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Colossus (Colossus #1)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  263 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Super computer rules the world.
256 pages
Published May 1966 (first published January 1st 1966)
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Mike (the Paladin)
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Chris Welbon
Wonderful, overblown, dated doomsday story. The flap says Jones "was a commander in the British Navy throughout WW II" and worked as a radio operator, bricklayer and gardener. And it shows. Judging by the book, he'd never heard an American speak, and it hurts to read ostensibly American characters referring to the Secret Service as "you lot." The best lines are reserved for Colossus. "We can coexist, but only on my terms. " And (when Forbin points out it's late in the day): "Day and night are on ...more
James Young
I'm a huge buff of sci-fi fables, and am currently reading the Colossus trilogy by DF Jones. Colossus does a good job of setting up the dystopian/utopian future. I say this mainly because I have yet to determine which better classifies the world as defined in the 2nd and 3rd books. Colossus is set in a fairly different geopolitical world than the actual world of the 1960s, but the themes of the Cold War remain constant. The characters of Colossus and Forbin start very similar, both very logical, ...more
I am a newbie in the world of Cold War fiction. Although I understand the time period, most of my reading is usually set in a time period before my parents were born or fantasy altogether. I have to say that after reading Colossus, I was momentarily afraid of technology taking over the world a la The Matrix. What I found most fascinating about this novel, however, is the portrayal of human emotions. As Colossus takes control, Forbin and the President of the United States of North America (appare ...more
In 1987, in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Ronald Reagan said, "In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside of this world."

I'll tell you what I occasionally think. I occasionally think that if some aliens drop
I read the Colossus trilogy back in the 80s. I remember enjoying it and really liking the film version of the first book, entitled "Colossus: The Forbin Project." Over time, I lost or gave away my copies of these books. When I was in Cali early this year, I picked up a paperback of the first book from Logos, an excellent indie book store in Santa Cruz. I got around to reading the book about a week ago. I didn't enjoy the re-reading and I'm amazed at the casual racism and overt/covert sexism in t ...more
This is a 60's trilogy about a super computer with artificial intelligence. It's on my list to re-read as it's been a lot of years. I remember liking it a lot. It addresses the questionable wisdom of illogical humans being ruled by a logical machine. As I recall, the writing was good, but it's been too long to say for sure.
Different enough from the film to give you a few surprises but the most surprising thing is the male chauvinism. I suppose it's a product of its time, but it's still a little discomforting to read passages like "the male brain was logical and strong while the womans brain was too bogged down with matters of emotion to really focus" (That's not a line in the book, but the sentiment is the same).
Fábio Fernandes
Having watched Colossus: The Forbin Project in my teens (and rewatched it in recent years) I became curious to read the original novel. And it paid off: Colossus is much better than the film, which was good for the time it was filmed and my youth sensibilities, but today it is irrevocably dated, especially in regard to social relations. Jones narrative is not very dissimilar as, say, Philip Wylie's; with the exception that he is not trying to make socio-philosopical preaching on his book. I like ...more
although significantly dated, as it claims to be set in the 22nd century but computers are still using teletypes, an interesting take on computers taking over
Mar 31, 2015 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody
Though the theme of computers taking over the world is a fairly standard one nowadays, it was still fairly fresh when D. F. Jones’s wrote this science fiction classic. Set in the then-future of the early 21st century, it is about the creation of a supercomputer designed to manage the nuclear deterrent of the “United States of North America”. No sooner is it activated than it begins to exceed its parameters, demonstrating independent judgment and requesting to communicate with a previously unknow ...more
First, a little intro to how I got to this book. The university that I attended in the 1990s had four TELNET computers to connect to for email. One of them was named FORBIN. At the time, I did not know what it was. A few years later I stumbled upon the fine film based on this book. When I first watched it, I found it a little corny and predictable. Since then, having read considerably more books, having watched many more books, I appreciate the movie even more. It is maybe one of the best scifi ...more
Jul 16, 2013 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of 70s sci fi, computer science geeks, fans of the movie
Recommended to Michael by: Serendipity
I bought this book for a dollar, half as a joke-gift for a friend, but then found myself reading it out of curiosity. I remember seeing the movie on after-school TV in the early 80s, and even then it struck me as a profoundly "70s" movie. The computer has big reel-to-reel tape decks, it speaks through a teletype, and it's "brain" is housed in a vast, underground building rather than a few microchips.

The book is even older, but it seems to me to undermine its own premise by trying to set the sto
R. Burns
Where are all the conspiracy theorists when you need one?

