Monday, September 04, 2006

DEMOLISHED MAN kicks Ninja ass

The Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas — the always endearing Summer, Joe, and David — continue their hour-long examinations of classic retro sci-fi with a recent podcast about Alfred Bester’s 1951 novel The Demolished Man, which was the first ever to win the Hugo Award (in 1953).

I’ve read the book three times in the past 30 years, and it remains one of my favorites. Alfred Bester may have been the first author to tackle the idea of telepaths, and this book may also be the very first noir sf novel. The telepathic badguy “Bester” in the 1990s Babylon 5 TV series, played brilliantly by Walter “Chekov” Koenig, was a tribute to The Demolished Man and its author. I believe that with a few simple editorial alterations, this book could be released “new” right now and it’d be hailed as a “breakthrough” science fiction novel. It’s that contemporary in style and approach to its subject matter. Bester was a friggin’ genius.

As usual, I can quibble with several of the Ninjas’ opinions about The Demolished Man. But if you’ve read the book and enjoyed it, or even just want to know what all the fuss is about, this podcast is worthy of your time. You’ll find the download here.


At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd posit A.E. Van Vogt also, with the superlative "Slan".

At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OOOps, also

Dieing Inside by Bob Silverberg

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished reading, for the first time (yes, I know that's unforgivable) The Stars My Destination. Amazing book. Now I see I'm gonna hafta shoehorn some time in for The Demolished Man, too.


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