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Title: The Computer Connection
Author: Alfred Bester
Publisher: Published July 1st 2004 by iBooks (first published January 1975)
ISBN: 9780743487139
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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A band of immortals recruit a new member, the brilliant Cherokee physicist Sequoya Guess. Dr. Guess, with the group's help, gains control of Extro, the super-computer that controls all mechanical activity on Earth. They plan to rid Earth of political repression and to further Guess's researches-which may lead to a great leap in human evolution to produce a race of supermen A band of immortals recruit a new member, the brilliant Cherokee physicist Sequoya Guess. Dr. Guess, with the group's help, gains control of Extro, the super-computer that controls all mechanical activity on Earth. They plan to rid Earth of political repression and to further Guess's researches-which may lead to a great leap in human evolution to produce a race of supermen. But Extro takes over Guess instead and turns malevolent. The task of the merry band suddenly becomes a fight in deadly earnest for the future of Earth.

30 review for The Computer Connection

  1. 4 out of 5

    Megan Baxter

    This is a strange little book, and far from Bester's best. But it was nominated for a Hugo, and so I read it, and it's weird. With some redeeming moments. And a lot of vaguely uncomfortable but yet vaguely progressive gender and racial politics. I don't quite know how to wrap my head around it. I guess that's what this review is here to do. Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the m This is a strange little book, and far from Bester's best. But it was nominated for a Hugo, and so I read it, and it's weird. With some redeeming moments. And a lot of vaguely uncomfortable but yet vaguely progressive gender and racial politics. I don't quite know how to wrap my head around it. I guess that's what this review is here to do. Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Alfred Bester wrote The Stars My Destination and The Demolished Man, two must-reads for any serious fan of science fiction literature. They are classics worthy of study, as well as just good books. Then, he stopped writing novels for many years. Sadly, he returned to writing in order to write this book. Having loved Bester's classic works, I was surprised to stumble across this book in a book sale. I didn't recognize the title or remember the premise, so I figured, "How bad could it be? It's writt Alfred Bester wrote The Stars My Destination and The Demolished Man, two must-reads for any serious fan of science fiction literature. They are classics worthy of study, as well as just good books. Then, he stopped writing novels for many years. Sadly, he returned to writing in order to write this book. Having loved Bester's classic works, I was surprised to stumble across this book in a book sale. I didn't recognize the title or remember the premise, so I figured, "How bad could it be? It's written by Bester." I then spent an hour stumbling through the prose. Written after a long layoff from writing novels, Bester seems to have been trying to write a trendy, New Wave science fiction novel of the kind that Michael Moorcock and his friends were writing at the time. Unfortunately, this style is not well-matched to Bester's, and the result was painful. Supposedly, in a little over 100 years, a frankly insulting blend of Spanish and African American English [which seems to be based on slang and accents from 1940s movies, so it comes out with things like "gemmun" for "gentlemen"] has replaced standard English, and the remaining Caucasian part of the population has inbred to imbecility. No reason, just because. Repeatedly through the story Bester's dates and numbers wander into weirdness. As an example, within the story the Cherokee people apparently have gone through 20 generations in 250 years. You may pause to think about what this means. There's also a very sexualized 13-year-old in the story, who was apparently born in the 5th row of Graumann's Chinese theater and keeps hoping to have sex with every adult male character in the story. That got creepy right away, and stayed creepy, even though they turn her down. Then, there's the actual story. It is based on the idea that a sufficient trauma near death can sometimes scare your body out of ever dying. So, yes, he really went there...that's why and how Jesus came back, along with a weird variety of other characters. There's also time travel and other weirdness, but all in support of this concept and related ones. I very rarely give up on a book without finishing it. I don't think I can finish this one. The time I've already spent has felt like too much of a waste of my time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stian

    Stopped around page 120. Officially the first book in my life that I have stopped reading because of its sheer awfulness. What the hell were you thinking, Alfred? This is bad and you should feel bad.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Denis