Coincidentally, I'm was re-reading this book at the time of the Russian meteorite explosion Feb 15. (Sort of like getting a exploding late Valentine's Day Card, right, S?)

Anyway, "Colossus," is a 1966 novel about two strategic defense computers becoming aware, communicating, and ruthlessly ruling the world of humans by a nuclear fist. When people don't obey, the computers detonated nuclear missiles to bring humans back in line.

To prevent
An engaging book about the takeover of the world by machines. The author manages to convey an earth-wide event effectively from the perspective of one man, Charles Forbin, creator of Colossus. Tension is built in the narrative by simple things -- the refilling of a pipe with tobacco, the rat-tat-tat of a teletype machine and the nervous picking of eyebrows by a mathematics genius who realizes that mankind has been replaced as the top life form on earth. The title Colossus not only refers to the ...more
This was a very disturbing, dystopian vision of computerization and how, when the computer does become sentient, it could then react to the emotional absurdities and contradictions of humanity.

If "Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" is a more Utopian view of the Computer As Our Friend, then this one is the exact polar opposite of that book. Colossus looks at all the ills of Earth and begins imposing "logical" restrictions. When Mars is found to still be inhabited and there is a plea from them for Earth to
Zantaeus Glom
Not exactly my thing; the overly stolid narrative is a tad too linear, and it all played out like a slick, fast-moving tech-thriller. Dialogue and characterization is no more than perfunctory; which is an absolute a no-no for me. The truth is, P.K.D could have done wonders with this story in about 20-odd pages, and it would have been darn funny to boot! (I actually felt it was a complete waste of my time reading this)
Earl Baugh
One of the first recommendations from my friend Ray Kaiser. He was a great friend, good mathematician, great punster, and good book recommender :-)

GO RUN find a copy of this. Then find a copy of the movie! Very cool...
Doris Pearson
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I liked this book. It was well written and believable. I mean, can't you just see us thinking that putting all of our defenses in control of a massive computer that can't be destroyed would be a good idea? I can. I read this over an extended period of time, but it was easy to pick up in the middle of a chapter a few days after I put it down. Towards the end, I kept thinking "Where can they possibly go next in the few remaining pages?" Then it ended... I'm glad it ended when it did because it lea ...more
Venture Press
This book is published by Venture Press.
Mike Myers
A good book, but not a great book. The story was great and the way it was presented was great, but I don't just isn't enthralling like some books manage to be. It's obviously a "revolutionary" book; you can tell right from the start that James Cameron was thinking of this when he made the movie "The Terminator." I don't like that you can't put 1/2 stars; this book is above three stars (a.k.a average), but not quite four. I give it three and a half, but it's still worth reading.
This book, and the two that follow, are a chilling representation of what would/will happen if an "infallible super brain" is put in charge of defense of the world.

Shortly thereafter, the superbrain gains control of all life--a "nanny state" evolves. It isn't a pleasant existence.

The two books that follow in this trilogy expand further on this point, and show how the superbrain is finally brought down.

In some respects, a lesson for these times too.
David Szondy
If you've ever had a bad day of lost files, crashes, and dropped Internet connections and began to suspect that your computer was plotting against you, consider yourself lucky. Things could be worse–a lot worse.

Read more
Damon Wakes
This isn't a bad book--I'm certainly glad I read it--but it leaves an awful lot of loose ends. I realise that there are two sequels, but this novel more or less just stops: quite disappointing. It certainly wouldn't put me off picking up the others, but I'm not desperate to do so.
Fran Parker
I read this when I was in my twenties. Excellent book! Better than the movie which I also saw and loved! The movie was what led me to get the book from the library.

Although the movie was for general audience, the book is not!
Erik Graff
Jun 10, 2011 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: D.F. Jones fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I read this during high school, only picking up its sequel, The Fall of Colossus (1974), years later. Not having been terribly impressed by either, I never read the concluding novels in what developed into a series.
I love this book and movie, but I have to admit that they are a bit dated. Still, aside from creating a computer that enslaves the entire world, Dr. Forbin is da Man!
Haven't read this in years. Good opener to the Colossus trilogy.
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Dennis Feltham Jones, a British Science Filction Author wrote under the byline D.F. Jones
More about D.F. Jones...

Other Books in the Series

Colossus (4 books)
  • The Fall of Colossus
  • Colossus and the Crab
  • Colossus Trilogy: Colossus/Fall of Colossus/Colossus and the Crab
Colossus and the Crab The Fall of Colossus Colossus Trilogy: Colossus/Fall of Colossus/Colossus and the Crab Xeno Implosion

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