The Demolished Man

How To Kill Your Rivals and Influence People
(The Demolished Man)

The Demolished Man (Alfred Bester, 1951) is a science-fiction inverted detective story, equal parts Ocean’s Eleven and Death Note. The novel tells the story of business monolith Ben Reich’s mission to murder rival conglomerate owner Craye D’Courtney in a world where psychics (or espers, ‘extra-sensory perception’-ers) form a significant proportion of the population and a pre-meditated murder hasn’t gone undetected or unsolved for over seventy years. Ben’s primary foil is the police prefect Lincoln Powell, top-class esper who is able to ‘peep’ through even the strongest mental blocks that a suspect can put up. Continue reading

Falling Free

Legless in Space (Falling Free)

Falling Free (Lois McMaster Bujold, 1987) is a sci-fi adventure novel set on-board a floating space habitat called, er, the Habitat. Leo Graf, master safety engineer, comes to the Habitat to teach a group of a thousand genetically-modified humans known as “quaddies”, conceived in a uterus replacement machine and born on the Habitat. The quaddies defining characteristic is their lack of legs: In their place, they have another set of arms. Continue reading