Review: Le Morte d’Arthur

death of arthur

Once again, I am psychically tuning in to my readers’ thoughts: “Two unrated stories in a row? You are worthless and weak. We welcome our new alien overlords.”

Wait, don’t surrender yet!

This is another story which is a bit light on plot: A captain welcomes a replacement crew member on board the ship. Sounds dull, right? Oh, I forgot to mention: the captain needs a replacement because the ship’s AI keeps killing the sailors. The captain’s “welcome” is a briefing on not antagonizing the ship and avoiding some of its weapons of choice. Why does the navy keep sending replacement crew? Apparently the ship is not only good at killing its own sailors, it’s also very good at killing enemy ships.

This story would make a good opening chapter for a novel; it hasn’t been expanded yet, but I’d be interested in a longer version. It was the story’s psychotic ship that “hooked” me, rather than the writing style. If I were to purchase a novella or novel based on this story, I’d expect to see two things:

First, I’d expect to read about how destructive this ship is (to the enemy); what makes the navy want to keep it around? I’d need to see the ship in action, and I’d need to see it pull something off where another ship would fail.

Second, I’d like to ultimately learn why the ship wants to kill its crew. Does it really just like killing, as the story implies? Has it been programmed to search too aggressively for traitors among the crew? Is it weeding out crewmen who (it thinks) won’t perform in combat? Can the author come up with something even cooler that I’d never imagine?


  1. Sounds interesting… what’s the title meant to convey? Also – you might really like the Culture novels of Iain M. Banks – the ships in that series are so far above humanity as to be godlike and they also have interesting names and personalities.

    1. I had planned to mention the title; it’s the name of the killer ship. If I were on board, I’d probably decide the name was too long and call it “Morty”, and then I’d be the next target.

      I’ll add a culture novel to my list at audible.

  2. Ooh, yes, that’s quite an interesting starting point for a story.

  3. I am stunned that there’s a sci fi story entitled Le Morte d’Arthur. That is the title of the orignal King Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory published in 1485. Sacre Bleu. What a sacrilege. Lucy

  4. What Lucy said. I was confused at first, wondering how King Arthur jumped to a ship with an AI. Well, it turns out that there are several books with that title. Aside from the one you reviewed, and the one that Lucy mentioned, there is one by Frederic P. Miller, another by John N. Gardner, and still another by John Matthews. Confusing, huh?

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