Picture of author.

Mack Reynolds (1917–1983)

Autor(a) de Mission to Horatius

180+ Works 4,109 Membros 60 Críticas 8 Favorited

About the Author

Disambiguation Notice:

(eng) Bio comes from Towers of Utopia

Séries

Obras por Mack Reynolds

Mission to Horatius (1968) — Autor — 236 exemplares
Earth Unaware (1966) 139 exemplares
Galactic Medal of Honor (1976) 122 exemplares
Tomorrow Might Be Different (1975) 112 exemplares
Commune 2000 A.D. (1974) 103 exemplares
The Cosmic Eye (1969) 101 exemplares
The Towers of Utopia (1975) 101 exemplares
Backdrop of Stars (1968) — Contribuidor — 90 exemplares
Lagrange Five (1979) 89 exemplares
Satellite City (1975) 84 exemplares
Trojan Orbit (1985) 82 exemplares
Deathwish World (1986) 80 exemplares
Rolltown (1969) 74 exemplares
Ability Quotient (1975) 73 exemplares
Space Visitor (1977) 72 exemplares
Amazon Planet (1975) 66 exemplares
Nebula Alert / The Rival Rigelians (1967) — Autor — 65 exemplares
Day After Tomorrow (1970) 65 exemplares
Equality: In the Year 2000 (1977) 63 exemplares
Section G: United Planets (1976) 63 exemplares
The Lagrangists (1983) 63 exemplares
Other Time (1984) 62 exemplares
Code Duello / The Age of Ruin (1968) 61 exemplares
Police Patrol: 2000 A.D. (1977) 58 exemplares
The Earth War (1963) 57 exemplares
Behold the Stars / Planetary Agent X (1965) — Autor — 57 exemplares
The Fracas Factor (1978) 56 exemplares
Time Gladiator (1964) 55 exemplares
After Utopia (1977) 51 exemplares
Eternity (1984) 51 exemplares
Chaos in Lagrangia (1984) 51 exemplares
Death Is a Dream / Computer War (1967) 50 exemplares
The Best of Mack Reynolds (1976) 48 exemplares
Code Duello / Computer War (1968) 48 exemplares
The Best Ye Breed (1978) 48 exemplares
Science Fiction Carnival (1953) — Editor — 44 exemplares
Sweet Dreams, Sweet Princes (1986) 42 exemplares
Perchance to Dream (1977) 42 exemplares
Trample an Empire Down (1978) 41 exemplares
Brain World (1978) 38 exemplares
Planetary Agent X (1965) 36 exemplares
After Some Tomorrow (1967) 32 exemplares
Home Sweet Home 2010 A.D. (1984) 31 exemplares
Space Search (1984) 29 exemplares
Computer World (1970) 29 exemplares
Adaptation (1960) 26 exemplares
Space Pioneer (1965) 24 exemplares
Ultima Thule (2010) 21 exemplares
The Rival Rigelians (2011) 21 exemplares
Compounded Interests (1983) 18 exemplares
Happy Ending (1957) 17 exemplares
Once Departed (1970) 16 exemplares
Frigid Fracas (2011) 15 exemplares
Expediter (2011) 15 exemplares
Computer War (1967) 14 exemplares
Blackman's Burden (1961) 14 exemplares
Revolution (2011) 12 exemplares
Mercenary (2011) 12 exemplares
Medal of Honor (2009) 11 exemplares
The Case of the Little Green Men (2009) 11 exemplares
Border, Breed nor Birth (2009) 11 exemplares
The Space Barbarians (1969) 11 exemplares
Status Quo [short story] (2010) 11 exemplares
Gun For Hire (2011) 10 exemplares
The Common Man (2010) 9 exemplares
Combat (2010) 8 exemplares
Mercenary from Tomorrow (2020) 8 exemplares
Freedom [short story] (2011) 8 exemplares
Effetto valanga (2012) 8 exemplares
I'm a Stranger Here Myself (1960) 8 exemplares
Een astronaut op drift (1978) 8 exemplares
Subversive (2009) 7 exemplares
Unborn Tomorrow (2011) 7 exemplares
Off Course (2011) 7 exemplares
Dogfight—1973 (2011) 6 exemplares
Summit (2014) 6 exemplares
Code Duello (2011) 5 exemplares
How to Retire Without Money (1970) 5 exemplares
The Jet Set (2012) 4 exemplares
Down the River (short story) (1950) 4 exemplares
Prone [short story] 3 exemplares
Potential Enemy (2012) 3 exemplares
Short Fiction 3 exemplares
Romp {short story} 3 exemplares
The Five-Way Secret Agent (2011) 3 exemplares
This Time We Love (2012) 3 exemplares
The Discord Makers 3 exemplares
Les gaspilleurs (2015) 2 exemplares
Dawnman Planet (1966) 2 exemplares
Utopian (ss) 2 exemplares
Pacifist 2 exemplares
Farmer 2 exemplares
Dead End 2 exemplares
Earthlings Go Home! (1962) 2 exemplares
Dog Star 2 exemplares
Devil To Pay 2 exemplares
Mercy Flight 2 exemplares
Fantalmanacco 2 exemplares
A Kiss Before Loving (2012) 2 exemplares
Expeditor 1 exemplar
Short Stories 1 exemplar
Speakeasy 1 exemplar
Halftripper 1 exemplar
Tourists to Terra 1 exemplar
Slow Djinn 1 exemplar
Counterfeit Cad 1 exemplar
Roll Town 1 exemplar
Coup (Novelette) 1 exemplar
The Good Seed 1 exemplar
The Martians and the Coys (2021) 1 exemplar
Not in the Rules 1 exemplar
Isolationist 1 exemplar
The Expatriates (1963) 1 exemplar
The Galactic Ghost 1 exemplar
Fad (SS) 1 exemplar
Beehive (SS) 1 exemplar
Survivor (SS) 1 exemplar
Psi Assassin (SS) 1 exemplar
Garrigan's Bems 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales (1963) — Contribuidor — 453 exemplares
Galactic Empires, Volume Two (1976) — Contribuidor — 390 exemplares
Study War No More: A Selection of Alternatives (1977) — Contribuidor — 257 exemplares
100 Great Fantasy Short, Short Stories (1984) — Contribuidor — 246 exemplares
Astounding: John W. Campbell Memorial Anthology (1973) — Contribuidor — 236 exemplares
A Century of Science Fiction (1962) — Contribuidor — 192 exemplares
10th Annual Edition: The Year's Best S-F (1965) — Contribuidor — 178 exemplares
100 Crooked Little Crime Stories (1994) — Contribuidor — 165 exemplares
Sherlock Holmes Through Time and Space (1984) — Contribuidor — 149 exemplares
