Copyright 1994 by
I most recently read this on the 15th January 2002.
This is the sequel to "Man Plus" in which Roger Torraway was
slowly converted from his human form into a cyborg mechanism
able to exist on the surface of Mars.
We return to Mars some forty years later. Roger and a few other old
cyborgs roam the surface of the planet. It has turned out in the
meantime that, from the point of view of Mars colonisation, these
cyborgs were never really necessary and indeed Mars has now been
colonised successfully with more normal humans. Thus the cyborgs remain
alien even to the other Mars colonists.
There are however problems on this new Mars colony. Something
is stirring. It's not clear what is about to happen. Earth's
governments are sending their diplomats and spies to the colony
and the level of suspicion is rising.
Among the diplomats and spies is Demeter Coghlan. She's young and
inexperienced, and worse she's still recovering from a recent
accident. The aftereffects are making her job a little difficult,
sometimes affecting her concentration and confusing her thinking.
It is not as good as "Man Plus" but it's not bad.
Definitely Pohl, well definitely Pohl and Thomas T. Thomas.
It does have some nice touches: Demeter continuously forgetting to
think about geology; her careless dictation to the computer
and her irresistible urges for wild sex.
However, the novel is a little careless in places and
there should have been more crafting and pruning.
And what was the point of Ralph? What did this new AI actually
manage to do?
Torraway is still pretty cool of course. It was interesting how the
reader sees Torraway and his fellows as they see themselves, i.e. to
be clearly human, albeit in cyborg bodies. Yet to the Mars
colonists, these cyborgs are far, far from human.
Loaded on the 31st January 2003.