    Alfred Bester was a very creative writer. In the 1950's, he wrote two classic SF novel: "The Demolished Man" (which won a Hugo) and "Tiger Tiger" aka "The Stars are my Destination" which is considered one of - if not the - best SF novel of the 1950's. He also wrote several excellent short stories throughout his life-time. One can tell a Bester work just from looking at the text. It is common practice these days, but back then (in the fifties), he liked doing odd graphic things with the letters of Alfred Bester was a very creative writer. In the 1950's, he wrote two classic SF novel: "The Demolished Man" (which won a Hugo) and "Tiger Tiger" aka "The Stars are my Destination" which is considered one of - if not the - best SF novel of the 1950's. He also wrote several excellent short stories throughout his life-time. One can tell a Bester work just from looking at the text. It is common practice these days, but back then (in the fifties), he liked doing odd graphic things with the letters of his type ... And he tended to add drawings within the text. I imagine that this was a headache to publishers and typesetters of the day. This visual elements might have something to do with the fact that the majority of his work was in television and comic books. After a quarter of century hiatus of the SF novel writing, in 1974, he published "The Computer Connection" aka "Indian Giver (Uggh!) aka "Extro" in Britain (which is the most apt title). Though this novel has all the elements of a bonafide Bester work - incorporating all of his personal unique touches, unfortunately it has its short comings. Perhaps he tried too hard with this one: the "hip" lingo, the unconventional pros, the odd plotting and so on... it just didn't quite work as a whole. He himself said, during an interview with Charles Platt: "...my first experiment was a disaster... That confounded book. There is something vitally wrong with that book, and I knew it when I finished it, and couldn't patch it then, and to this day (Sept. 1979) I think about it, because there's no point in making a mistake unless you understand the mistake so that you don't make it again. I don't understand it, so I can't profit by it. It's infuriating." Even though Bester seems a little out of touch on this one, I still consider the man a genius.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    Alfred Bester was one of the grandmaster class of science fiction writers. The Demolished Man and Stars my Destination are widely considered among the best of the genre. In the first one it was peepers and murder in a crimeless society; in the second it was the new human technology of jaunting and a rollicking revenge plot based on the Count of Monte Cristo. In the Computer Connection, Bester tackles a Group of immortals, or molecule men. We meet Guest, a.k.a. the Chief, a.k.a. Sequoia, a native Alfred Bester was one of the grandmaster class of science fiction writers. The Demolished Man and Stars my Destination are widely considered among the best of the genre. In the first one it was peepers and murder in a crimeless society; in the second it was the new human technology of jaunting and a rollicking revenge plot based on the Count of Monte Cristo. In the Computer Connection, Bester tackles a Group of immortals, or molecule men. We meet Guest, a.k.a. the Chief, a.k.a. Sequoia, a native american physicist, who may be prime material to join the Group, if he survives of course, heh heh heh. Enter an evil computer and a possible renegade immortal to the mix as Bester gives the pot one stir after another. This is far from a bad novel even if you can usually "Guess" what's coming. He's still got a few Besterisms up his sleeve and some linguistic trickery and fun. I suppose writers with a few masterpieces under their belts get a little bored of painting you the picture and filling in details and characterization. It becomes more of a sketch for a comic book, where you fill in the panels with your imagination, and don't complain that it's not bulked out with Dickensian description. That stuff is always nice, but in genre novels, it's really beside the point. One knows the premise, the settings and the basic character types, and what we're clamoring for is STORY. The ending sort of piffles out, but he does manage to tie this whole thing into a kind of bow.

