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Man Plus (Man Plus #1)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  6,180 Ratings  ·  191 Reviews
The Nebula Award-winning prequel to Mars Plus. The Man Plus Project begins as a way to explore and colonize Mars by transforming humans into cyborgs. When the international situation on Earth starts to deteriorate alarmingly, it appears that a colony on Mars might be the only hope for survival of the human race. But can humans handle being cyborgs?
Mass Market Paperback, 277 pages
Published August 1994 by Baen (first published July 1st 1976)
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Jan 07, 2014 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just as Frederik Pohl’s 1977 novel Gateway was about greed, Man Plus, his 1976 offering, is about ambition, and may be seen as an almost Kafkaesque allegory.

Pohl brings an approachability to his very competent hard science fiction; a pleasing meld of technically believable sci-fi with humanistic and psychological elements. He tells a good story – especially with an interesting, and ongoing (though ultimately not very satisfying) theatrical irony theme crafted with a mysterious narration techniq
At NASA, people often quoted what were claimed to be the Three Things Astronauts Fear Most. In descending order, these were:

1. Not getting selected for the mission;

2. Screwing up;

3. Dying.

In this 70s SF story, an astronaut, apparently with the normal set of priorities, has been fortunate enough to find himself selected for a daring bioengineering experiment; they are going to turn him into a creature capable of surviving, without a suit or other equipment, on the surface of Mars. Given that the
Jun 11, 2015 Krbo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jedan stari, izvrstan i kultni SF.

Nemam što drugo reći osim da je obvezno štivo ozbiljnog SF-ljupca.

edit: ma hajde, ipak ću nešto dodati. Kako ja vidim glavni dio djela je pitanje koliko bi se mi promijenili ukoliko bi nas netko stalno poboljšavao fizički - sve smo jači, sve otporniji, moćniji, beskonačniji. Istovremeno nemamo baš nikakvu dopunsku psihološku podršku svim tim novitetima.

Što bi se na koncu dogodilo, bi li nas konzumirao nadmoćni bogosindrom ili bi zadržali ljudskost, bi li se preb
Simon Mcleish
Mar 11, 2013 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in June 2009.

Man Plus won the Nebula award the year before his next novel, Gateway, swept the board of science fiction awards. It could be argued that Gateway is the perfect science fiction novel, because in it Pohl does many of the things which the genre is famous for superlatively: big ideas, interesting (if off-stage) aliens, journeys of personal discovery in intriguing environments, extrapolation of current trends and ideas into the future (in a rather dy
Daniel Roy
Mar 16, 2012 Daniel Roy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Meh. As far as SF masterpieces go, this one was pretty bad. I read it as the literary equivalent of a 50's B movie and found a modicum of enjoyment this way, but it was not a particularly interesting or fascinating read.

Man Plus concerns itself with manly astronauts yearning to conquer space, and the women orbiting their lives. If this book had been published in 1956 I would have rolled my eyes and moved on, but for a 1976 book, it's pretty darn backwards. Women are literally there to be lusted
Megan Baxter
Jun 09, 2017 Megan Baxter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Timing is everything. Not long ago, I posted a book review about Theodore Sturgeon's More Than Human, and was talking about 1970s-era consideration of what human beings are, and here we have Man Plus as a handy juxtaposition. And it comes to quite a different conclusion, thus ending my attempt to put too neat a chronological classification on this debate. Look at the two broad categories would be an interesting topic for discussion, and I may make a note of it in my list of themes for future sci ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
In 1953, Frederick Pohl teamed with C.M. Kornbluth and wrote The Space Merchants, one of the greatest American SF novels of the 20th century. And since 19th century precursors would be few and far between and it is too early to start making such calls about the 21st century, I guess I could go ahead and say that Pohl and Kornbluth wrote one of the greatest American SF novels of all time.

Perhaps because Space Merchants is my only other contact with Frederick Pohl, I find myself overly disappointe
3.0 stars. Classic SF story by Pohl. Just re-read this story for the second time and it does feel a little dated. However, it is still an excellent read and, like much of Pohl's science ficiton, deals with emotional and psychological issues of its characters. In this case, the increasing sense of "disconnect" between the main character and the rest of humanity as a result of being modified to go to Mars.

Winner - Nebula Award Best Novel
Nominee -Hugo Award Best Novel
Nominee - Campbell Award
Lilyn G. (Scifi and Scary)
Delaying on my rating only becauseI have to think about how I actually felt about this book for a little bit.
Jan 31, 2014 Thom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
In an effort to finish more Grand Masters and Masterworks, and relating to other Mars books read this year, I dove into this pool of Pohl. The water is lukewarm at best.

