Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
New Model Army Paperback – April 15, 2010
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Roberts has given us an army of one multiplied by how ever many happen to be around. Each is involved in doing what needs done, and is trained well enough to be able to do many jobs well, if not perfectly. The hierarchy is not eliminated, it is not needed in the first place. Being wirelessly "wired in" to one another and making use of real time electronic systems lets this army be mobile, organized, and effective.
"Take me to your leader" has no meaning when talking with a member of the NMA. Instead, there is a "democracy" in play that makes both no one and everyone a "leader". One of the more fascinating premises of the book is the willingness of all to make immediate compromises - and act in a professional manner when the compromise went against a particular soldier's desire.
There have been some "armies" that operated in similar fashion to that invented by Roberts. The actions of guerrilla forces often act in an independent fashion tactically, even though the overall strategy is set by a formal leadership.
I was fascinated by the concept Roberts proposed and while it is appealing, I'm still trying to come to grips with the practical application, given egos and ambition that are such a large part of human nature. This was well worth the time and, though there are some disjoints, the mental exercise was fun.
I notice that when a sci-fi book is particularly successful, it is no longer referred to as sci-fi but often as the rather more upmarket 'speculative fiction'. Well, it doesn't really matter, but it falls into a fairly well-developed branch of sci-fi, along with books such as Ken MacLeod's 'The Star Fraction', possibly Neal Stephenson's 'Zodiac' - politically motivated, near-future, high-tech and web-enabled.
Politically, the book harks back to Roberts' first novel 'Salt', with a strictly non-hierarchical anarchistic 'People's Army' running rings around the conventional forces. It is set in a similar future period and geography as Ken MacLeod's 'The Star Fraction', and the supporting tech is clearly one possible extrapolation of the World Wide Web, smart phones, peer-to-peer networking. Whether it is a truly realistic extrapolation and whether this libertarian army could actually function feels less important than the air of optimism, of hope in an alternative future that the novel somehow brings. Again, for me, a very similar experience to 'The Star Fraction'.
However, it is darker and far more realistically human than Ken MacLeod's first novel. I found the central character wholly believable, wholly sympathetic, someone I ended up really caring about.Read more ›
Those in software development know that you get more done with fewer people if you allow the group to be self organizing (the SCRUM variant of the Agile development idea), just as democracy is more efficient than communism because more minds are trying to independently find the best way to fill their role rather than being told how to.
Everyone works independently, but everyone votes as a true democracy.
What would be the logical conclusion?
What growing pains would this organization/organism go through along the way?
This book is thought provoking, but not the easiest to read. It follows the premise in the first line of this review to see where it leads to the pivotal change in the world, but certainly not to it's ultimate conclusion. It's probably a bit over simplified since it makes a somewhat naive assumption as it shows their debate and vote as a democracy, but fails to show that in the real world some people would disagree strongly enough to simple walk out and leave the organization or actively fight it from within.
The writing is a bit disjoint in places. Some would point out that the situation would lead to disjoint thinking, while others would suggest the point could have been made with a text more easy to read. Regardless of this, the thought provoking nature of this book makes it worth your while to read through it.
New Model Army is a very original and interesting and a little crazy near future military science fiction novel. It is written from the point of view of a soldier of a new type of always online democratic (sort of) army supposedly built under the same egalitarian concepts as the Wikipedia. It is a very crazy idea but Mr. Roberts develops it intelligently and makes it (almost) credible. It is also a very bleak narrative of the end of civilization as we know it; its destruction produced, or accelerated, by the world-wide proliferation of these type of armies, which are voluntary, cheap, easy to assemble, and also easy to dis-assemble and get its members all online, all connected all the time, but at the same time untraceable in the middle of any city, anywhere in the world. Scary but plausible and well written.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very enjoyable read - surprising at times, a little twisted, but very enjoyable. It explores some ideas that have been mulling in my own head for a while and therefore resonated... Read morePublished on May 20, 2013 by J. Sierra
The idea is promising and that was what took me from sample to buying. In the end it is not one of those books that stick to your memory or that you miss it. Regular light reading.Published on April 16, 2012 by adriano
I'm surprised that NEW MODEL ARMY hasn't attracted more attention in the US--only 3 reviews? It may be that NMA is too inaccessible for American readers; the British tend to have... Read morePublished on August 22, 2011 by Jules Mazarin