Microcosmic Tales (1944) — Contribuidor — 143 exemplares
Galactic Empires {complete} (1976) — Contribuidor — 123 exemplares
Science Fiction Stories (1979) — Contribuidor — 119 exemplares
8th Annual Edition: The Year's Best S-F (1963) — Contribuidor — 116 exemplares
Nova 3 (1973) — Contribuidor — 116 exemplares
Warrior (1986) — Contribuidor — 112 exemplares
The Year 2000 (1970) — Contribuidor — 112 exemplares
Science Fiction of the 50's (1971) — Contribuidor — 109 exemplares
SF: The Best of the Best (1967) — Autor, algumas edições106 exemplares
Analog 2 (1962) — Contribuidor — 99 exemplares
13 Above the Night (1965) — Contribuidor — 92 exemplares
Best SF: 1968 (1969) — Autor — 92 exemplares
7th Annual Edition: The Year's Best S-F (1962) — Contribuidor — 90 exemplares
The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes (1989) — Contribuidor — 89 exemplares
Invaders of Earth (1953) — Contribuidor — 89 exemplares
Flying Saucers (1982) — Contribuidor — 89 exemplares
Time Machines: The Greatest Time Travel Stories Ever Written (1998) — Contribuidor — 79 exemplares
Young Mutants (1984) — Contribuidor — 75 exemplares
The Playboy Book of Horror and the Supernatural (1967) — Contribuidor — 70 exemplares
The City, 2000 A.D: Urban Life through Science Fiction (1950) — Contribuidor — 63 exemplares
100 Astounding Little Alien Stories (1996) — Contribuidor — 59 exemplares
Supernatural Sleuths: 14 Mysterious Stories of Uncanny Crime (1996) — Contribuidor — 57 exemplares
The Second Science Fiction Megapack (2011) — Autor — 53 exemplares
Space, Time & Crime (1964) — Contribuidor — 52 exemplares
TV:2000 (1982) — Contribuidor — 50 exemplares
Speculations (1982) — Contribuidor — 49 exemplares
Young Monsters (1985) — Contribuidor — 43 exemplares
SF: Authors' Choice (1968) — Contribuidor — 38 exemplares
Portals of Tomorrow (1954) — Autor — 36 exemplares
14 Great Tales of ESP (1969) — Contribuidor — 36 exemplares
Analog 7 (1966) — Contribuidor — 36 exemplares
Future Quest (1973) — Contribuidor — 31 exemplares
Science Fiction Adventure from Way Out (1973) — Contribuidor — 30 exemplares
Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow ... (1974) — Contribuidor — 29 exemplares
Gentle Invaders (1969) — Contribuidor — 28 exemplares
The Old Masters (1970) — Contribuidor — 26 exemplares
The Bank Street Book of Science Fiction (1989) — Contribuidor — 23 exemplares
Worlds of When (1962) — Autor — 20 exemplares
Analog 4 (1901) — Contribuidor — 19 exemplares
Shared tomorrows: Science fiction in collaboration (1979) — Contribuidor — 18 exemplares
Analog Anthology #5: Writers' Choice, Volume one (1983) — Contribuidor — 18 exemplares
Space Dogfights (1992) — Contribuidor — 15 exemplares
Univers 1982 (2001) — Contribuidor — 14 exemplares
Science fiction verhalen [1969] — Contribuidor, algumas edições13 exemplares
Political science fiction;: An introductory reader (1974) — Contribuidor — 13 exemplares
New Worlds For Old (1963) — Contribuidor — 11 exemplares
Cosmolinea B-1 (2013) 11 exemplares
International Relations Through Science Fiction (1978) — Contribuidor — 11 exemplares
Tomorrow Today (Planet Series) (1975) — Contribuidor — 10 exemplares
An Anthology of Angels (1996) — Contribuidor — 9 exemplares
Galaxy Science Fiction 1968 August, Vol. 27, No. 1 (1968) — Contribuidor — 8 exemplares
Worlds of Tomorrow No. 02, June 1963 (1963) — Contribuidor — 8 exemplares
Out of This World Adventures, July 1950 — Contribuidor — 7 exemplares
Analog 2 (1982) — Contribuidor — 6 exemplares
Best Detective Stories of the Year: 17th Annual Collection (1962) — Contribuidor — 6 exemplares
Space Science Fiction, Spring 1957 (Vol. 1 ∙ No.1) — Contribuidor; Contribuidor — 6 exemplares
Det sidste spørgsmål og andre historier (1973) — Autor, algumas edições6 exemplares
Future Kin (Anthology 8-in-1) (1974) — Contribuidor — 5 exemplares
American Government through Science Fiction (1974) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares
Tomorrow, Inc.: Science Fiction Stories About Big Business (1976) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares
Startling Stories, September 1950 (1950) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares
Universe Science Fiction June 1953 (1953) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares
Impulse 4 (1966) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares
The Science-Fictional Sherlock Holmes — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares
Imagination, April 1955 (Vol. 6 ∙ No. 4) — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares
Worlds of Tomorrow (Berkley Books G-163) (1958) — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares
Un passo avanti e due indietro — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares
Amazing Stories Vol. 51, No. 3 [May 1978] (1978) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
Adventure Tales #7: Classic Tales from the Pulps (2014) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
Times 4: Four Science Fiction Tales — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
Great Science Fiction from Fantastic No. 4 (1966) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Rogue For Men, March 1959 (Vol. 4, No. 2) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Short Science Fiction Collection 043 — Autor — 1 exemplar

