An incredible story of rebellion of Luna's native inhabitants (Loonies) against the oppressive Earth's management (Earthworms). Luna farms billions ofAn incredible story of rebellion of Luna's native inhabitants (Loonies) against the oppressive Earth's management (Earthworms). Luna farms billions of tons of grain for the people of earth but only by Earth's slave rules and low pay. Three Loonies, Manny O'Kelly Davis, Prof. de La Paz and Wyoh Knott organize a revolt lead by the invaluable guidance and help of Mike the computer. Mike tries hard to be human and is self aware. Political strategies are put in place and the stage is set for battle which is fought by the Loonies with Mike against Earth.
Loved the descriptions of Luna's lifestyle. The simple and complex marriages. The air locks and tunnel farming and disease free. Low crime and low gravity. The cultural mix of people all living in fear and hatred of the Warden and all things Earth. And no taxes. Take me there!
I loved the Luna dialect. It gave the book a sense of reality. My favorite thing was the discussion of political strategy to free the people from oppression and avoid war. And of course I fell in love with Mike the computer who could change personalities and adapt to different situations, make toilets flush backwards, create crank calls, shot rocks at earth with great precision and even be the leader of the colony, Adam Selene. And no one but Manny knew of his real capabilities. ...more
Stylish but so confusing. It took me forever to get through. I heard so many good things about it but ultimately I was so disappointed in this book whStylish but so confusing. It took me forever to get through. I heard so many good things about it but ultimately I was so disappointed in this book which is too bad because someone gave me a pile of this authors books. I was not interested or attached to any of the characters. Just wanted it to be over....more
This book is about William Mandella and his military career. A career that last for centuries due to time dilation caused by his travels near the speeThis book is about William Mandella and his military career. A career that last for centuries due to time dilation caused by his travels near the speed of light to distant planets through worm-hole like devices called collapsars. Mandella spends a few years traveling to distant planets, fighting battles and when he comes home to Earth, decades have pasted. Yes, at last,a book that uses Einstein's relativity theory. Most soldiers don't survive the battles, a lot die in training on base. Space is a dangerous place to be with ice and low gravity. A miscalculation in the angle of travel in a collapsar and you are lost, maybe for good.
But Mandella survives and returns to a very different Earth that he can no longer adapt to so he reenlist and after a time decades become centuries on Earth's timeline and Mandella is promoted to Major and he will be in charge of soldiers that have not been born yet. The one person who is from his timeline and who is is lover, Marygay is promoted but sent to work on a different planet. This of course is devastating for Mandella because she will age differently due to the time dilation and he will probably never see her again. By this point in the book, the Earth is overpopulated and everyone except a few like Mandella are homosexuals. Being heterosexual gets Mandella tagged as "the old queer" by his troops. His soldiers hate him so much that when Mandella wants to join his troops and fight on the surface of a planet, his captain says no don't do it, they will kill you. And he is not referring to the enemy. Everyone looks alike due to the blending of the races. To further add to Mandella's isolation, the English dialect is so different, his soldiers have to learn 20th century English to speak to him. But his choices are to be a Major, isolated and hated by his troops or live on an ever more hostile, extremely dangerous and overpopulated Earth. Society has evovled and Mandella has to adapt.
I loved this book. I did not expect to love it so much. The descriptions of the hazards of training on a harsh planet covered in ice with endless possibilities of space suit malfunctions. The military encourages the soldiers to pick someone to sleep with because most likely you will die so enjoy yourself now. Don't jump to high in the low gravity or you may never come down. Hell lots of soldiers died even before they saw any battles. The battle plans, the weapon and ship descriptions and the fear of meeting an enemy and not knowing if their technology is ahead or behind yours because of the timeline. All done so well and Mandella who is not thrilled about war or being in command just makes the story so much more fun to read. Highly, highly recommended. ...more
This is a trippy novel about reality altering drugs with not too subtle religious references.
Palmer Eldritch, an elusive industrialist, has crash landThis is a trippy novel about reality altering drugs with not too subtle religious references.
Palmer Eldritch, an elusive industrialist, has crash landed on Pluto. His wounded body is taken away to a hospital. During his recovery rumors flourish that Eldritch has smuggled out illegal lichen for producing a translational drug called Chew-Z. Chew-Z produces a shared altered reality when taken. No one has seen Eldritch and it is not sure if he is alive or if some alien life form inhabits his body.
“God promises eternal life. We can deliver it.”, is the blasphemous slogan for the reality altering drug Chew-Z. This drug will be a big hit on Mars colony where life is dreary. Religion and alcohol are passé. Only a few still believe in Christianity and those that do are shunned. Can-D is the old mind altering drug produced by P.P. Layouts is not enough to satisfy them. With Chew-Z you can be born again into another life. What are only moments in the real world can feel like a lifetime with Chew-Z. The problem is, can you get out of the altered reality and who is altering it?
