Book/Story Listing
Books (both novels and collections) are listed here by order of first publication. I've included all of the publishers and years of publication that I know of. The short stories in each collection are listed in the order in which they appear in the book, along with the date and place of their first publication. Books are colored yellow, while the first instance of a story is colored green (i.e. the second time a story appears in a collection it'll just be white). For more detailed info like # of pages, ISBN #, other collections that stories have appeared in, etc, try Locus's index here, or try Fred's own site here which also has descriptions/blurbs and excerpts for most books. I plan to post cover scans of as many versions as possible (many books await scanning), and at some point will even have lists of characters and places for each book.

  • Berserker (Ballantine '67, Penguin '70/'85 [UK], Ace '78/'79/'80/'84/'92)
    • Introduction by 3rd Historian
    • "Without a Thought" (as "Fortress Ship" in If Jan '63)
    • "Goodlife" (Worlds of Tomorrow Dec '63 )
    • "Patron of the Arts" (If Aug '65)
    • "The Peacemaker" (as "The Life Hater" in If Aug '64)
    • "Stone Place" (If Mar '65)
    • "What T and I Did" (If Apr '65)
    • "Mr. Jester" (If Jan '66)
    • "Masque of the Red Shift" (If Nov '65) - Nebula nominee for best novelette, 1965
    • "Sign of the Wolf" (If May '65)
    • "In the Temple of Mars" (If Apr '66)
    • "The Face of the Deep" (If Sep '66)
  • Brother Assassin (Ballantine '69, as Brother Berserker Orbit '69 [UK], Ace '84, as Brother Berserker Gollancz '89 [UK], Tor '97)
    • Part One (as "Stone Man" in Worlds of Tomorrow May '67)
    • Part Two (as "The Winged Helmet" in If Aug '67 )
    • Part Three (as "Brother Berserker" in If Nov 1967)
  • Berserker's Planet (DAW '75, Orbit '75 [UK], Ace '84/'85, Gollancz '89 [UK], Tor '91)
  • Berserker Man (Ace '79/'80/'84, Gollancz '88 [UK], Tor '92)
  • The Ultimate Enemy (Ace '79/'84, as Berserkers: The Ultimate Enemy Baen '88, Gollancz '90 [UK])
    • "The Smile" (in Algol Summer '77)
    • "Pressure" (as "Berserker's Prey" in If Jun '67)
    • "The Annihilation of Angkor Apeiron " (Galaxy Feb '75)
    • "Inhuman Error" (as "WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO TO PROVE IM HUMAN STOP" Analog Oct '74)
    • "Some Events at the Templar Radiant" (Destinies Aug '79)
    • "Starsong" ( If Jan '68)
    • "Smasher" (Fantasy & Science Fiction Aug '78)
    • "The Game" (The Flying Buffalo's Favorite Magazine May '77)
    • "Wings Out of Shadow" (Worlds of If Mar/Apr '74)
  • The Berserker Wars (Tor '81/'85/'90/'94)
    • Introduction - a fascinating piece of short fiction included in only this collection
    • "Stone Place" (If Mar '65)
    • "The Face of the Deep" (If Sep '66)
    • "What T and I Did" (If Apr '65)
    • "Mr. Jester" (If Jan '66)
    • "The Winged Helmet" (If Aug '67 )
    • "Starsong" ( If Jan '68)
    • "Some Events at the Templar Radiant" (Destinies Aug '79)
    • "Wings Out of Shadow" (Worlds of If Mar/Apr '74)
    • "The Smile" (in Algol Summer '77)
    • "Metal Murderer" (as "Adventure of the Metal Murderer" Omni Jan '80 )
    • "Patron of the Arts" (If Aug '65)
  • Berserker Base (Tor '85, Science Fiction Book Club '85) - a collaborative effort: short stories by the other authors woven together by Fred Saberhagen
    • "Prisoner’s Base" - Fred Saberhagen
    • "What Makes Us Human" - Stephen R. Donaldson (Fantasy & Science Fiction Aug ’84
    • "Friends Together" - Fred Saberhagen
    • "With Friends Like These" - Connie Willis (Fantasy & Science Fiction Feb ’85)
    • "The Founts of Sorrow" - Fred Saberhagen
    • "Itself Surprised" - Roger Zelazny (Omni Aug ’84)
    • "The Great Secret" - Fred Saberhagen
    • "Deathwomb" - Poul Anderson (Analog Nov ’83)
    • "Dangerous Dreams" - Fred Saberhagen
    • "Pilots of the Twilight" - Edward Bryant (Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine mid-Dec ’84)
    • "Crossing the Bar" - Fred Saberhagen
    • "A Teardrop Falls" - Larry Niven (Omni Jun ’83)
    • "Berserker Base" - Fred Saberhagen
  • The Berserker Throne (Simon & Schuster/Fireside '85, Tor '86)
  • Berserker: Blue Death ( Tor '85/'87)
  • The Berserker Attack (Waldenbooks Otherworlds Club '87)
    • Same Introduction as Berserker
    • "Masque of the Red Shift" (If Nov '65)
    • "In the Temple of Mars" (If Apr '66)
    • "Brother Berserker" (If Nov 1967)
    • "Smasher" (Fantasy & Science Fiction Aug '78)
  • Berserker Lies (Tor '91)
    • Same Introduction as Berserker
    • "The Machinery of Lies" (first published in this collection)
    • "Masque of the Red Shift" (If Nov '65)
    • "In the Temple of Mars" (If Apr '66)
    • "Brother Berserker" (If Nov 1967)
    • "Smasher" (Fantasy & Science Fiction Aug '78)
  • Berserker Kill (Tor '93/'95, Science Fiction Book Club '94)
  • "The Bad Machines" [in The Williamson Effect (Tor '96)]*
  • Berserker Fury (Tor '97/'98, Science Fiction Book Club '97)
  • Berserkers: the Beginning (Baen '98)
    • an omnibus edition of Berserker and The Ultimate Enemy (see their respective contents)
  • Shiva in Steel (Tor '98, Science Fiction Book Club '98)
  • Berserker's Star (Tor 2003)
  • Berserker Prime (Tor 2003)
  • Berserker Man: Mega Book (Baen 2004)
    • a hardcover omnibus edition of Berserker Man, Berserker Throne, Berserker's Planet, and Brother Assassin
  • Rogue Berserker (Baen 2005)
  • Berserker Death: Mega Book (Baen 2005)
    • a hardcover omnibus edition of Berserker Wars, Berserker Blue Death, and Berserker Kill
  • "Servant of Death" [coauthored by Fred Saberhagen and Jane Lindskold, in Man vs Machine, edited by John Helfers and Martin H. Greenberg. (DAW 2007)]**