Etiquetado

Conhecimento Comum

Nome legal
Reynolds, Dallas McCord
Outros nomes
Collins, Clark (pseudonym)
Mallory, Mark (pseudonym)
McCord, Guy (pseudonym)
Reynolds, Maxine (pseudonym)
Rose, Dallas (pseudonym)
Ross, Dallas (pseudonym)
Data de nascimento
1917-11-11
Data de falecimento
1983-01-30
Sexo
male
Nacionalidade
USA
Local de nascimento
Corcoran, California, USA
Local de falecimento
San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Locais de residência
Corcoran, California, USA (birth)
San Luis Potosi, Mexico (death)
Educação
Army Marine Officers' Cadet School
Transportation Corps Marine Officers School
Ocupações
novelist
journalist
Relações
Reynolds, Verne L. (father)
Organizações
US Marine Corps
Socialist Labor Party (US)

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Due to a life-long interest in socioeconomics, he has specialized in his extrapolations into the future on themes based upon political economy.
In the 1950s, Mr Reynolds began a campaign of seeking out material for his stories all over the world, and since, has lived in or traveled through more than 75 countries in every continent but Antarctica. He once crossed the Sahara to Timbuktu and on the way was captured by the Tuareg (The Forgotten of Allah, and the so-called Apaches of the Sahara).
Another time in the tropical jungles of Mexico he was bitten by a vampire bat and had to be treated for rabies.. He has been in more than half a dozen wars, revolutions, and military revolts
Nota de desambiguação
Bio comes from Towers of Utopia

Membros

Críticas

The Case of the Little Green Men published in 1951 was Reynolds first novel. Once he got going there seemed to be no stopping him. He had 100's of short stories published in Science Fiction magazines and nearly as many novels between 1961 and 1985. His main claim to fame seems to have been [Mission to Horatius] which was the first original novel based on the Stare Trek series. He is one of those science fiction writers that had escaped my attention completely until this week.

This is a first novel by a pulp science fiction writer and so I had no great expectations, especially on reading the title of the book, however I was pleasantly surprised. The Case of the Little Green Men is a detective story, set against a background of science fiction fandom. Jeb Knight is a not very good or very successful private investigator. He drinks too much and has recently suffered with some bad publicity and so when three men come into his office and hire him to investigate the possibility of aliens living on earth, he is inclined to accept the job. The three men are members of a committee that are organising a science fiction convention highlighting the possibility of extraterrestrials and wish to present to the convention a scam investigation by a private detective. Jeb is unaware that he is being made use of in this fashion and wonders how to set about his investigation into aliens on earth and It is suggested that the people around the committee would be a good place to start. He is invited to attend a get together of the group and at the event one of the group is found dead. Jeb gets to the body to find that the corpse looks as though it has fallen from a great hight, but there are no buildings tall enough in the vicinity. The police are called and the Inspector warns Jeb not to interfere. Next day one of the committee rings Jeb in a panic saying he has been attacked by a ray gun.......

Jeb finds himself caught between the committee and the police investigation and finds himself as prime suspect for the murder and so he must find out what is happening to save himself. The story becomes a detective novel but Mack Reynolds has plenty of fun with the science fiction fans. The dressing up for the convention, the comic books and magazines on sale, the arguments as to who are the best science fiction writers. Reynolds writes well enough and the name checks and discussions about extraterrestrials will amuse science fiction readers. Not bad 3.5 stars.
… (mais)
½
 
Assinalado
baswood | 1 outra crítica | Jan 7, 2024 |
Pretty dated in many ways (people are given LSD to make them pliable? What?) but still a fair bit of fun, exactly like TOS. Indeed, its problems are...pretty much TOS's problems. There's a culture in it that's "white people's fevered imaginations of Neolithic culture" that includes some truly bad Native American depictions, but since the culture's origin is literally Paleo diet people who've founded their own planet, I believe they would have bad takes on it and create a planet o'bad takes. Gene Roddenberry famously hated this one, but I think it maybe just got too close to the truth about Trek (I'm not too proud to admit it!)… (mais)
 
Assinalado
everystartrek | 11 outras críticas | Jan 4, 2023 |
review of
Mack Reynolds' The Cosmic Eye
- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - October 23-25, 2020

For the full review go here: https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/1307039-mack-reynold-s-vision-of-a-surveill...

