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The Computer Connection

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  736 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
A band of immortals recruit physicist Sequoya Guess - who gains control of Extro, the super-computer that controls all mechanical activity on Earth. But the task of the merry suddenly becomes a fight for the future of Earth. Sequoya Guess must be killed. And how do you kill an immortal?
Paperback, 258 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by iBooks (first published January 1975)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,399)
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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
Aug 25, 2014 Stian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2013
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.

May 24, 2009 Erik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 09, 2015 Denis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcover, b-c
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
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.
Apr 01, 2008 maryann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sciencefiction
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
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 ...more
Aug 30, 2012 Pickle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Victor Chernov
Sep 26, 2014 Victor Chernov rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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.
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 ...more
Mar 04, 2015 Paige rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A couple interesting concepts, but on the whole not an engaging novel. Maybe don't mention this one when recommending people Bester.
Dec 21, 2012 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 25, 2014 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Megan Baxter
May 19, 2014 Megan Baxter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 05, 2015 prcardi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Storyline: 1/5
Characters: 1/5
Writing Style: 1/5
World: 1/5

I can imagine a group of science fiction junkies meeting weekly and passing around drafts of what they've been working on. They'd bellow in amusement and playfully jibe one another. That it got some laughs in-group and generated some conversation amongst friends shouldn't have been enough to get it published, however.

There is a perfect descriptive and evaluative word for this book: brash. This work makes it to the top ten of my worst book
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
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
Feb 11, 2009 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cathrine Bonham
Apr 08, 2011 Cathrine Bonham rated it really liked it
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
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
Sep 05, 2009 Grace rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Andrew Chase
Dec 27, 2014 Andrew Chase rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it.

The writing style is brilliant. It sometimes reminded me of Burroughs "Naked Lunch", but with the volume turned down a couple notches (making it more enjoyable).

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.
Jan 22, 2015 Simon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-and-fantasy
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.
Mar 10, 2013 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 28, 2011 arjuna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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Alfred Bester (1913–1987) was an American science fiction author, TV and radio scriptwriter, magazine editor and scripter for comic strips and comic books.

Though successful in all these fields, he is best remembered for his science fiction, including The Demolished Man, winner of the inaugural Hugo Award in 1953, a story about murder in a future society where the police are telepathic, and The St
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