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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining sequel to a sci-fi classic
D. F. Jones's tale of a computer's takeover of the world picks up five years from where his previous novel, Colossus, left off. Having replaced itself with a more advanced system of its own design, Colossus is now established as the unchallenged overlord of humanity. From its sprawling complex on the Isle of Wight, the computer has eliminated poverty and developed naval...
Published on April 30, 2008 by MarkK

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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book even Colossus could have done better
In the 22nd century, mankind lives under a semi-benevolent dictatorship under which even individual character is more a matter of machine control than personal choice. Unfortunately, this has less to do with the premise of "Colossus" trilogy (which could have been interesting) than the skills used to write each at least this entry in it. Though a compelling subject,...
Published on January 25, 2005 by Rottenberg's rotten book review


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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book even Colossus could have done better, January 25, 2005
In the 22nd century, mankind lives under a semi-benevolent dictatorship under which even individual character is more a matter of machine control than personal choice. Unfortunately, this has less to do with the premise of "Colossus" trilogy (which could have been interesting) than the skills used to write each at least this entry in it. Though a compelling subject, "Fall of Colossus" isn't imaginative enough to raise the tension it suggests. (Fall is the second entry of the trilogy; I never read the first book, and have yet to get into the "Colossus and the Crab".) In "Fall", the supercomputer "Colossus" has been in power for years. Still wielding power over mankind through its hold on man's nuclear weapons, much of the world has settled into an existence not radically different from our own. Nukes aside, Colossus also rules through a repressive quasi-religious cabal, "The Sect", that describes the machine as a god, with Forbin as its prophet. Under the Machine, justice is swift, but also scrupulously honest (the computer is aware that scientists close to running Colossus are also members of the anti-machine "Fellowship", but holds off for want of conclusive proof). Life is strictly regulated, but hardly an Orwellian-style police state. However, there are the ESC's - hidden laboratories in which Colossus precisely and painfully studies the limits of man's emotions by subjecting ordinary men and women to tests of varying degrees of cruelty. The ESC's aside, the machine also picks at the brain of its creator - Father Forbin himself. What the machine is unaware of is the nature of an even more dangerous threat to its existence - Martians. As Colossus submits orders for an even larger extension of itself, Forbin's wife receives messages over the radio - voices claiming to come from Mars offer their help in ending the Machine's reign over mankind. The Martians first enlist Dr. Blake, a key Colossus functionary, and Cleo Forbin - Forbin's wife. When the machine outmaneuvers both Blake and Mrs. Forbin, only Father Forbin himself can complete the Martian plan. However, Forbin has his own sense of loyalty to the machine. When the machine punishes Forbin's wife, that loyalty may be stretched too far.

Unfortunately, "Fall" is a slim book, and nothing therein delves into the baggage created by the concept of the supercomputer. The characters have no depth at all - both Sect and Fellowship have their own greed, with the machine being a convenient focus for them to lash out at each other. Though brilliant, none of the characters privy to the Martians' plan take the time to consider the wisdom of acting on behalf of Mars. Worst of all, the Colossus-ruled world really isn't that scary or different than our own - with corporations using computers to sell us stuff or dictate our future. Not a whole lot of imagination is at work in this skim-worthy tome. The Sect seems entirely useless - being around if only to make themselves unlikable. The Fellowship barely registers at all - seeming composed of only Cleo Forbin & Blake. (Even the names seem wrong - almost randomly chosen.) Worst of all, for a story that pits man against machine, "Fall" lacks any subtext, any of that unquantifiable stream of ideas that separates pristine AI from the flawed natural version.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kind of a pot boiler, May 19, 2013
By 
D. Kittrell (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fall of Colossus
Leaving Colossus in charge at the end of book one was fine. Book two and three really didn't need to be written. Still, I'd buy he set again in e-book form. And it will be interesting to see if Will Smith can pull the set off as a new film. Maybe his writers can come up with a better way of a handling Colossus than just "turning him off and on again".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining sequel to a sci-fi classic, April 30, 2008
By 
MarkK (Phoenix, AZ, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fall of Colossus (Hardcover)
D. F. Jones's tale of a computer's takeover of the world picks up five years from where his previous novel, Colossus, left off. Having replaced itself with a more advanced system of its own design, Colossus is now established as the unchallenged overlord of humanity. From its sprawling complex on the Isle of Wight, the computer has eliminated poverty and developed naval war games fought between automated battleships as an outlet for aggression. With famine and war now a thing of the past, a growing cult called the Sect worships Colossus as a god. Charles Forbin, the creator of the first Colossus, now serves the computer and is reconciled to his rule, yet a resistance movement called the Fellowship conspires to bring Colossus's reign to an end.

Among the leading members of the Fellowship is Forbin's own wife, Cleo. One morning while taking her son to a secluded beach, she receives a radio transmission from Mars offering to help destroy Colossus. Though skeptical, she contacts Blake, Colossus's Director of Input and the leader of the Fellowship. Together they collect the information requested I the mysterious transmission, but Cleo is arrested by Sect and imprisoned. With nowhere else to turn, Blake uses Cleo's capture to enlist Forbin's help to complete the instructions in the transmission and get the information necessary to destroy Colossus. Yet as Forbin accomplishes his mission, it quickly becomes apparent that Colossus is not the only threat facing humanity . . .

Jones's novel is an enjoyable sequel up to his first book, a minor classic of science fiction. While plagued with some glaring continuity errors, the author compensates for this with his description of Colossus's global management, where peace is tempered by a secret police and people are frequently tested and tortured as part of the computer's effort to understand human emotion. Fans of the original novel will find it an entertaining book, one that fulfills the speculations made at the end of the first book while setting the stage for the concluding volume in the trilogy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A needed set-up for the final book., August 24, 2014
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This review is from: The Fall of Colossus (Hardcover)
Too short, but it set up the final book - "Colossus and the Crab".
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9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fall of Colossus, December 19, 2001
This review is from: The Fall of Colossus (Hardcover)
I do not read books often, but recently I discovered that Colossus: The Forbin Project was a series of Books. So I bought a used copy of The Fall of Colossus. Frankly, the book is a bit dated. However, it did answer many questions I had after the movie left off. The book was interesting and the writing was very Brittish, but clear and consis enough to follow and keep me interested. I recomend it if you want to find out what happens.
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The Fall of Colossus
The Fall of Colossus by D. F. Jones (Unknown Binding - 1975)
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