Title: Berserker Man
Author: Fred Saberhagen
Publish Date: 1979
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Genre: Science Fiction
Sub-Genre: Space Travel, Spaceships, Stellar Phenomenon, Alien Worlds, Advanced Technology, Advanced Medical, Advanced Weapons, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Alternate Societies, Cyborgs, Relativity, Armed Conflict, Evolution, Adoption
Frank Marcus is part human, part machine. He and his co-pilot, Elly Temesvar were caught unprepared by a Berserker and were fighting for their lives when they entered the middle of a cone created by a plasma fountain flowing outward from a nearby star.
Being a machine, the Berserker wasn’t affected by the intense forces and presses its attack mercilessly, pounding the smaller human ship again and again; as it flies in for the kill, its prey plunges through the nebula at the end of the plasma tunnel.
After the small ship exits the nebula and successfully escapes the onslaught, it returned to the Earth-force Moonbase for debriefing.
A young boy was adopted on the periphery planet of Alpine and he is fascinated with computers, art and anything military. He had a distinct knack of being very good at anything he did. And now his adopted parents aren’t the only ones that have noticed how adept he is in so many different areas.
Both sides of the galactic conflict have taken an active interest in his abilities as they progressed, and they both want him for their own purposes. The human forces got to him first and sent a fleet to Alpine to return him to their headquarters at Earth’s Moonbase.
But the Berserker machines have a surprise waiting for the fleet as they exit the Alpine system and a massive battle ensues. As ship after ship is destroyed, the fate of young Michel Geulincx becomes unclear. If he gets captured by the Berserker forces, humanity will be lost…
Michel Geulincx was left for adoption very early in his life by his bio-mother that didn’t want him since she was in the military and it would have affected her abilities as a star pilot. That left him in the care of the adoption agency on Alpine, and that became his home until he was matched to his adoptive parents, Carmen and Sixtus Geulincx.
His new family owns a chateau set into a beautiful mountainside where the family business of cabinet-making and carving flourished. Michel was genetically matched to his Geulincx parents and even his woodworking ability was a perfect match for the family trade.
Now the Earth-based human military has their eyes on a ten year old Michel as his skills and aptitudes expand beyond the normal levels for others his age.