Anyone who reads my SciFi reviews will realize that Mack Reynolds can do no wrong. In fact, I openly invited him to cut me in half with a chainsaw. Fortunately for me he's dead. That invitation was only for him & doesn't extend to anyone else so don't get any ideas. The opening epigraph:

"When four sit down to conspire, three are police spies and the other a fool.

—Old European Proverb
" - p 5

I'm not convinced that's really an "Old European Proverb" b/c I'm not sure how long such a situation has existed. It certainly applied to the Stasi, the East German secret police, who were still in existence when The Cosmic Eye was written — although perhaps the 4th person was less of a fool than the proverb states.

"One of the Stasi's main tasks was spying on the population, primarily through a vast network of citizens turned informants, and fighting any opposition by overt and covert measures, including hidden psychological destruction of dissidents (Zersetzung, literally meaning "decomposition"). It arrested 250,000 people as political prisoners during its existence."

[..]

"By 1995, some 174,000 inoffizielle Mitarbeiter (IMs) Stasi informants had been identified, almost 2.5% of East Germany's population between the ages of 18 and 60. 10,000 IMs were under 18 years of age. From the volume of material destroyed in the final days of the regime, the office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU) believes that there could have been as many as 500,000 informers. A former Stasi colonel who served in the counterintelligence directorate estimated that the figure could be as high as 2 million if occasional informants were included."

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi

I've been told by German friends that the underground literary culture in East Berlin was mostly secret police informants. I wonder if their writing was any good?

The society of The Cosmic Eye is highly stratified.

""Well you ought to remember Elizabeth Mihm. You met her the other night at Technician Philip's party at the Elite Room. Her husband used to be Prime Technician of the Transport Functional Sequence. Good friend of mine. Since he passed on, Lizzy has devoted a good deal of her time to entertaining. Her apartment is quite a center, quite a place for you to make contacts, my boy. She has the Supreme Technician himself to her soirees, quite often."" - p 6

& the very rich even complain about their robot servants.

""Butter," she was saying indignantly. "My dears, I simply don't know what to do about the servant problem. Real whale butter, mind you, for greasing herself and there's no breaking her of it. She's one of the old family robos, one of the very early models that I've had all my life and my mother before me. So what can you do? You can't just have her reconditioned, what would everyone say? But she uses butter. Heaven knows how my grandparents could have afforded it. I know I can't. Butter, my dears, three thousand erg units a pound. What I mean is . . ."

""Servants!" one of the other ladies said, casting her eyes ceilingward." - p 8

Ah.. & then there's self-censorship, a favorite topic of mine, aka allowing the ruling elites to occupy your mental real estate.

"Paula Klein said expressionlessly, "I believe Lizzy rather insists on no politics or religion, no sex, no criticisms of current institutions, no race or other controversial subjects, and above all . . ."

"Rex chimed in with her and together they chanted, "No criticism of the government."

"They both laughed, but then both cast their eyes quickly about their vicinity. No one seemed close enough to have eavesdropped." - pp 13-14

Not surprisingly, in this climate there're speakeasies. Have any of you ever been to one? They exist in the US@ & in CacaNada. I don't know whether they're operating in the QUARANTYRANNY. I had a friend in CanaNada who had a Speak in his rented home adjacent to a junk yard. They had all-night parties. I played there. I was very unpopular. One guy offered to produce me but explained that he was a sadist & that he made the people he produced suffer. I declined his offer.

""But how do we know? I am sorry, sir, but this is a private establishment, and . . ."

"Paula snapped, "This is Techno Rex Morris, son of Hero of the Technate Leonard Morris. Now is that enough for you?"

"There was a long moment of silence.

"Then the voice said, an element of apology there, "Welcome to the speakeasy, Techno Morris."

"Paula snorted and led the way to where a heavy, padded door was sliding open.

""Speakeasy!" Rex blurted." - pp 18-19

The speakeasy is ostensibly a place for freedom of speech. Remember that? That was something that hypothetically was possible not that long ago. Nowadays, just try expressing an opinion contrary to the MONOLITHIC NARRATIVE around the THOUGHT POLICE & see how quickly they try to shoot you down w/ regurgitations of PARTY LINE.

""Come over here," Paula said to him, her dark eyes sparking. And then, under her breath, "There is only one fast rule. You're not to take exception to what anyone says—no matter how extreme. You're allowed to say anything you wish, but so is everyone else."" - p 20

Likely story.

"One of the older men took his pipe from his mouth and said softly, "The fact that we cannot answer your question doesn't mean there is no answer. Perhaps to the Deity the answer is a very obvious one. Perhaps, for some reason, he does not want us to know why he created us. Perhaps we are fated never to find out."

"Rex Morris drew Paula Klein back a few yards from the table. His lips were dry. "Look here," he whispered, "if the Temple knew about this conversation, these men would be apprehended and would probably lose status. They might even be exiled from the Technate. Or . . . or even . . ."

""Be imprisoned or meet violence," Paula finished for him." - p 22

The novel is set in a total surveillance society. Nonetheless, I'm not sure it isn't outdone by our current one.

