Ten stories from 1954,67,70,75,76,78,79,83. Favorites:
“The Computer Cried Charge! (1975) – George R.R. Martin – A general is presented with various plans to defeat an enemy on a planet below. A computer error could wipe out his entire mechanized tank force.
“An Empty Gift” (1983) – Steve Benson – The U.S. has been virtually destroyed in a nuclear war. A band of children led by a fourteen year old are holed up in a house during the winter. It’s Christmas and the little ones are waiting for Santa Claus. What shows up is a computer controlled Russian tank.
“Tank” (1979) – Francis E.Izzo – A man is lamenting that electronic games are taking over from pinball machines at his local arcade. He spots a game called “Tank” being set up and decides to give it a try.
“The Tank And Its Wife” (1978) – Arsen Darnay – A stroke victim has his brain put into a tank. The tank is in a warehouse with others of its kind. He decided to leave and visit his wife. She’s in a panic when a tank shows up and starts to write messages to her.
“Damnation Alley” (1967novella – Roger Zelazny – Fast paced story about a post apocalypse America that’s been devastated by a nuclear war. The nation of California sends Hell Tanner in a special vehicle to drive Damnation Alley all the way to Boston. He’s to deliver a case full of drugs to stop a plague. There’s no crime Tanner hasn’t committed but this ride will get him a pardon. On the way he runs into heavy storms, loads of bats, giant gila monsters that really are giants and the obligatory giant spider. That’s not to mention the gangs out to kill him. Good thing he has rockets, hand grenades and flame throwers. This is a wild read and the pages really do fly by. It was the basis for the 1977 cheezfest starring Jan Michael-Vincent.
Other authors: Gene Wolfe, Walter M.Miller,Jr., Stephen Leigh, David Drake and Keith Laumer.