This story is about establishing a long-term presence on Mars, by altering a Man to fit the environment instead of vice-versa. The added cyborg equipment leads to the title, Man Plus. There is some suspense and a few plot twists, but really this is a novel of relationships. Man to his body, and to his soul (a Catholic Priest is a
Me ha gustado. Gira en torno a una idea que a mi parecer es original. El personaje y sus vivencias una vez transformado en Homo Plus son geniales así como el contexto global que rodea la historia y como se plantea la resolución al conflicto.

Se nota mucho que es un libro escrito hace mucho tiempo y es que bebe de los clichés de la época: Los chinos y los comunistas, el temor a la guerra nuclear, la carrera espacial, personajes arraigados en una cultura machista, toques de psicología psicoanalíti
The premise of this book is that, in the face of his impending self-destruction, Man must colonize Mars both as it will give him a way to survive when things go sideways on Earth, and because it will (somehow) reduce the odds of him destroying himself. This premise goes back to the Golden Age of Science Fiction, of course, when the luminaries of the day felt that to be their mission as writers: To give people dreams of a future beyond the petty problems of Earth. (Ray Bradbury literalizes this a ...more
Apr 19, 2010 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...Man Plus includes the dark sense of humour is included in everything I have read of Pohl so far. His portrayal of the US president in particular borders on the satirical at times. The satirical tone of some parts of the novel combined with the grotesque changes to Torraway's physique keep the reader right on the edge of how serious all this should be taken. Over the course of the novel he asks the readers to examine some quite difficult questions and keeps on asking them right up to the end o ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Martina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This is my first Frederik Pohl novel, and it was pretty interesting. The idea of "enhancing" man to make him capable of surviving on Mars as is (i.e. without a protective suit, the necessity of oxygen, food, water and such trivialities) and the gruelling task of realizing that idea is the main premise of the book. But I liked that the topic was much broader - and that is what makes a human, well, human? What to do when you are being stripped of all your external human features, how to cope with ...more
Jurica Ranj
Jun 11, 2015 Jurica Ranj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-library
Čovjek plus...Pohl je sukobio dvije perspektive transformacije čovjeka: jednu kao horor gubitka vlastite prirode, čovječnosti i unakaženja čovjekovog fizičkog tijela - spoj čovjeka i robota gdje se čovjek gotovo u potpunosti gubi, postaje čudovište, te drugu kao sinergiju čovjeka i stroja - gdje osoba postaje nešto mnogo više a zadržava čovječnost duboko u sebi.
Pohl je ciničan, ne štedi politiku i društveno prihvaćena ponašanja modernog društva (tad su bile 70-e). Sama priča oteže na početku i č
Jan 06, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting story about transforming a man into a cyborg in order for him to be able to survive on a pre-terraformed Mars. There are things to think about. However, thinking about it, such extensively transformed bodies to allow colonization doesn't seem believable (both the cost and the human distaste at the idea of such "violence" to one's body).

Pohl craftily sneaks in another element which only becomes clear at the end.

The book is short. It's not one to portray space colonization as easy o
Jul 09, 2013 Carolyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nebula-award
Excellent premise and story, unfortunately tarnished by Yellow Peril, a straw feminist, American exceptionalism, compulsory heterosexuality (but a complete lack of knowledge of population bottleneck), and a woman whose lovesickness is more important than her qualifications as a top psychologist.
Althea Ann
Some interesting ideas, some unnecessary sexism, and a "big reveal" at the end which is unrelated to the other issues brought up by the story.
Jamie Rich
Jun 28, 2017 Jamie Rich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man Plus (Man Plus #1) by Frederik Pohl

This story was published 17 years ago, but is still relevant today. Yes, the technology to transform a human into a cyborg that can live on the surface of Mars is nonexistent. And probably always will be. But look past the parts where they rebuild the Six Billion Dollar Man, and the story holds up.
The characters are a bit one dimensional, but for this tale it works. And our hero does undergo many transformative events in his journey.
So it's a quick read,
Apr 09, 2013 Bogdan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pentru a-mi face “curaj” sa abordez un alt numar din Asimov`s s-a facut simtita nevoia de a ma relaxa cu o lectura in limba romana si care sa dispuna de un subiect care sa valorifice aceeasi idee. Mi-a facut cu ochiul din biblioteca romanul “Man Plus” si, avand in vedere ca dupa colectia Nautilus a celor de la Nemira, seria celor de la Pygmalion mi-a oferit si ea sansa de a descoperi o suita de lucrari memorabile, nu am mai stat pe ginduri.