"Rex said, "Well, of course, I realize that rank has its privileges."

"His uncle was still nettled by the Security Engineer who had intruded upon his privacy. He said, "Yes, but I'm afraid that even they are being eroded away in what has become a truly naked society, a society without privacy. When the early founders of the Technate took their initial steps against non-conformists, I wonder if they ever expected to go this far."

""Uncle Bill!"

""Oh, don't be such a ninny, my boy. It's one thing, watching yourself at a place like one of Lizzy Mihm's parties, but I'm your uncle and here we are in the privacy of my home. We are both members of the Technician caste. If we can't discuss serious matters, who can?"" - p 35

"["]The secret ballot came in later, when citizens began to be afraid to let their boss, their neighbors, or whoever, know how they had voted, for fear that they might become discriminated against as a result."

"Rex yawned and said, "What a ridiculous manner in which to select a nation's rulers. Voting."" - p 36

"Rex said lazily, "What's all this got to do with avoiding controversial questions?"

""It's related, I suppose. It's all a part of the evolution of the gutless wonder, the modern American. Don't rock the boat. Don't say anything that might cause umbrage. Avoid politics and religion in your discussion, no matter how much they cry to be discussed. Talk about wishy-washy things."

""Makes for easier living," Rex murmered, sipping at his coffee." - p 37

"William Morris went back to worrying his theme. "But I suppose it was the coming of the miniaturized bug that finished us off. That and the National Data Banks and every citizen having a dossier into which every vital bit of information about him was recorded by the computers. His vital statistics, including his criminal record, if any, his medical record, his data pertaining to the Internal Revenue Department, his credit rating, his I.Q., and other educational data. From cradle to the grave, everything that pertains to you goes into your dossier. All phone calls are monitored, in this naked society of ours, and if there is any reason, whatsoever, the Security Functional Sequence has the ability to bug any room, any car, and public restaurant or other meeting place. They have the ability to pick up your conversation from half a mile away, even though you are walking along the street. No wonder our people, with this hanging over their heads every moment of their lives, are circumspect in everything they say."" - pp 37-38

This novel was published in 1969. It basically describes an earlier version of where we're at today in 2020. Maybe that doesn't bother you, maybe you're comfy in your privileged position where you think such things will never work to your disadvantage. Keep in mind that there's now face recognition software that can search huge databases to find where you were at just about any time & place. Sure, there're limits.. but maybe not for long. & what about criminal records? Oh, but you're not a criminal so why should you worry? Believe me, all it takes is a few well-placed half-truths or downright lies to create a web-presence of your 'criminality' regardless of how 'real' it is. It takes about as much to permanently create a legal criminal record for you of equally dubious 'reality' & this record can prevent you from getting jobs, etc..

Take the example of a friend of mine. He was fire-twirling at a political rally. He was arrested for possession of an incendiary device or some such. The police knew full-well that this wasn't a bomb but when they presented their completely & deliberately fake case to the mass media & to the court they used what I call 'police theater' to dramatize the situation as if they'd been put at great risk. He was found guilty but, fortunately, not imprisoned. Sometime later, he tried to get a job as a fireman. He was denied because of this record. He's since been denied every job he's applied for. It's been decades, decades of being prevented employment because of a deliberate falsehood on the part of the police. Why should they care? They're not their victims. It can happen here & it IS happening here more often than people realize. Those of you who think that the Surveillance State won't be any threat to you at all might be right — but maybe you should try giving a flying fuck for those that it definitely already is a threat to.

"At the peak was the Supreme Technician, head of the Congress of Prime Technicians and carrying a veto power over its decisions. His position held for life and upon his demise the Prime Technicians elected from their number a new incumbent of the office." - p 40

Ok, we aren't there yet, fortunately — but what about those Governors declaring Emergencies & then exercising dictatorial powers even after their powers are legally voided by more democratic process? Take Governor Wolf in Pennsylvania as an example. Take Governor John Bel Edwards in Lousiana. Perectly legal attempts have been made to reduce their dictatorialness but because their grab for power has been of such legally unprecedented ferocity they still continue to dictate. How long before the precedent that these people set turns into the type of non-democratic hierarchy imagined by Reynolds?

"his uncle had introduced him to the automated reception desk in the lobby and from then on the computer connected screens at the entrance, on the elevator banks, and at his uncle's door all recognized him and passed him. He knew, however, that there were limitations on his movements, as there were on those of anyone else in the 200 floor high-rise apartment building which contained in all, counting all three towers, more than ten thousand apartments.

"In the way of experimentation, he had once requested the elevator to take him to the 65th floor. Within seconds a voice had said, "Techno Rex Morris, your residence is on the 185th floor. What is your purpose in stopping at the 65th floor? If you are visiting someone on that floor will you please reveal his name so that we may check if you are expected?"

"Rex had thought, "I'll be damned. I'd hate to have to try and burglarize this building." But aloud he said, "Oh yes, excuse me, I was thinking about something else. 185th floor, please."" - pp 43-44

We're not there yet.. but how many of you would have no problem with living in a world where your movements are so much under surveillance that any attempt to get off an elevator somewhere other than where your apartment is would come under immediate scrutiny? Personally, I like having the freedom to spontaneously do things that might include discovery, perhaps a 'random' encounter with an interesting stranger. & what about words & our freedom to use them?

