Monday, February 8, 2010

They'd Rather Be Right by Mark Clifton

I read this novel in its' serialized form from Astounding Science Fiction magazines.

The second winner of Hugo-award for the best novel. I wonder why. Seems to continue an earlier story, as the background of the story seems to be a bit sketchy. Two old scientists have developed an artificial mind called “Bossy”, and for some unnamed reason a powerful telepath is helping them to escape police and persecution, as there is a sort of censorship for forbidden ideas (no explanation is given which ideas are ”forbidden” and why, but computers which are capable for near-independent thought seem to fall to that category). They manage to escape their pursuers, and then they make the finishing touches to the “Bossy”. And for what are their going to use the first artificial intelligence? For psychoanalysis, of course. And the psychoanalysis done by the machine is SO effective and profound, that ALL neurosis are removed, and that somehow removes all the effects of old age, if you are willing to give up all your preconceptions of everything... Oh, so logical. That gives also very bad stench of scientology (or that idiocy was probably still called dianetics at that point of time).
The writing isn't too good either. There are a lot of long lectures which consist of psychobabble, and complaining how stupid most people are, and fairly little anything of interest happens between those. Another very baffling Hugo-win. What were they smoking? Or was the worldcon bought out by dianetics nuts?

app. 173 pp.

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