The Fall of Colossus Hardcover – Mar 1974
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Unfortunately, "Fall" is a slim book, and nothing therein delves into the baggage created by the concept of the supercomputer. The characters have no depth at all - both Sect and Fellowship have their own greed, with the machine being a convenient focus for them to lash out at each other. Though brilliant, none of the characters privy to the Martians' plan take the time to consider the wisdom of acting on behalf of Mars. Worst of all, the Colossus-ruled world really isn't that scary or different than our own - with corporations using computers to sell us stuff or dictate our future. Not a whole lot of imagination is at work in this skim-worthy tome. The Sect seems entirely useless - being around if only to make themselves unlikable. The Fellowship barely registers at all - seeming composed of only Cleo Forbin & Blake. (Even the names seem wrong - almost randomly chosen.) Worst of all, for a story that pits man against machine, "Fall" lacks any subtext, any of that unquantifiable stream of ideas that separates pristine AI from the flawed natural version.
Among the leading members of the Fellowship is Forbin's own wife, Cleo. One morning while taking her son to a secluded beach, she receives a radio transmission from Mars offering to help destroy Colossus. Though skeptical, she contacts Blake, Colossus's Director of Input and the leader of the Fellowship. Together they collect the information requested I the mysterious transmission, but Cleo is arrested by Sect and imprisoned. With nowhere else to turn, Blake uses Cleo's capture to enlist Forbin's help to complete the instructions in the transmission and get the information necessary to destroy Colossus. Yet as Forbin accomplishes his mission, it quickly becomes apparent that Colossus is not the only threat facing humanity . . .
Jones's novel is an enjoyable sequel up to his first book, a minor classic of science fiction. While plagued with some glaring continuity errors, the author compensates for this with his description of Colossus's global management, where peace is tempered by a secret police and people are frequently tested and tortured as part of the computer's effort to understand human emotion. Fans of the original novel will find it an entertaining book, one that fulfills the speculations made at the end of the first book while setting the stage for the concluding volume in the trilogy.
The Fall of Colossus is book 2 of the Colossus series, and was written in 1974. I'm not sure if Dennis Feltham (DF) Jones originally meant to write the super computer concept as a trilogy or followed up after the novel was made into the 1970 movie The Forbin Project and the recognition that followed by I personally enjoyed following the Colossus series through to the end.
So Colossus has basically taken over the world. So how does an author follow up. Attempt to bring about it's fall. Jones does add some twists here that may seem out of the theme of the supercomputer, but in a way it makes sense. If a super computer is tied into everything mankind has done or is doing and is probably capable of doing then there's nothing on this planet that can bring it down. And there is where Jones follows up with a twist in the series. And how does one bring down a super computer? All of these speculations are what is so worthy of the novel even if one doesn't enjoy Jones's style. How does one bring down any totalitarian entity? And particularly a sentient artificial life entity. By finding it's and attacking it's weakness. And what would that weakness be? How to counter an immovable object... by an irresistible force.... or it's equivalent. And that's left to the reader to discover how it could be done in the author's world.