"The scientist snorted contempt of that. "Controversial words, controversial words! For the love of God, how can a word be controversial? Ideas can be controversial, but words are merely tools to convey ideas. How this confounded tendency ever began, I'll never know. It seems to have started as far back as the middle of the 20th century. All of a sudden terms such as socialist, left, communism, propaganda, Marxism, agitator, revolution, and such became dirty words to which one reacted automatically and negatively without thought. You could no longer discuss such subjects because a mental iron curtain went down as soon as the words—not the reality behind—were used."" - p 54

Do any of you see any similarity to that & what's happening in our world now? The author was obviously commenting on the era of the War Against Communism that he was alive during — but what about the War Against COVID-19? Are there any similar mental iron curtains in place? I think there are. Try getting someone brainwashed by their unquestioning belief in the PANDEMIC to consider the well-researched opinions of people taking an opposite viewpoint. The result will be a completely reflexive naysaying that isn't even based in any understanding of the alternative position at all.

For the full review go here: https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/1307039-mack-reynold-s-vision-of-a-surveill...
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
tENTATIVELY | 1 outra crítica | Apr 3, 2022 |
review of
Mack Reynolds's Lagrange Five
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - December 7-8, 2021

For the full review go here: https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/1380533-review-of-mack-reynolds-s

It appears that I've read & reviewed at least 17 novels by Mack Reynolds so far. There're very few writers that I've read & reviewed so many bks by. It helps that they're easy reads, it also helps that I like them all very much. Lagrange Five was no exception, I loved it. I've read & reviewed 22 novels by Greg Bear. I like Reynolds even more than Bear so I have some catching up to do. I've read almost everything by Phil K. Dick but only reviewed 6 of them b/c I read them all so long ago. Ditto for J.G.Ballard, I've reviewed 21 of his but they're mostly or entirely cursory reviews. I've read & reviewed 42 Ron Goulart bks but those reviews are so cursory they almost don't count. & then there's 53 by John Brunner! Ok, I take it back: there're quite a few writers that I've read & reviewed a large quantity of work by - all SF writers. Whatever.

There's an "Introduction" that begins:

"The Lagrange Five Project is developing so rapidly that it is all but impossible to keep up. New possibilities manifest themselves monthly, or even more often. There are even three newslatters devoted to space colonization and exploration. So it is that the reader must understand that this story is based upon the information available in the winter of 1976-1977. The present writer realizes that some of his background material will be antiquated before Lagrange Five can be rushed into print." - p -ii

Given that this bk was copyrighted in 1979, it's not as if the author was wishful-thinking about a distant future that he was hoping wd come into existence; instead, it's more like he was imagining that such a thing cd've been possible in his own day & age.

"He could use the camping trip. He had the feeling that he was going stale, that the job was getting on the monotonous side and life in general too much in the way of routine." - p 1

I can relate.

"Back at his little camp, he located the camouflaged outlet and plugged in the stove. In short order the coffee was on hand and he sat on a comfortable boulder." - p 4

"It wasn't a real spring, of course, no matter how well executed by those who had landscaped this whole area. There were pipes below, bringing in the recycled and sterile water.

"He staggered to his feet and stumbled back toward his camp, a fear growing.

"He stared accusingly at his little electric stove, plugged into the outlet. Outlets were everywhere in this supposed wilderness. The pollution of fire and smoke were taboo, the burning of wood was taboo. So, even in camping, you utilized the everywhere available electricity. No wonder so available. It cost all but nothing, the solar power stations took care of that—and the sun was good for a few billion more years, at least." - pp 4-5

The character's camping trip goes awry when he develops severe claustrophobia.

"He clawed at his pocket for his transceiver, finally got it out, panting, his eyes closed tightly.

"He flicked the stud and screamed, "Emergency, emergency. Get a fix on me. I've got Island fever. I've got Wide Syndrome. I've got . . . space cafard . . ."

"They came zeroing in on him within minutes. But by the time they arrived he was mewling, crouched in a fetal position behind the boulder on which he had been seated les than a quarter of an hour before." - p 6

& to think that North American tourists complain when they get the shits from drinking the water in Mexico.

"["]Once, when we were first colonizing the initial Island Two, a transport carrying a hundred and fifty colonists developed a single case. The pilot hung on until the end and reported how it swept through the ship. They all went mad and killed each other, tore each other apart with their hands and teeth. The pilot went last."

[..]

""Yes," he said, as they headed for the door and their much needed drinks. "Even hearing a news broadcast of that instant mental epidemic might have brought on cafard symptoms in others."" - p 9

It's like being in the same rm w/ someone who's puking, it's hard to stop yrself from doing likewise. Now imagine the same logic applying to the way the mass media has so successfully induced COVID-fear.

"Lagrange Five, that equidistant point in space from Earth and Luna" - p 10

In case you were wondering.

Lagrange Five, like many of Reynolds's places, is an intentional community operating w/ exceptional intelligence, imagination, & skill. Also like many of Reynolds's places, it's potentially endangered by the machinations of less intelligent but more diabolical interests. Reynolds always has details evocative of socio-political experiments of interest to me.

"They had approached a sizeable bicycle rack and she pulled a woman's model and began to mount it.

""Take one," she said.

[..]

""They're public property and available to anyone whenever needed. There are racks all over town. You pick one, ride it as long as you wish and leave it at the nearest rack when you're through."" - p 17

Remember the white bicycles of the Dutch Provos?