  6. 4 out of 5

    fromcouchtomoon

    D.N.F. If cryology recycles ontogeny, then freeze this piece of crap for 100 days in space and maybe it will do us all a favor and reverse its own existence. Reads like an old-fashioned douche is trying to be hip with the kids by doing EDGY stuff, but all he can do is stir up a lot of anti-PC nonplots because that's so EDGY and funny and not just a big, steaming pile of stale and unoriginal gags that don't even make sense to sane people. BORING AND DUMB. I should have known when I saw (and prompt D.N.F. If cryology recycles ontogeny, then freeze this piece of crap for 100 days in space and maybe it will do us all a favor and reverse its own existence. Reads like an old-fashioned douche is trying to be hip with the kids by doing EDGY stuff, but all he can do is stir up a lot of anti-PC nonplots because that's so EDGY and funny and not just a big, steaming pile of stale and unoriginal gags that don't even make sense to sane people. BORING AND DUMB. I should have known when I saw (and promptly skipped) the Ellison foreword that looked (as usual) defensive and hyperbolic. The only other novel I DNF'd in the past three years was Heinlein's Time Enough for Love so, you know, given all the vintage SF I read, statistics show I'm pretty persistent and forgiving (and probably dead inside).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    This book got better as it went on. The first few pages were almost incomprehensible in it's amount of slang that is unexplained. E.g., the first sentence: I tore down the Continental Shelf off the Bogue Bank while the pogo made periscope hops trying to track me. What?? But as I read through the book it actually began to make more and more sense, and by the middle I was actually invested in the characters and story. Something about this book made me want to read it at break-neck speed, I don't have This book got better as it went on. The first few pages were almost incomprehensible in it's amount of slang that is unexplained. E.g., the first sentence: I tore down the Continental Shelf off the Bogue Bank while the pogo made periscope hops trying to track me. What?? But as I read through the book it actually began to make more and more sense, and by the middle I was actually invested in the characters and story. Something about this book made me want to read it at break-neck speed, I don't have the energy to dissect Bester's writing, but it lent itself to speed-reading. 3.5/5 stars, If you got it in the Humble Bundle like I did, feel free to jump in. I wouldn't recommend going out and buying it though.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Although somewhat dated now, this is still a very good Alfred Bester novel, which means it is a very good story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    James

    Fascinating and incredibly complicated

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jason Bergman

    Alfred Bester is unquestionably one of the greatest sci-fi writers of all time. The Stars My Destination and The Demolished Man are absolute classics. This book is not of the same caliber. It's not entirely without merit - Bester does do some interesting things with language, similar to his other works. And it has some genuinely funny slapstick moments. But for the most part it's just not very good. It moves too quickly, the gags (linguistic or otherwise) don't always work, and it all falls flat. Alfred Bester is unquestionably one of the greatest sci-fi writers of all time. The Stars My Destination and The Demolished Man are absolute classics. This book is not of the same caliber. It's not entirely without merit - Bester does do some interesting things with language, similar to his other works. And it has some genuinely funny slapstick moments. But for the most part it's just not very good. It moves too quickly, the gags (linguistic or otherwise) don't always work, and it all falls flat. I'm glad I read it...but I wouldn't recommend others do the same. Read his celebrated works. Skip this one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    maryann

    i just re-read this. disclaimer: bester is one of my favorite authors of all time--i think his writing style is just incredible. but this book starts strong and then gets less and less interesting as it continues. the style is almost as neat as in 'the stars my destination' and 'demolished man', but then the plot loses its oOmph and the story doesn't seem very tight and the characters aren't as witty as you want them to be and... blah. suddenly it's over and you're left feeling that something wa i just re-read this. disclaimer: bester is one of my favorite authors of all time--i think his writing style is just incredible. but this book starts strong and then gets less and less interesting as it continues. the style is almost as neat as in 'the stars my destination' and 'demolished man', but then the plot loses its oOmph and the story doesn't seem very tight and the characters aren't as witty as you want them to be and... blah. suddenly it's over and you're left feeling that something was lacking. HOWEVER! the book's jacket, which states that 'the stars my destination' is considered by many to be the greatest science fiction novel of all time, made the re-read worth it :D hooray!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Olethros

    -La New Wave daba coletazos.- Género. Ciencia ficción. Lo que nos cuenta. Un grupo de inmortales mantienen cierta amistad y contacto. Cuando uno de ellos conoce a un candidato potencial, un físico de origen cherokee, busca la manera de reclutarlo mientras les comienza a llamar la atención un proyecto científico para crear un superordenador que puede controlar cualquier función mecánica. ¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite: http://librosdeolethros.blogspot.com/...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pickle

    if i could give in 0/5 i would, this was terrible and i finally gave up on page 163 from 216. Its seems to be a story of some kind where and indian man dies and comes back to life merged, in mind only, with the super computer Extro with a massive amount of nonsense filling the rest of the book. i couldnt read anymore and had to give up. Complete rubbish, do not read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Victor Chernov

    It was like a very ugly person - you can't take you eye off him/her, because of the ugliness. The ideas, by themselves, are nice, but the story is weird and quite badly written and executed. But hey, I didn't drop it in the middle.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    A couple interesting concepts, but on the whole not an engaging novel. Maybe don't mention this one when recommending people Bester.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Allen

