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The Computer Connection

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  616 ratings  ·  35 reviews
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...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by iBooks (first published January 1975)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsRingworld by Larry NivenRendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. ClarkeThe Forever War by Joe HaldemanNine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
Classic Science Fiction - 1970-1979
60th out of 109 books — 54 voters
Health Guide by Mahatma GandhiGenerating All Trees History Of Combinatorial Generation by Donald Ervin KnuthSelected Writings by Mahatma GandhiIdeas and Opinions by Albert EinsteinThe Essential Gandhi by Mahatma Gandhi
My List Books
36th out of 90 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,146)
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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...more
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.

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...more
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...more
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.
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...more
Although somewhat dated now, this is still a very good Alfred Bester novel, which means it is a very good story.
David Allen
Bester's comeback novel after a 19-year layoff was packed with ideas, slang and sly jokes. Perhaps too packed, though.
This was my introduction to Alfred Bester.

The book was in the bar of The Swan near Bristol. I read it in chunks as I was running a series of training courses over a couple of years nearby and stayed in the hotel attached to The Swan.

The thing that captivated me was his use of language - it was strange, and clever, and compulsive. And because of the way I read the book in time-separated chunks over several months, it seemed to fit well.

Since then, I have read other Bester books and even if the pl...more
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...more
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
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...more
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....more
The first third of the book crackles with energy. Ideas leap off the page with the ferocity of a Chinese firecracker on steroids, unmatched by any other author except Gaiman.

Past the halfway point, the story settles down and pulls you deeper. There are a couple of strong plot twists, a couple deus ex machinas, and unhappily the author chickens out and neuters said plot twists into a happy ending. That's a star off of the rating.

I suppose there could have been more exposition and resolution towar...more
Cathrine 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...more
Dave Lefevre
I don't have any idea what to say about this one. It's screwball sci-fi and kind of like the "Kilgore Trout" book that Philip Jose Farmer wrote with a lot less sex. It's a good read. One of the more interesting literary elements worth noting is that Bester seems to have a good feel for how language could evolve over years in a society that is global and even extra-global. It also has speculation about what the world would look like if the trends of the 60s took hold and continued indefinitely, a...more
Wow. I'm glad the blurb explains the point of this story. I didn't like it at all. He was trying to explore what might happen if a worldwide information system became sentient and took over a human body. But much like Lawnmower Man, it stank. My major issue is with his style and made-up expressions which are meant to be a new kind of Spanglish language that is used in "the future". Its just too dated to be enjoyable any more. His characters are flat and lifeless and hence, unlikeable. If you wan...more
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.
Jose Angel
La novela es bastante inconexa y atropellada, parece que el autor tuviera un limite de paginas a la hora de escribirla, eso o intentando darle ritmo a la narración falla estrepitosamente. Seguimos a los personajes (un grupo de inmortales) en una "desesperada" carrera por salvar la humanidad de un compatriota suyo y una inteligencia artificial.

Aunque por la novela circulan un grupo interesante de personajes, estos meramente estas desarrollados y solo podemos suponer sus motivaciones, por los nomb...more
Connessione computer (Romanzo, The Computer Connection, 1975) di Alfred Bester
Traduzione di Roberta Rambelli
PJ Ebbrell
Bizarre and bizarrer.
Daniel Brandon
I've always kind of meant to read some Bester, and this book was mentioned on a list of "classic funny sci-fi", so I figured that was as good an omen as I was going to get.

I enjoyed it, you know? But a comic masterpiece? It was... amusing. Overall. As a piece of cultural commentary, it was completely successful, and possibly prescient in a few ways. It was well written, and I certainly don't regret the time I spent on it. But I sort of smiled a few times, and that was about it.
This made me feel very old. There was a time when I've have found the dated hipster slang, breakneck pace and gratuitous weirdness stimulating, but now I just find it tiresome.
There are a couple of interesting ideas (the cryonauts, Extro itself) which I'd have liked to have seen treated in more depth, but the implications are glossed over in favour of random surreal imagery and irrelevant subplots.
Keith Jones
I know I read this. I know I did. But, I swear that I cannot remember a single thing about it. Immortals? Okay, yeah, that sounds vaguely familiar. All I remember is that it was nowhere near as good as The Stars My Destination or The Demolished Man.
I absolutely loved some of Bester's other works, but in comparison, The Computer Connection falls flat. The plot and premise are great, but the presentation could have been better in my opinion. I still liked the story, but wanted more of something.
Crazy insane, whiplash pace, and damme if you can't see where most of today's leading SF lights got their inspiration. Wonderfully batshit tale of immortals, conspiracies and fucked-up tech. Love it.
I read the original release of this book and consider this to be the grandfather of cyberpunk novels. For all that it's a short novel it's jam packed with vivid imagery. Find it, read it.
pierlapo  quimby
Oct 16, 2012 pierlapo quimby marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anglofoni
Lo consiglierei agli amanti della Guida galattica per autostoppisti.

(Detto da uno che non ama particolarmente la Guida galattica per autostoppisti, quindi fate un po' voi)
A fun read the first time I read it (30 years ago) though I'm pretty sure I did understand everything then. Should read it again now.
Erik Graff
Dec 20, 2010 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bester fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Amusing science fiction adventure by a master of the genre. Many of the characters are actual historical figures, a plus for me.
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American science fiction author, TV and radio scriptwriter, magazine editor and scripter for comic strips and comic books.

His novel The Demolished Man (1953) won the very first Hugo Award for best novel.
More about Alfred Bester...
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