Eric's Reviews > Man Plus

Man Plus by Frederik Pohl
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's review
Aug 16, 2010

liked it
Read in April, 2010

This is a relatively short novel. In it, we learn the story of a US government program in the early 21st century to create a superhuman cyborg who is capable of surviving on the Martian surface, for the purpose of facilitating colonization that would save the human race from extinction in the (increasingly likely) event of a nuclear holocaust on Earth.

Though the novel won the Nebula award in 1976, I don't think it ages as well as many of the other novels that have earned this award. Pohl predicts numerous technological changes that have not yet come close to occurring (flying cars, bionic limbs that can cure any physical disability, etc.), while ignoring social and societal changes that have occurred in the meantime. This book "feels" more like it is taking place in the late 1970s than the first decade of the 21st century.

All in all, I liked this book. It has an engaging story and a twist at the end that I didn't really expect. Where it fails is in its unrealistic predictions of a future now past.

If you're looking for a little bit more "timeless" novel by Frederik Pohl, I would recommend Gateway (and subsequent novels in the Heechee Saga).

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