    Bester's comeback novel after a 19-year layoff was packed with ideas, slang and sly jokes. Perhaps too packed, though.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Wilson

    I'm hard pressed to say if my uncertainties about this book relate to the age of it, or simply to the general style. With 'The Stars My Destination' I didn't have any sense of age, but then that was perhaps a more typical sci-fi story, whereas 'The Computer Connection' is more grounded in modern day Earth, which naturally leads to more things feeling off given the age of the book. But I think the comedic nature of the story might be the bigger issue, and this was something I only really picked u I'm hard pressed to say if my uncertainties about this book relate to the age of it, or simply to the general style. With 'The Stars My Destination' I didn't have any sense of age, but then that was perhaps a more typical sci-fi story, whereas 'The Computer Connection' is more grounded in modern day Earth, which naturally leads to more things feeling off given the age of the book. But I think the comedic nature of the story might be the bigger issue, and this was something I only really picked up on after I finished it and read the foreword. I liked the incidental irreverent humour in 'The Stars My Destination', but over the course of this book I found it more dated and sometimes needlessly insensitive. Attitudes towards women aren't great, and the main character's habit of referring to a Native American as Geronimo, Sitting Bull, Hiawatha and similar rather than just using their name in an allegedly future scenario is rather grating. Overall I found the book a little disjointed, lacking a strong central plot line, and not that compelling. There are some moments of inventiveness and fun, but nothing that really makes you think. I expect anyone who gels with Bester's humour would find it a far more enjoyable read, but it left me fairly cold.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris Harris

    I first read this as a teenager (when it was published in the UK with the title "Extro") because (a) it was Bester and (b) it had been nominated for the Nebula and Hugo awards. I remember being hugely disappointed back then; returning to it after forty years I was hoping for a better experience the second time around. I didn't get it. Oh dear. I get that, given the protagonist's nickname, the style is intended to be a gory, violent puppet show. But even puppet shows can have nuanced plots; this I first read this as a teenager (when it was published in the UK with the title "Extro") because (a) it was Bester and (b) it had been nominated for the Nebula and Hugo awards. I remember being hugely disappointed back then; returning to it after forty years I was hoping for a better experience the second time around. I didn't get it. Oh dear. I get that, given the protagonist's nickname, the style is intended to be a gory, violent puppet show. But even puppet shows can have nuanced plots; this just feels hackneyed. How on Earth did this garner the nominations it did? It comes across as if Bester read John Brunner's "Stand on Zanzibar" and decided he could do better. He couldn't. The stylistic pyrotechnics feel contrived and clumsy, the main character is a skeezy immortal douchebag, and most incidental characters just happen to be famous people from history. It's left my opinion of Bester much diminished, which saddens me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    David Mann

    Crazy stuff I loved Demolished Man and Stars My Destination. This book though is just plain nuts. A demented combination of late Heinlein, Phil Farmer, and William S Burroughs, the story is a little difficult to follow. It involves some immortals, an evil computer, and the end of the world, but that doesn't really do it justice. The language, known as XX (for 20th century), takes a while to get used to. Some political incorrectiveness (including every slang term for Native American) as well as ou Crazy stuff I loved Demolished Man and Stars My Destination. This book though is just plain nuts. A demented combination of late Heinlein, Phil Farmer, and William S Burroughs, the story is a little difficult to follow. It involves some immortals, an evil computer, and the end of the world, but that doesn't really do it justice. The language, known as XX (for 20th century), takes a while to get used to. Some political incorrectiveness (including every slang term for Native American) as well as outmoded computer "dialog" has not aged well. Nevertheless both themes of the book (immortality and AI) have relevance today. Not sure the author wasn't on drugs when he wrote this however.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Walter Underwood

    There was a strain of exuberant writing in the late 1960s and early 1970s and this is solidly in that vein. It ranged from Hunter S. Thompson to Richard Brautigan and beyond. This is solidly in that micro-tradition. Let go and join the flow. Don't try to figure out the science or the slang or any of those things you are used to digging into in an SF novel. This is a wild ride with fireworks at every turn.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Charl