Information culled from Locus Online, Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections, Combined Edition, Fred Saberhagen's site, and my own collection of books. ~5h

*"The Bad Machines" was published as part of The Williamson Effect, an anthology of stories written in tribute to Jack Williamson. The story features the Berserkers in conflict with Williamson's humanoids. You can read more about the humanoids in "With Folded Hands" and subsequent stories. Thanks very much to Kevin Christensen for this info!

** "Servant of Death" -  Joan and Fred Saberhagen say: "The short story with Jane [Lindskold] came about when she mentioned her invite from Tekno Books to write a story to fit the title Man vs Machine. She approached Fred with the possibility of a collaboration. Fred thought this would be fun, and it was. ... (We've known Jane for some years and visit with her and her husband fairly frequently . The ABQ area has quite a few science fiction writers.)"

Book Covers
Eventually, there will be a very extensive gallery of book covers from all the various editions of the books. I have many that need to be scanned and posted.  In the meantime:


Berserker, Penguin, 1970 (United Kingdom).

This rare edition was given to me by my uncle, Scott Robertson, who recently passed away.  He was a lively, witty, and vividly intelligent man with a passion for science fiction and fantasy.  He had a vast personal library, and he was a great fan of the Berserker series.  Before he died he specifically set aside the Saberhagen section to give to me, knowing that I run this website and would appreciate the books. I received many first edition copies in mint condition, which will make excellent cover scans.  But this UK edition of Berserker caught my eye above all others, being one that I had never seen before in my relatively short but extensive years of colleccting. I post it here in his memory.


