Autonomous warfare science fiction book


New Member
May 29, 2021
I'm trying to find a book I read as a youngster in the early 80's

The book cover was of a small downed spaceship in a grass field on another planet and other images of wrecked ships and tanks.

The story revolves around a character(s) who land or crash on a planet and find themselves under attack from an army of autonomous war machines. They/he goes on to discover that the inhabitants of the planet fought a war between each other in which they developed war machines to autonomously fight on their behalf against the other side. The inhabitants went extinct after digging themselves deeper and deeper into the core of the planet to escape the machine chaos they had unleashed on the surface. Despite the inhabitants being long gone, the war raged on between the machines who had nobody to tell them to stop.

The story is about the close calls of the main character and the terrible discovery he subsequently makes about the futility of the battle after the demise of the inhabitants.

I did a search through Heinlein's books because I thought it might have been him, but it wasn't.

I'll be grateful for any pointers.

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