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A Different Post-Apoc Britain


After collapse of authority ex-military guy sets himself up as a local warlord/robber baron. I think he kept his tank when things fell apart.


Read the story long time ago,but think it was dead tree,the tank part brought it back.


If it is the one I'm thinking of it turns out that he is the only male fertile in the area, so the local townspeople with a 'droit de signor' setup to make sure all the new brides get pregnant. Later on it turns out that some of his male offspring are turning out to be fertile, so he no longer needs to 'do his duty'.

I'm pretty sure it wasn't dead tree, but will have to look through my library to make sure.


Dead tree for sure. Mid or late 80s. He had a tank. I think it was published by Baen.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater


He had a tank. I think it was published by Baen.

Maybe one of the BOLO stories!


LonelyDad's details match my vague memory. I thought it was digital but could have been dead tree.

StarFleet Carl

If I'm remembering it right - there was an upcoming wedding and the groom was upset that his bride was going to have to spend her wedding night with the 'baron'. Such that he ended up in the castle to kill the baron, only his mother interrupted things and mentioned about his nose and that of the baron.

That's definitely a dead tree story, I think an old Bolo story by Keith Laumer, but I'm not sure - for some reason I keep thinking a British Centurion tank was what the Baron owned.


Oh well! It isn't the first time my memory's been wrong. (And not the last)


It wasn't a Bolo story. All those are about self-aware tanks in the far future.


In The Barley Cross series of stories by Edward P. Hughes, Sgt O'Meara has a tank, and is the only fertile male in the area.

The first story - In The Name of the Father - was published in 1980, and was reprinted in the second volume of the There Will Be War anthology series by Jerry Pournelle. Other stories in the series were reprinted in later volumes.

From Pournelle's editors introduction to In The Name Of The Father:

Civilization is a fragile thing; once gone, it is not easy to rebuild. Those who found a civilization traditionally have unique privileges. Patrick O'Meara, Master of the Fist and onetime sergeant of Her Majesty's Forces certainly does…

Replies:   StarFleet Carl

At one time all of the Barley Cross stories were published in one book, I remember reading it, but I can't remember if it was dead tree or ebook. I do know that the stories were laid out in chronological order rather than written order.

If anyone knows where one can lay his hands on the complete collection please let me know. I would love to read it again.

Addendum: After I wrote this I went out to IRC and looked. Lo and behold, a book called 'Masters of the Fist' was found. It is the one I remember. Whoever compiled this version with Calibre didn't know much about how to use it. I am going to have to go through and clean it up some to make it more readable. It will give me something to do while I sit around on my retired butt. :-)

StarFleet Carl


The Barley Cross series


I used to have all those books in paperback, that's why this seemed so damned familiar to me!

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