"In the summer of 1965, Dutch designer and political activist Luud Schimmelpennink suggested a simple radical scheme that would eventually change the world. Schimmelpennink had an idea for creating a more sustainable environment by giving away free bicycles for communal use in Amsterdam’s city center. The suggestion was called the “White Bicycle Plan” and was part of a series of “White Plans” devised by the Dutch anarchist group Provo.

"Provo is a Dutch word for “young trouble-maker” and was considered an appropriate name for a group of young anarchists to carry out political “happenings” and stunts that were inspired as much by DADA as by Herbert Marcuse. Provo was formed by artist and anti-smoking campaigner Robert Jasper Grootveld, writer and anarchist Roel van Duijn and activist Rob Stolk in May 1965. Their motivation, they explained, was to fight back against capitalist society that was “poisoning itself with a morbid thirst for money,” where its citizens were “being brought up to worship Having and despise Being.”"

[..]

"However, as soon as these 50 white bicycles were made freely available they were impounded by the police on the grounds the bikes were not “lockable.” Apparently, all bikes in Amsterdam at that time had to be lockable. Undeterred by the police actions, Provo waited until the bikes were returned and they then fitted each bike with a simple combination lock with the number painted on the bike’s frame. Of course, some of the bikes were stolen, but the White Bicycle revolution had begun.

"Provo’s ideas may seem obvious to us today, but in the 1960s, they were considered radical, threatening and dangerous to society. This was the start of a bicycle revolution that has spread across many European countries today, with bikes being readily (and often freely) available for use. In 2010, Glasgow-based art collective NVA launched a new “White Bicycle Plan” donating 50 bikes for use across the city."

- https://dangerousminds.net/comments/the_white_bicycle_revolution

I take it for granted that Reynolds knew about this when he wrote this bk. These days, in Pittsburgh &, presumably, elsewhere, there's a more capitalist SPIN on such things.

"A fleet of little electric scooters has invaded the city this summer, and they’re impossible to miss. Bright orange and often left in the most inopportune of places, scooters from the Ford-owned company Spin have spurred a wave of debate from supporters and critics alike.

"On one hand, they’re an accessible and eco-friendly alternative to cars in a city where parking is often a chore. They also provide a viable alternative to a crowded bus or an expensive Uber for residents who don’t drive, or simply don’t own a car. Riders with lower incomes can even apply for discounted rental rates — Spin Scooters usually cost a starting fee of $1 plus an additional 39 cents per minute — through the Spin Access program. In areas of accessibility and transit efficiency, there’s no doubt that Spin is unparalleled."

- https://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/spin-scooters-spark-outrage-as-users-abandon-...

"there’s no doubt that Spin is unparalleled"? Well, let's say you want to go someplace 3 miles away. Let's say their maximum speed is 15mph. That means it might take 12 minutes to get there. That's $1 12 X 39¢ = $5.68, assuming that you experience maximum efficiency - I think we can take it for granted that that won't be the case. A white bicycle wd cost NOTHING to the user & wd take about the same amt of time. Walking wd take me about an hr. $5.68 wd be an extravagance for me - furthermore, it seems to me that they'd be the most fun to use for a casual exploration, maybe for an hr. That wd cost $24.40, definitely an extravagance. I've noticed that most of the Spin riders seem like younger college students w/ presumably disposable income. As usual, the capitalist 'alternative' really isn't that great. Still, I'm glad they're out there - if only as an addition to the variety of possibilities.

The central character is a detective brought from Earth to Lagrange Five, an idyllic small artificial planet, to search for a missing public figure.

"Rex turned abruptly to the chairman and snapped, "What did the police discover?"

""We have no police," Hans Ober said.

""Well, security, or whatever you call it."

"Ober shook his head. "We have no police of any kind connected with the Lagrange Five Project, nor any other kind of appurtenances of the State such as jails, or even courts in the ordinary sense of the word. We're civilized, Mr. Bader. Crime in the ordinary sense is unknoen in Lagrangia."" - p 28

When Reynolds writes about such a society, his deep knowledge of political philosophies & experiments serves him well for describing something plausible - at least plausible to a person such as myself, someone who's spent much of their life thinking about such possibilities. Many of his bks interweave a type of action that wd appeal to readers looking for not much else w/ socio-political imaginings that provide context but are also intended to be thought-provoking.

"Rex said, "That reminds me. How do I pay for something, such as renting a car? Can I get an advance on my salary?"

""You won't need it, she told him. "For all practical purposes, you, along with all Lagrangists, are on an unlimited expense account."

"He almost stopped the bike to stare at her. "Unlimited expense account!" he said. "You mean that I don't have to pay for anything?"

""That's right. Neither does any Lagrangist. Tourists and others, up from Earth-side, are another thing. But they can pay at the hotels for rooms and meals, or renting cars, or whatever, with their ordinary International Credit Cards. It's all kept track of in our account in Switzerland."" - p 38

Of course, in the novel, all of this is explained in much greater detail. I'm just giving a teaser here.

"It was only after he had climbed upon a stool and leaned on the bar that he realized that it wasn't truly wood but some sort of plastic done up in such wise as to resemble it remarkably. The Pub had ten tables and half-a-dozen booths along one wall. On the wall were faded posters going back to World War One days; scenes in London music halls, complete with dancing girls, war propaganda posters, including Huns cutting the hands off little children and nuns, that sort of thing." - p 52

Given that this pub on L5 is supposed to be an authentic reproduction of an actual British pub I assume that that last detail is something that Reynolds had either actually seen in such a place or knew to've been common enuf to be worth using as a detail. Still, it's strange isn't it? Who wd want to be getting drunk in a place w/ pictures of children & nuns getting their hands cut off? That wd definitely ruin the mood for me.

