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A World Between by Norman Spinrad
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A World Between (1979)

by Norman Spinrad

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(Original Review, 1980-08-12)

At last, a good excuse to stick in a plug for a book nobody's mentioned yet! Norman Spinrad has come out with a recent novel called "A WORLD BETWEEN" --- the crux of the story is a "Pink and Blue War" between men and women. Stated like this, it seems rather implausible. In fact, the cover blurb isn't encouraging, and at the checkout desk I wondered what sort of stuffing this turkey would have. Pleasant surprise... it's a good yarn, and Spinrad is a good enough story-teller to carry things off, even if you don't quite go along with everything he says. One particularly interesting aspect is the planet's world-wide computer communications net, which is an integral part of practically everything. In fact, the world's economy is based on its role as an entertainment center for other star systems (information transmission is supra-light, matter travels sub light, so interstellar trade is principally based on information flow). He postulates a society, democratic to the core, based on total freedom of access to this global network. As it turns out, its strengths are also its weaknesses...It's interesting; after you finish the story and forget about the sex-conflict plot details (which are fun, incidentally) the world as a whole lingers in the mind... How would YOU set up a worldnet [2018 EDIT: I almostgot the name right in 1980…]? How are access rights of citizens compatible with an information-based economy? What could be done better? In short, how much of it would work?

By the way, all uses of computers/nets portrayed are accurate; none of this nonsense about artificial consciousness, biological analogies (tapeworms, viruses, etc.), or logical conundrums blowing pyrotechnic fuses. For this alone I was impressed.

[2018 EDIT: This review was written at the time as I was running my own personal BBS server. Much of the language of this and other reviews written in 1980 reflect a very particular kind of language: what I call now in retrospect a “BBS language”.] ( )
1 vote antao | Nov 16, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Spinrad, NormanAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brumm, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santos, DomingoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For DONA SADOCK "And you can tell everybody this is your song..."
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Riding the west wind on the edge of an onrushing thundersquall, Royce Lindblad sat barechested in the open cockpit of the Davy Jones, conning the sailboat by the tiller, the boomline, and the seat of his green velour pants.
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