Subiectul romanului, despre care credeam ca a fost casti
Dec 11, 2013 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frederik Pohl is a science fiction great who published work between 1937 and 2011 before he passed away in 2013. Pohl won multiple awards, including the Nebula Award for Man Plus. He followed that up with a Hugo and a Nebula in 1977 for Gateway. Man Plus features a brilliant premise in which a human, Roger Torraway, is biologically engineered to live on Mars unaided by a suit or breathing equipment. Such a premise enabled Pohl to explore the outer limits of technology and the future of space tra ...more
Jul 09, 2012 Charis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beware of spoilers in this review!

I am surprised that I have ended up giving this book three stars, as I was so enjoying the majority of the book, which is only let down by the ending.

I would have liked to see the different sections of the book woven together in a more cohesive way and given an equal treatment, as all three as I see them are fascinating and worthy of exploration (the breakdown of civilisation, the man plus project, the gradual takeover by hidden forces). The last section felt l
Jan 27, 2011 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-masterworks
This book is a trip down memory lane, I realised after a few chapters I had read this book many years before in a much more battered and less loved edition. Now in its full masterworks glory I picked it up again and read it once more. Many of the scenes were so familiar but at the same time there were subtle under currents and descriptions i had over looked or forgotten. There is something appealing about older (or however you wish to tag it) science fiction - this book was written after all in ...more
Nov 05, 2013 Olethros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-¿El Transhumanismo antes del Transhumanismo?.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Roger Torraway es un astronauta agradable, de éxito, conocido, con una esposa encantadora y bella, que vive en un centro de Oklahoma aislado del resto del mundo, lleno de guerras, carestías y protestas que no auguran nada bueno para la Humanidad. Roger es destinado a un proyecto más secreto de lo habitual en los viajes espaciales, el Proyecto Homo Plus, que tratará de llevar a Marte a representantes del Mu
First paragraph: It is necessary to tell you about Roger Torraway. One human being does not seem particularly important, when there are eight billion alive. Not more important than, for example, a single microchip in a memory store. But a single chip can be decisive when it carries an essential bit, and Torraway was important in just that way. He was a good-looking man, as people go. Famous, too. Or had been.

I enjoyed this science fiction winner, although it did feel dated to me since it was wri
Leandro Ribeiro
Jun 02, 2013 Leandro Ribeiro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this science fiction novel by Frederick Pohl, a man is turned into a monster and sent to survive in Mars, the only way to avoid extinction of the human race. This novel has the ability to give readers a relatable feel despite the drastic circumstances of the plot. Pohl gives readers a novel that stretches the average thoughts of the mind, and formulates an out of the ordinary, yet interesting, story.
This book made it onto my shelf thanks to being one of only a few on a short list I found of scifi books exploring transhumanism. Transhumanism is the term used for the desire to go beyond human capabilities through integrating technology into ourselves. So it wouldn’t be transhumanist to use a smartphone, but it would be transhumanist to embed a smartphone’s computer chip into your brain. In fact, things like knee replacements and pacemakers are transhumanist. It’s a fascinating topic. In any c ...more
Kirsteen Gordon
After an accident on a space programme, Roger the central character, an astronaut and 3rd back up in line, is morally forced to volunteer to become a cyborg created to live on Mars. You feel pity for him as this is so unexpected and he knows first hand the horrors this will inflict on his body. An enjoyable yarn.
Jun 07, 2017 Raymond rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1990s
I'm amazed that Pohl has such a high standing. The language is so clunky and awful that I couldn't get past the first few chapters. It would help if there was an idea to get through the pulpiness, but it appears to just be about the problems of a generic manly man and his centerfold fantasy wife.
Zac Cronin
A good bit of sci-fi fun. Nothing special
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Science Fiction &...: Man Plus by Frederik Pohl (June 2017) 16 10 Jul 02, 2017 11:23AM  
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Frederik George Pohl, Jr. was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning over seventy years. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy magazine and its sister magazine IF winning the Hugo for IF three years in a row. His writing also won him three Hugos and multiple Nebula Awards. He became a Nebula Grand Master in 1993.
More about Frederik Pohl...

Other Books in the Series

Man Plus (2 books)
  • Mars Plus (Man Plus #2)

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“I was worried about sex," he went on. "But you know what, Sulie? It's like being told I can't have any caviar for the next couple years. I don't even like caviar. And when you come right down to it, I don't want sex right now. I supposed you punched that into the computer? 'Cut down sex drive, increase euphoria'? Anyway, it finally penetrated my little brain that I was just making trouble for myself, worrying about whether I could get along without something I really didn't want. It's a reflection of what I think other people think I should want.” 11 likes
“The bump of ego on his skull had swollen large, so he saw the whole world in terms of what it could give him.” 0 likes
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