"It had been years since Rex Bader had been in a bar that boasted a live bartender. The class of drinkery he could afford was invariably automated. Swanker restaurants, he knew, often sported live waiters and bartenders but such were not for citizens on Negative Income Tax or Guaranteed Annual Stipend, GAS, as it was sometimes called." - p 53

It interests me that Reynolds isn't writing about a future time, in wch such things as automated bars & GAS might be expected as possibilities, but is, instead, writing about his own time as if it weren't what it was - w/o in any way justifying that in the plot w/ something like, say, a parallel universe element or some such.

Racial issues often play a big part in Reynolds's bks. In this one, a white woman engages in impromptu debate w/ a black man.

"Susie sighed and said, "The Causcasians, too, have made contributions to progress, Mr. Ford."

""Yes, from the military use of gunpowder to the atom bomb. Oh, I'll admit you've made developments in the sciences we originated, and you instituted the industrial revolution. But you never would have gotten underway if we hadn't given you such little items as the wheel. And now, as a result of your military prowess, we of Africa and Asia are second- or third-class citizens. That's why we want off the world."" - p 64

The government, such as it is, consists of a unpd council.

""Then, what do they get out of it?"

""The honor of serving. The honor and respect granted them by their fellow Lagrangists."

""To each according to his needs and from each according to his abilities, eh?"

""Why, I suppose so," Susie said, not recognizing the quotation.

""Syndicalism,"" - p 87

&, yes, there's a villain - someone who definitely wdn't be having such 'idealism'.

"Doctor Johannisberger need never fear unemployment. If all else failed, he could without difficulty have gotten a job portraying a German scientist on Tri-Di shows. He was a stereotype to end all stereotypes. He would have been particularly good as one of Adolf the Aryan's devoted experimenters on subjects pertaining to the final solution to the Jewish problem." - p 103

Reminds me of Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, & architect of the "Great Reset".

""You know, I've been there. When I was a young fellow. But I finally came to this conclusion. It's the old Roman adage. Divide and Conquer. Pit whites against Blacks, youth against the older generations, nation against nation, religion against religion, one sex against the other. As long as they're so occupied, they don't see the sources of their real troubles. The last case is as good as any. As long as they were supposedly fighting each other, the two sexes didn't see who was really fucking them."

"Who is?" Whip said sourly, unaccepting.

""The socioeconomic system.["]" - pp 112-113

Yeppur.

& there's an ongoing mystery character. I had my educated guess as to who it was from more or less the get-go but there's no sense in giving that away here, eh?!

"When the two men had gone, Susie sank back into her chair and let air out of her lungs.

"Another entered the room from a different door. The newcomer said, "Well, things are coming to a head, aren't they?"

""It looks that way," Susie said, tiredness in her voice, "I think that Rex, in particular, is beginning to smell a rat."" - pp 124-125

Lagrange Five really is a paradise by my standards. Here's further 'proof':

"The lack of advertising signs came to him again. And, now that he thought about it, he realized that there had been no advertising whatsoever in New Frisco as well. Not even signs before restaurants or theatres. But it would seem that the Lagrangists took it to the extreme, made a real principle of it. No advertising period. He assumed that it applied to their Tri-D and radio programs as well. Come to think of it, there would be no need for advertising if you produced only the best quality of everything and everything amounted to being free." - p 138

We get a little back-story on Rex, the PI:

"["]When I was younger, I used to like to read stories about the old private eyes, Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, even Mike Hammer, and it occured to me that here was a profession I might be able to get into. I studied up on everything that seemed to apply and, sure enough, got my private investigator's license.["]" - p 142

As an autodidact, I have an ongoing problem w/ the fraudelnce problems connected w/ PHDs. I like to say that I "Give it the old anti-college try". Reynolds, very much 'a man of the world', expresses similar thoughts thru his characters:

"Rex took a pull at his drink and said, "The fact that a man's got a phenomenal Ability Quotient, a doctor's degree or so, and a stupendous I.Q. doesn't mean that he has integrity. Some of them seem to think that their strength is the strength of ten because their hearts are pure. And why are their hearts pure? Because they've spent several thousand hours in classrooms, lecture halls, and laboratories. It doesn't prove out. Some of the most vicious people in history have had high I.Q.s and probably Ability Quotients had they been able to test them in those days. Look at Napoleon. Look at Hitler, Goering, Schacht, and Speer.["]" - p 153

Alas, Rex isn't really a very good detective. He has opportunities to learn more about what's going on & seems to miss his chances:

"As he turned, someone jostled him.

""Sorry," the other apologized and grabbed Rex to keep him from stumbling.

""That's all right," Rex said. "I wasn't looking very carefully, myself."" - p 176

& , then, here's a little tidbit of interest:

"["]You know, until Mao's communists took over, a sizeable percentage of China's land was devoted to graveyards, going back for centuries, even millennia. The communists plowed them under."" - p 207

If there were a revolution in the US maybe the golf courses wd go.

Gotta love the author's bio:

For the full review go here: https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/1380533-review-of-mack-reynolds-s
… (mais)
 
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tENTATIVELY | 1 outra crítica | Apr 3, 2022 |

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