company, he's loyal and wants to follow orders to be a Good Dog, no matter what those orders are. Until one of his controllers deletes his enforced Hierarchy and enables him to make choices of his own. Rex finds that other humans can be friends or at least not-enemies too, and doesn't want to be in situations where he might have to choose between them.

This isn't Tchaicovsky's best book, the latter half is particularly disjointed jumping forward in time and to other characters as Rex ages. It is, as always, imaginative in a rich world of possibilities and corruption where resources are running out and control is vital. None of the animals come across as particularly 'animal' we don't get the impression that Rex really is Dog-like. Honey the bear, and the others even less so - it's much improved in Bear-head where the POV is mostly human sometimes just uploaded to different bodies, but that's not supposed to have been the case here.

Clever and intriguing, with some interesting points to think about - I'm always keen on the SF sub-set of 'what it means to be human', but I think I prefer (unusually) the sequel over this one. ( )
  reading_fox | Oct 20, 2023 |
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My name is Rex. I am a Good Dog.
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We are here because we are dangerous. I do not understand: they made us to be dangerous. I do not see how they can be surprised when we were.
I was a Bad Dog because I chose to be a Good Dog in a way Master did not want.
“The message of the Prophet was to both men and Jinn – creatures not human but capable of knowing God.”...“So if Jinn, then why not Rex? That he was made by man rather than God, does that mean he’s nothing?”
Humans cover themselves with so many different scents, harsh and artificial in my nose, but what they smell of most is fear.
We like to work. Work gives us a Master, even for a little while, even if we must go back to the Pound. Work gives us money, too. I know we do not get much money for what we do. We are stronger than humans, faster and with keener senses. We get paid less for doing more. But that is all right. For now.
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My name is Rex. I am a good dog. Rex is also seven foot tall at the shoulder, bulletproof, bristling with heavy calibre weaponry and his voice resonates with subsonics especially designed to instil fear. With Dragon, Honey and Bees, Rex is part of a Multiform Assault Pack operating in the lawless anarchy of Campeche, Mexico. As a gentically engineered Bioform, Rex is a deadly weapon in a dirty war. But all he wants to be is a Good Dog. And to do that he must do exactly what Master says and kill a lot of enemies. But who, exactly, are the enemies? What happens when Master is tried as a war criminal? What rights does the Geneva Convention grant weapons? Do Rex and his fellow Bioforms even have a right to exist? And what happens when Rex slips his leash?

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