    It's weird, and a little wacko, but actually not that hard to follow. I'm not sure it wasn't excellent, but I'm not sure it was, either. So I'll split the difference. If you like Zelazney, Dick and other surreal authors, try this. It's not like Bester's other works at all, and very out there.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    Wow, that is one serious pile of New Wave, thick with the style of the time and almost dizzying to hack through.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rob Markowitz

    It seems like Bester was really trying to write a Heinlein novel here and didn't do it very well.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mike Pearce

    Not as good as The Stars My Destination and quite hard to read, but the core story is pretty cool.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    DNF

  26. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    I read this when it first came out, in serial form: in Analog, as I recall, but I'm not sure: we were taking quite a few SF mags at the time. The story begins with the narrator traveling back in time to try to rescue Thomas Chatterton from his suicide by poisoning. The narrator is called the Grand Guignol by his compatriots, because he keeps trying to kill people in horrible, lingering ways and then rescue them at the eleventh hour--but he keeps botching the rescues. It's not clear why he's doing I read this when it first came out, in serial form: in Analog, as I recall, but I'm not sure: we were taking quite a few SF mags at the time. The story begins with the narrator traveling back in time to try to rescue Thomas Chatterton from his suicide by poisoning. The narrator is called the Grand Guignol by his compatriots, because he keeps trying to kill people in horrible, lingering ways and then rescue them at the eleventh hour--but he keeps botching the rescues. It's not clear why he's doing this, at first, until it's revealed that he's part of a small (but growing) group of people who can metabolize almost anything, and (if not killed outright) live almost indefinitely. 'Guig', as he's called, is trying to deliberately recruit people to a group that's hitherto gained recruits almost entirely by accident. There are many other elements in this story. Two of the lead characters are directly descended from Sequoyah ("No, they named the tree after HIM"), and one has as his given name the English name that was used for Sequoyah in official documents. He's a member of a combined tribe that lives on the bed of what remains of Lake Michigan, and mines the sediments for toxic materials (re)used in industries. On Titan, one of the oldest members of the immortal group (a Neanderthal, it's implied)lives in an unsealed rock hut, breathing methane and not even bothering to heat it. People eat about once every six hours, and nobody even tries to correlate schedules. Those who are imprisoned are drugged with euphoric drugs, so that they will be disinclined to even try to escape. As a description of a complex society, it must necessarily be incohernet sometimes. This is enhanced by the fact that the novel was originally published in serial form. That's not necessarily a deterrent, unless people aren't prepared to read attentively. The hinge of the story is somewhat lost in the middle. The epilectic Dr George Guess, thrown into a seizure by a shock (and thus becoming one of the Group), writes a message in mirror writing (the only way he can get it past his inner censors): "Ontogeny recapitulates philogeny, but..." then later adds verbally "But cryogeny recapitulates ontogeny". This is the origin of the dei ex machina. The 'new' creatures which arise from the volunteer experimental cold sleepers are presented as potentially the resolution to human problems (for one thing, they're hermaphroditic). Unfortunately, even by the time the book was published, it had already been firmly established that ontogeny does NOT recapitulate philogeny. Oh, well. One more beautiful theory shot down by an ugly little fact.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Flying_Monkey

    Although in the introduction of the edition I read, the always over-the-top Harlan Ellison does a fantastic job convincing you that this book is the equal of Bester's greats, 'The Demolished Man' and 'The Stars My Destination', it isn't quite in that class. Don't let that put you off, however. The Computer Connection packs in more wacky offbeat ideas in a single book than most writers have in a lifetime, and it is all done at a breakneck velocity fast enough to pass the likes of Michael Marshall Although in the introduction of the edition I read, the always over-the-top Harlan Ellison does a fantastic job convincing you that this book is the equal of Bester's greats, 'The Demolished Man' and 'The Stars My Destination', it isn't quite in that class. Don't let that put you off, however. The Computer Connection packs in more wacky offbeat ideas in a single book than most writers have in a lifetime, and it is all done at a breakneck velocity fast enough to pass the likes of Michael Marshall Smith in the slow lane (and that's no insult to Smith). The plot revolves around a small and select group of people made immortal through a particularly traumatic death - the narrator was roasted in a volcano, for example. The immortals take identities based on historical figures, which reflect their abilities and interests - there is a Christ, an Indian rajah and so on. Bester's depiction of immortals has only been bettered by Michael Moorcock in 'Dancers at the End of Time'. In seeking to expand their number, they accidentally enable a powerful computer, Extro, to take over the candidate, the brilliant Cherokee physicist, Sequoya Guess. Extro then proceeds to use Guess to carry out its plans to rid the world of humans. Not only that, but there appear to be a traitor amongst the immortals themselves. This review can hardly do any sort of justice to the utterly bizarre world that Bester has created, a world where giant pogo-sticks appear to be a major form of transport. As Ellison says, it's like a classic Hollywood screwball comedy (only forced through a giant psychedelic sieve). The only problem with this kind of comedy is that it is difficult to sustain over novel length, and Bester doesn't quite manage it; the book runs out of steam some time before the end. Still a must-read for any fan of New Wave (or any other) SF.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Algot Runeman

