We are pleased to announce that in the next few weeks we will be publishing another story of Fred Saberhagen’s iconic Berserkers. This one, “Servant of Death,” was co-written with Jane Lindskold, and first appeared in the anthology, “Man vs Machine.” It is a sequel of sorts to Saberhagen’s book, Berserker Man, although this is a 9000 word story rather than a novel. Lindskold has this to say about how the story came about.

 

About Servant of Death

By Jane Lindskold

 When I was approached to contribute a story for the anthology Man vs Machine, Fred Saberhagen’s iconic Berserker novels immediately came to mind. When I asked the editor, John Helfers, if he’d be open to a collaboration, John was enthusiastic.

 About this time, our good friends David and Sharon Weber were visiting. Jim and I took them over to visit with Fred and Joan Saberhagen. While we were there, I drew Joan aside and explained that I wondered if Fred might like to write a Berserker story with me. I was very shy about asking because, not only was Fred “Mr. Berserker” (and so it seemed incredible cheek to ask to write in his universe), I’d also admired Fred’s work for a long time. In fact, of all the writers Roger Zelazny introduced me to when I moved to New Mexico, Fred was the only one I was shy about meeting!

 Joan, however, didn’t seem to think I was out of line. She called: “Freddy! Jane has a question for you.” When Fred joined us, I hoped she’d let me off the hook and do my asking for me. She just smiled encouragingly. Grabbing my courage in both hands, I managed to fumble out my request. Fred considered for a moment, then nodded, “That could be fun. You’re a good writer.”

 When we left with the Webers some hours later, I was both walking on air and terrified I’d screw up. Over the next few weeks, I re-read a bunch of Berserker stories. I came up with a list of questions and suggestions for Fred. Then we arranged to get together at the Saberhagens’ house.

 Fred and I went into the dining room and started trading ideas, while Jim and Joan retired to the living room and chatted. Eventually, Fred and I settled on writing a sequel to Fred’s novel Berserker Man. The story you have here is the result of our shared ideas and his complex universe… I hope you enjoy.

The SnackReads edition of “Servant of Death” will be out in September, 2013.

Also see, Mr. Jester, another Berserker story, and Hamlet Revisited, Jane Lindskold’s comedic retelling of Hamlet.