Leo Bolero the CEO of Perky Pat’s Layout, the company that manufactures Can-D, wants to kill off the competition and he tries to visit Eldritch in hospital. Instead of killing Eldritch, Bolero is tied down and given Chew-Z and Bolero ends up in a nightmarish altered reality controlled by Palmer Eldritch, although he never sees Eldritch just the transubstantiation of him in a small girl. So Bolero doubts that Eldritch is really alive or that he inhabits his body. Bolero is so mortified at this experience with Chew-Z, he promises Eldritch that he will stop making Can-D. Bolero is also angry that his 2nd in command, Barney Mayerson does not rescue him he fired him.
Barney Mayerson, fired from his job, decides there is nowhere else to go, enlist in the army and goes to Mars, knowing he will spend the rest of his life on the dreaded planet. Mayerson takes Chew-Z, at first in a lame attempt to start a lawsuit against Eldritch for his old boss Bolero but later he uses the experience to patch up the relationship with his ex-wife.
But what happens to Mayerson and Bolero is that they keep seeing Eldritch in themselves and Eldritch in other people. This happens long after they wake up from the drug. Is Palmer Eldritch God or the Devil, inflicting nightmarish visions?
There are a lot of direct and indirect religious references. Well written in an avant-garde style and imaginative and even funny in parts without feeling dated. Of course this was written long before "The Sims", cable TV reality shows or other media based mass hysteria. The book does make fun of the need of the masses latching on and follow any new fad. Dick takes this a step further from other drug mind altering concepts by making it a shared experience but also one in which an outside entity can alter. At first I thought this book would be a preachy sermon on the evils of drugs but it turned out to be something quite broader. Very dark and nightmarish but enjoyable and at times hilarious. Where else are you going to have a psychiatrist in a suitcase or a company named P.P. Layouts. I laughed every time I read this.
Where’s there’s dope there’s hope, unless it is Substance D. Bob Arctor Substance D and user, is paranoid as hell. Bob lives in a rundown house with tWhere’s there’s dope there’s hope, unless it is Substance D. Bob Arctor Substance D and user, is paranoid as hell. Bob lives in a rundown house with two other junkies, one of them waiting for the others to die to steal their stash. Bob thinks the narcs are after him. And he is right, in the weirdest possible way. Fred, an undercover drug enforcement agent is tailing Bob and taking drugs to fit in the junky life style, scanning Bob’s house, watching and listening to three hopeless junkies. Back at the office, Fred is being psychologically evaluated. How many gears does a 10 speed bike have, brings such confusion and paranoia in Fred they have to go to the street to get someone to explain to them how the bike works. The only problem is Fred is Bob and Bob is Fred. Kind of like the dog chasing his tail. Hilarious conversations abound. Strange stories for example: Jerry and his giant aphid brother. Why couldn’t you be like your big brother Jerry? His parents ask. Bob wants to score drugs and sex with dealer Donna. Donna does not like to be groped because she plans to smuggle one pound of hash in her snatch. Jim tries to sell mushrooms that make you fly, you understand the speech of animals, and your car disappears. Bob says his car disappears all the time when he leaves it in the tow away zone. One junkie uses an axel jack to rip off a pay phone. Hash molded in the shape of a man with a wind of motor and a tape recorder inside. The customs officer asks the hash, “You have anything to declare?” ”No I don’t.” says the hash as he motors on. Impressive plans for the brain damaged. Crazy conversations. Hilarious fun to read....more
An updated recycled read of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Frankenstein this time using the head of a Swiss hedge fund with an artificial intelligence compAn updated recycled read of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Frankenstein this time using the head of a Swiss hedge fund with an artificial intelligence computer he designed used to pick stock market funds and eventually think for itself. But this computer goes a bit too far. Uh-oh, there goes the Dow Jones, time for the 401K torch bearing villagers to kill the monster. Could have used some more character development. And why does it take a PhD in physics 15 chapters figure out who is doing the evil deeds when a reader with a G.E.D. got it in chapter two? ...more
Poor Jack has lost his computer job. He use to monitor the computers of other employees in his firm. Then he found out about some fraud and stealing oPoor Jack has lost his computer job. He use to monitor the computers of other employees in his firm. Then he found out about some fraud and stealing of money committed by several high ranking employees and the higher ups used the information against Jack and had him fired and blacklisted. So Jack stays home and takes care of the kids, shopping for place mats at Crate and Barrel and buying groceries. Julia his wife works on nanotechnology but is acting strange, irritable and paranoid. She shows him a presentation of her work where he company made nano-particles that can group together and work as a microscopic camera inside the human body. But Julia's erratic behavior makes Jack suspicious. Is she having an affair or on drugs? When Jack is offered a job by the same firm he worked for he is reluctant but desperate to get back to work, he accepts the job offer. The location has changed, they want him to work at the desert lab that his wife Julia is working in. He quickly finds that the robotic nano-particles can form massive swarms that have run amuck and are capable of killing. And why is everyone holding back information from him?
Well when you find out you will wish you never opened up this dud of a book. Not Crichton's best work. The characters are flat and boring and the plot is convoluted with sampling of other horror stories thrown in. A little Frankenstein, and Andromeda Strain. ...more