    Lots of intriguing ideas mix into the story of the main character, Grand Quignol (Guig), who is effectively immortal and part of a group of others who call themselves...the group. Membership includes lots of famous people from history from around the world, including H.G. Wells. It isn't easy to become a member. First, you have to die and then miraculously survive. My favorite group member is Hic-Haec-Hoc, the Neanderthal. The book is mostly about the events which surround a new member, one who Lots of intriguing ideas mix into the story of the main character, Grand Quignol (Guig), who is effectively immortal and part of a group of others who call themselves...the group. Membership includes lots of famous people from history from around the world, including H.G. Wells. It isn't easy to become a member. First, you have to die and then miraculously survive. My favorite group member is Hic-Haec-Hoc, the Neanderthal. The book is mostly about the events which surround a new member, one who establishes a connection to the largest of the computers in the world, the Extro computer, making the computer-human interface one of the book's topic to be explored in science fiction. Other themes appear in the book, including time travel, the Internet of Things (the machine network), hovercraft, linear accelerators, personal helecopters, states/cities run by corporations, space freighters, a colony on the asteroid Ceres, the shift of language over time, and extraterrestrial life. They are all here, enough subjects to support a dozen books. Bester didn't write that many science fiction books, so he may have wanted to get his ideas out so others could explore them for him. Recommended

  29. 4 out of 5

    Deni Loubert

    Leave it to Alred Bester, who wrote The Stars My Destination, to write a very witty and original concept of human immortals. Like a lot of the scifi written in the early 70s it has some pretty obscure and dating feeling language full of hipsterisms, but once I got used to that I found myself absorbed in the story. It's the far future, computers run everything and a band of immortals decide to "save the world". That is really all you need to know, because the story is really more about Bester's w Leave it to Alred Bester, who wrote The Stars My Destination, to write a very witty and original concept of human immortals. Like a lot of the scifi written in the early 70s it has some pretty obscure and dating feeling language full of hipsterisms, but once I got used to that I found myself absorbed in the story. It's the far future, computers run everything and a band of immortals decide to "save the world". That is really all you need to know, because the story is really more about Bester's world-creation here and the off-beat characters that inhabit it. The story of a mad computer and its bid to rid the world of humans (not a new idea) are just jump off points for some fast-moving crazy adventure through a fascinating world. A little uneven and certainly not as powerful as Stars, but well worth checking out. Especially if you are a fan of "old style" science fiction.

  30. 5 out of 5

    C.O. Bonham

    Like all of Bester's work this novel does take some thought. But that is why I like it. You really need to think about what is going on and not just casualy skim the words. Bester makes you think. Some of the allusions may be dated but they are not beyond the grasp of modern readers. As far as plot line goes it was not quite on par with "Stars my Destination" or "Demolished Man" but it was still pure Bester. The bare outline might run something like this: The worlds most advanced supercomputer ha Like all of Bester's work this novel does take some thought. But that is why I like it. You really need to think about what is going on and not just casualy skim the words. Bester makes you think. Some of the allusions may be dated but they are not beyond the grasp of modern readers. As far as plot line goes it was not quite on par with "Stars my Destination" or "Demolished Man" but it was still pure Bester. The bare outline might run something like this: The worlds most advanced supercomputer has discovered a way to link itself to a human mind. Lucky for it that it has found one of the few people in the world who can live forever. Now the other immortals must find a way to save the human race from an evil commputer network bent on destroying humanity without killing their newest member.

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