The Ultimate Enemy
Review by Orson Scott Card
((5th Historian's note: This review was originally printed in the Feb-Mar 1980 edition of the Destinies science fiction magazine.  The review is copyright Orson Scott Card and it is reprinted here with express permission from Mr. Card himself, who also says "thanks for keeping Fred's work before the public eye."
Orson Scott Card's website: ))

"Kevin Christensen, a fine Salt Lake writer whose work will soon be appearing in Destinies, is also a rabid fan of Fred Saberhagen. He loaned me (by brute force) several novels in Saberhagen's Berserker series, but I never found time to read them. Then, at a convention in New Mexico, I met Saberhagen, one of the nicest people I've run across in a long time. I vowed then and there to acquaint myself with his work. I mean, somebody that nice must write nice stories, yes?
    No. Saberhagen writes mean stories, and The Ultimate Enemy (Ace), a collection of some of the most recent Berserker stories, is a mean book. I read it in one sitting, quite against my will. None of the stories, individually, made me want to stand up and cheer. But none of them was even close to being bad, and most were excellent examples of good writing, good craftsmanship, and a fine mind at work. Saberhagen understands people so well that stories that could be mere action and adventure become much more.
    The Berserkers are machines created in a war between alien races long before humans came along - but the Berserkers, irrevocably programmed to destroy all life and intelligent enough to adapt themselves to meet whatever threats they face, are doing a fair job of threatening to wipe out humanity. In only a few of these stories, however, is a Berserker at the heart of the action. The reason Saberhagen can spin out this series indefinitely is because he is dealing primarily with human beings, and how they treat each other under the constant threat of destruction by these unrelenting machines. And when the Berserkers are in the forefront, it is not a story of man versus machine so much as it is a story of man versus the gods, for the Berserkers, whimsical and cruel and remorseless as they are, can be placated, can be worshipped, can be hated, can be outwitted.
    I won't try to list all the stories, or review them individually. Let me just say that all of them are good reading, and the last one, "Wings out of Shadow," is outstanding. In fact, I think I was wrong: pardon me while I stand up and cheer."

review by 5th Historian
The exploration of variations on a theme was just wonderful. Not only did the individual tales deliver and hold up on their own, but I was surprised/delighted when what appeared to be a collection of non-connected short stories coalesced into something greater, with more continuity than I had expected (the reappearance of Hemphill, the continued story of Karlsen and Nogara). After reading this first book, I was hooked on the Berserkers. Their story was elegant in its simple foundations and its boundless possibilities. (7/13/2001 , 11/17/2004)

Berserker's Planet
review by 5th Historian
Set on a medieval world called Hunter's Planet, some 500 years after Johann Karlsen led humans to victory against Berserkers there, this novel blends the gripping premise of a barbaric tournament of warriors with the malicious and methodical schemings of a stranded Berserker, not to mention the vacationing spacefarers caught in between. Theaction and suspense are engrossing, and the ending features several satisfying surprises. (11/17/2004)

Berserker: Blue Death
review by 5th Historian
An exhilirating thrill ride in an exotic setting. This is a great Berserker book. The middle of the book dragged some, but it was worth it with the revelation of one of the Milkpail nebula's big mysteries, and the heartpounding extended climax when the man, Niles Domingo, finally goes head to head with his long sought after arch enemey, the Berserker Leviathan. Not to mention a shell-shocking surprise ending. What a rush!
Oh yeah, there's even a subtle but very meaningful implied connection to another Berserker book discovered toward the end. Exactly the kind of thing I love about the Berserker series. (12/5/2001)

Berserker Prime
review by 5th Historian
Berserker Prime takes us back to a time when Solarians had just settled themselves among the stars and were ramping up to their old pattern of violence against each other. The story of Solarians' first encounter with the Berserkers, and subsequent realization that they must unite to survive, is told by focusing on two neighboring civilizations on the brink of war.
     The story takes place in a time when Solarians were experimenting with anthropomorphic robots and artifical intelligence (before all such endeavors became taboo in the face of the Berserkers' example). This plays out in interesting ways. We are also returned to the mesemerizing plight of humans taken prisoner by a Berserker and struggling for survival in its dark and mysterious bowels. If that weren't enough, there are some very well-written passages that get inside the Berserker's "head," and surprise appearances by two characters from previous Berserker books (I won't say which ones!). There are a few memorable scenes including some in a ruined city, and the journey of the character Huang Gun is a fascinating one.
     Although the book is somewhat slow to get going, it delivers a good, solid adventure with a number of surprises and interesting points that fans of the series will certainly enjoy. It follows the progress of several groups of characters and is somewhat disjointed in that, but this can be seen as echoing the chaos and confusion of the situation. (7/5/2005)

