yellowbird's Reviews > A for Andromeda

A for Andromeda by Fred Hoyle
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's review
Mar 02, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: mystery

I love vintage sci-fi, especially when the story is placed in some indefinite future, but has the poor humans using archaic, outdated technology (in this case computers that use punch cards{Kids, if you don't know what a computer punch card is, Google it}) to defeat their powerful alien enemies.
This is a good science fiction story, as it uses both technology and human nature to resolve a problem. The characters are believable (not too knowledgeable and not too stupid) and act like real people would, character flaws and all. Even the aliens are believable, and their plot to take over the Earth is very original.
But now I have an axe to grind, so let's take off the rose-colored glasses and put our safety goggles on. Fred Hoyle is an okay writer, but he gets way too much press as 'one of the most knowledgeable science fiction writers'. His scientific theories were not well regarded even by the other scientists of those early days, and yet he was the one who coined the phrase 'Big Bang Theory', because he wanted to poke fun at what he called 'creationist science'. A little humility would be nice, even at this late date. Robert Forward doesn't have a team of cheerleaders, and he writes science fiction that is extremely heavy on the accurate science. So let's all just relax and enjoy the stories, scientific flaws and all, and not get so upset when our favorite writers aren't being taken seriously enough for our tastes.

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