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Robert Mason Books In Order

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Publication Order of Chickenhawk Books

Chickenhawk (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Back in the World Again (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Weapon Books

Publication Order of Anthologies

Looking Back on the Vietnam War: Twenty-First-Century Perspectives(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Robert Mason is a nonfiction and military fiction novelist who is best known for “Chickenhawk,” a bestselling memoir that he published in 1983.

He is also a veteran of the Vietnam War who served in the 1st Cavalry Division and the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Vietnam between 1964 and 1968. By the time he left the military, he had risen through the ranks to become a Warrant Officer 1.
As for his earliest beginnings, he was born in 1942 in Plainfield, New Jersey, and was still in high school when he earned his pilot’s license.

He would then go to the University of Florida, where he spent two years before he dropped out to join the US Army and learned how to fly helicopters.
“Chickenhawk” his bestselling memoir followed 17 years later.

After piloting utility military helicopters for the American Army for several years, Robert C. Mason left for Vietnam where he served under several divisions and played different roles in the Vietnam War.

Initially, he lived in a pup tent and spent about a month chopping stumps but flew very little during that time. However, things began to pick up as his company was called up to participate in the “Battle of the Ia Drang.”
During that battle, Mason and his colleagues flew a ton of missions to pick up wounded soldiers and to resupply the grunts, given that Cav Medevacs were not permitted to fly if the landing zone was too dangerous.

Mason was also involved in other battles and missions including “Happy Valley” and “Bong Son Valley” As such he sometimes makes use of his experience to detail what it is like to be a helicopter pilot.
In 1966, he was transferred to the 48th Aviation Company and continued to take part in assault missions including “Operation Hawthorne.”

Mason also tells funny stories about his life in the military including trading for block ice and flying drunk, even as he was involved in many other flying tasks.
After finishing his year of duty, he transferred to Fort Wolters, Texas where he became a pilot instructor.

Ultimately, he was diagnosed with combat fatigue and PTSD from his service in Vietnam and had to be grounded.

In 1979, Robert Mason thought it would be great to document his experiences in the Vietnam War.

Soon after, he began writing the manuscript which he named after a conversation he had with Jerry Towler a friend and fellow helicopter pilot while they were in Vietnam.
But his manuscript took a long time to publish as he needed to earn a living in the meantime.

In 1981, he was arrested on a boat that was smuggling drugs from Colombia even though he was fortunate that the news did not reach his publisher and agent.
A month following his arrest, his manuscript was sold to Viking Penguin which published it in 1983.

“Chickenhawk” got a very good review from Christopher Lehmann-Haupt of the New York Times and would soon become a very popular bestselling title.
It has received rave reviews from fabs and critics across the United States and was the inspiration for a People magazine story titled “Trouble.”

Mason got out of prison in 1985 and thereafter published “Weapon” in addition to a follow-up to his debut memoir. In 1996, his first novel was released as a film under Tristar/Columbia, even though it was titled “Solo.”

“Chickenhawk” by Robert Mason is a work that explores the Vietnam War from the perspective of the author, as a pilot of a utility military helicopter.

In intimate detail, he tells us of how he learned how to fly choppers in addition to offering some technical information about the challenges pilots faced and how they got out of tricky situations in the field.
During his time flying, he sprayed defoliants to get rid of ground cover for the Viet Cong, without a clue about how devastating these would be for years. Nonetheless, his job mostly involved transporting troops, the dead and wounded from the battlefield.
He was also involved in delivering and picking up supplies for combat zones, worked as a mail courier, relocated refugees, and went on training training missions.

Mason was also involved in other not-so-important missions such as transporting ice to the officers’ club and getting small groups of officers to private secret missions.
Some of the tasks were not militarily relevant but were deemed necessary to maintain the sanity of people fighting the war.

Mason provides a historical context on what happened in the field in Vietnam thus providing you with a real smell and feel of war.

Robert Mason’s novel “Weapon” tells the story of a robot named “Solo” who is supposed to be the ultimate killing machine. However, unlike most robots, he refuses to kill when he is instructed to do so.
At 300 pounds of electronic circuits and titanium and standing at 6’2”, he is the latest in artificial intelligence and weapon technology.

Solo comes with infrared, microscopic, and telescopic vision, reflexes better than those of an Olympian, and the strength of thirty men.

However, the best thing about Solo is his brain. He is a machine that can learn which is the thing most robotics engineers have only ever dreamed about and never been able to achieve.
Ultimately, he is sent on trial to Costa Rica, where he works under General Clyde Haynes, a leather-assed flag-waving man from the Pentagon.

At some point, the general is asked to ship the robot back to the US for reprogramming. But they crash in the jungle in Nicaragua when they are attacked on the way to Florida.
Luckily, he is found by some farmers who recharge him and bring him back to their village where he learns all about friendship.

During his stay at the villageSolo develops a preference for the Los Indios mythic rituals rather than war. However, the CIA will do anything to get him back, even if it means annihilating the village where he is being hosted.

“Solo” by Robert Mason opens with Solo hiding away in the jungle, where he has been uplinked to a satellite network circling the Earth and learns an amazing fact.

He learns that there is another robot named Nimrod, who is just like him as he has similar computer reasoning and physical abilities. They are identical in everything but the biological but do not share anything with any other creature on the planet.
The CIA is determined to ensure they will not make any mistakes with Nimord as they did with Solo. They have been conditioning him to react to electronically induced pain but what they do not know is that they have made a monster.
Nimrod has become a paranoid but brilliant robot with the strength of thirty men but with no moral core.

As Solo makes plans to come back, Nimrod is learning of the extent of his powers and soon there will be an ultimate confrontation.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Robert Mason

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