Berserker's Star
review by 5th Historian
Berserker's Star gives us yet another thrilling Berserker adventure. The main character, returning understated hero Harry Silver, is wry and unflappable in the tradition of Han Solo. Saberhagen seems very comfortable writing from Harry's perspective. The exotic setting is fascinating, boggling the mind with one impossibility after another. Bizarre locales and random encounters carry the story until the Berserkers (ever waiting in the wings) arrive on the scene with arguably their most sinister plot yet. From there the action mounts steadily as the human characters fight to prevent impossibly catastrophic levels of devastation, culminating in a climax which really delivers. Though the narrative is choppy and repetitive at times, this is a solid and satisfying Berserker story. (8/27/2003)
PS - note that this book refers to Azlaroc, which was the world in Veils of Azlaroc, a non-Berserker science fiction book by Fred. Interesting that we now know that story took place in the same universe as the Berserkers.
-An extensive review at

Rogue Berserker
review by 5th Historian
Sadly, this is the last new Saberhagen Berserker novel we will ever have. Fortunately, it is a smashing good one. Ace pilot and reluctant hero Harry Silver returns for his third appearance (after Shiva in Steel and Berserker's Star) and is embroiled in a suicidal rescue mission and intricately woven mystery. This story appears to be the one set farthest along in the chronology of the Berserker universe. Readers can judge for themselves how the war is going between the Berserkers and galactic humanity. Whether out of desperation, boldness, or sheer unpredictability, the ancient enemy of life is trying something new...
     More than any other Berserker story, this one gives us a tantalizing glimpse into the galactic structure of the Berserkers, and how individual units interact with each other. There is more Berserker dialogue in this story than in any others, to the best of my memory. What's even more exciting is the introduction of multiple new types of Berserkers with non-standard motivations. You'll have to read the book to find out just what that means. Add to this a palette of variously suspicious human characters, some exotic locations, and nearly-impossible odds, and Rogue Berserker makes for a rousing bookend to the legacy of fiction that Saberhagen has left us. (May 5th, 02012)



Where To Find

Right, first of all you've got to have the books to read them. Some of them are still in print, though I'm not sure exactly which ones, so they'll be available at any new book store (e.g. Borders, Barnes & Noble, and of course online). But as for finding out-of-print Berserker books or older printings, your best first step is to go to a few of your local USED BOOK STORES! They're typically a great source for scifi, and they most likely could sure use your business. I've found a number of the books in my collection at used book stores.

Beside new & used book stores, there are many options online. Fred suggests Page One Books, a bookstore local to him which also has a website: . There are probably other used/independent book stores online too. Amazon actually lists used books which you can buy from small stores who deal through them. Alibris is a site which helps you find new, used, and hard-to-find books.  You might also try which searches multiple online sources and returns results by price.

Where I've had the most luck however is the online auction site, eBay. There you can often find great deals on Berserker books, different printings, and sometimes even a collection of several of them. Try searching for "saberhagen berserker" and be sure to include both titles & descriptions in the search.

This just in! Head over to the Baen Books website where you can find a listing of their publications of Fred Saberhagen's work, including free samplings of the text! A number of the Berserker short stories can be read in their entirity under the Berserker Death listing.

What Order to Read Them In

In addition to the several places it's mentioned on his website, I've also received personal assurance from Fred Saberhagen that the books can be read in any order. However, he recommends (and I concur) that you should read the original Berserker first. It gives you a feel for the series and introduces some concepts which recur regularly.

After reading Berserker, I wanted to know which book picked up where Berserker left off as far as the adventures of Johann Karlsen. As I came to find out though, none of them do. The Berserker series is a non-linear, rather unconstrained one. However, it is also surprisingly cohesive, and therein lies its uniqueness and enduring appeal. (And rest assured, Johann Karlsen does make further, if indirect, appearances)

That being said, if you are new to the Berserker series, or are introducing someone else, then beside starting with Berserker you may want to consider reading the books in approximately the order they were published. Though an accurate and inclusive timeline of the Berserekr saga is patently impossible, I've found that in general the more recently published books do tend to occur later in the timeline (e.g. Berserker Kill, Berserker Fury, Shiva in Steel). [At some point, I'll put what I've been able to construct/infer of the Berserker timeline in the RUMINATIONS section.] Furthermore, those books that are collections of short stories you'll definitely want to read in the order they were published. Why? One example: "The Winged Helmet," first appeared as a cohesive part of Brother Assassin, but was also later reprinted in Berserker Wars. If you first read the story in the later book, where it's out of context, it won't make a whole lot of sense.

Then again, you can take these suggestions with a grain of salt, as part of the fun of the series is being able to freely skip around. And you also may end up acquiring the books in rather a random order anyway.