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Achilles' Choice

3.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  386 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The Olympiad is for those with enough confidence in their own abilities to risk everything—even death. That peculiar, uncoachable capacity for confidence produces champions. Enables a human being to put everything on the line. That’s one definition of a “warrior,” isn’t it? We don’t have wars anymore. But some people still need, and want, to test themselves against the ver ...more
Hardcover, 214 pages
Published December 31st 1991 by Tor Books (first published March 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 673)
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Lasairfiona Smith
Nov 26, 2007 Lasairfiona Smith rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Quick story with a familiar twist in the future
The idea that a few can win or die in the future isn't a new idea and it wasn't new even when Niven was writing this. I am of the opinion that Niven is just an idea man. His writing just isn't that good. However, this quick little story was fun to read even if the writing and story had a few holes. I read bits and pieces before bed since it was so uncomplicated and clean in both story and writing.
The future Olympics isn't based on body strength alone, mental strength and ablity are also measured
Jan 14, 2012 Erin marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I got this at a used book store, entirely because of the ridiculous cover art. I can't wait to find out what's going on...
Lianne Burwell
Oct 23, 2012 Lianne Burwell rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, reread
Achilles was given a choice: a short glorious life, or a long dull life. He chose the former.

In the future, the Olympics have changed. Athletes compete in three fields: artistic, academic, athletic. In order to compete at the highest level, they have to resort to 'boosting', which enhances their physique as desired. The only problem is, the long term effects are fatal. Few will live more than eight years after taking it. The only way to survive is to win gold in the Olympiad, which gets you the
Jun 09, 2014 David rated it liked it
The book started incredibly strong, but like a failed Olympian, peaked early, leaving the reader with little to enjoy in the final third aside from lecture.
Ethan Evans
May 15, 2015 Ethan Evans rated it did not like it
Glen Robinson
Dec 14, 2012 Glen Robinson rated it really liked it
These days, with my career in overdrive, I am looking for books that don't take a lot of thought and concentration. I had seen this book in my personal library for several years and not read it, making assumptions about its nature from the cover. But it was surprisingly entertaining and thought provoking. I am a fan of both of these authors, and find I like it even better when they team up.
Sep 06, 2011 Andreas rated it it was ok
In this novel, Olympic athletes are allowed to “enhance” their bodies, to the point that they will not survive more than a few years after the competition. Unless they win, that is, in which case they join the ruling council and are “linked” to a neural interface that fixes the issue. Mildly entertaining.
Mar 24, 2011 Hilary rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Interesting concept, but read like an expanded short story or something intended for the young adult audience. The characters were two-dimensional, and very few seemed to have any but the most cursory of motivations. In short, disappointing for Niven but at least it was a quick read.
Apr 13, 2009 Lawana added it
Great novel with short story feel and smart, fit, beautiful female lead. Who says a woman can't be all three? And, who says men don't like smart chicks. considering this book was written by men...
Jul 08, 2009 Christy rated it it was ok
This just isn't my sort of book, but I stuck with it because (1) it had been recommended by one of my loved ones and (2) I was curious about how the business of Boosting would turn out.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Perhaps more like 2.5. But it was very thought-provoking the first time I read it, and it's still interesting to re-read from time to time.
Dec 04, 2013 Emmalee rated it really liked it
One of my favorite books when I was a teen. I just loved the way the Olympians had to win in mental and physical challenges.
May 10, 2008 Jay rated it it was ok
"It was ok" about summarizes it. Some very good ideas but hard to read because of subject material.
Matt Carl
Aug 31, 2007 Matt Carl added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SF fans
Unlike most of Niven's other writing. Didn't think the story line was very good.
An interesting take on an attempt to rule the world.
Aug 11, 2011 Kathy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A really silly book, a waste of time.
Feb 01, 2013 Keith rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
Read in Dallas, TX
May 11, 2010 Allen rated it it was ok
Beth marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2016
Grah rated it liked it
Jun 23, 2016
John Kackley
John Kackley rated it it was ok
Jun 22, 2016
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Jennifer marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2016
Kelly Hatcher
Kelly Hatcher rated it liked it
May 28, 2016
thecryptile marked it as to-read
May 23, 2016
Kei marked it as to-read
May 19, 2016
Dennis Hearon
Dennis Hearon rated it liked it
Jun 26, 2016
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Laurence van Cott Niven's best known work is Ringworld (Ringworld, #1) (1970), which received the Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. The creation of thoroughly worked-out alien species, which are very different from humans both physically and mentally, is recognized as one of Niven's main strengths ...more
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