Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

They'd Rather Be Right (Starblaze Editions) Paperback – January, 1982


See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$24.95 $20.97

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Introducing The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Series: Starblaze Editions
  • Paperback: 173 pages
  • Publisher: Walsworth Pub Co (January 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898651654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898651652
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,438,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on August 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
They'd Rather Be Right is a science fiction novel about Bossy, a cybernetic marvel, and the men who insist on building her. Professors Billings and Hoskins are academics who have designed a synthetic brain. If provided with the correct facts about a problem, Bossy produces the optimal solution, without fear or favor. To the horror and confusion of the professors, they find themselves hounded and hated by every kind of fanatic and even the man on the street. Now they are on the most wanted list, the Feds are after them, and only Joe Carter stands between them and prison.
Joe is a telepath. He can read minds and, with some effort, can even slightly influence the thinking of other minds, but he pays a somatic price for using his talents. He has helped the fugitives to elude the Feds on several occasions, but now they need to find a long-term hideout to rebuild Bossy. Joe selects the house of a former prostitute, Mabel Monohan, in the sleazy section of town. They settle in and, with a little larcenous help from Doc Carney, a former practicing mentalist, they acquire the necessary materiel.
Originally published in Astounding in 1954, much of the writing appears dated as compared to contemporary works. The technology is typical of SF stories of that time, less than ten years prior to the invention of the transistor; thus, the computers were based on soon to be obsolete technology ... just like today. Don't let the vacuum tubes, switches and delay lines turn you off, however, for this story is not about technology at all. It is about the nature of people, a subject that doesn't seem to change much across the eons.
It seems Bossy can make people young again.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Roth VINE VOICE on January 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
Far ago and long away Mark Clifton and Frank Riley wrote a book called "They'd Rather Be Right" that won the Hugo award for best science fiction novel of the year (1955).

Clifton and Riley built their story around the concept of an experimental cybernetic device, nicknamed "Bossy," which has been loaded with every available bit of factual human knowledge that could be encoded. Bossy is capable of cross referencing, checking, and rejecting anything that does not have a solid basis in fact. Bossy can answer any question - IF Bossy has sufficient information - and the answer will be correct.

The technology is a bit dated, of course, but it's largely irrelevant to the larger idea: What if mankind A) had the equivalent of an oracle that knew everything that was known, B) would always give the right answers based on that knowledge when questioned, and C) would also know when there was not enough information to give a correct answer.

Clifton and Riley threw in a further gimmick: the research team that built Bossy was able to succeed because they had the secret help of a telepath who could, however imperfectly, 'see' when biases were going to be incorporated into Bossy and kept them out. He also enabled the members of the team to overcome their own mental limitations in cooperating on the project. The telepath is vital to the story because he allows Clifton and Riley to comment on what is going on in people's minds, and make observations about how human rationality does and does not work.

Of course, Bossy immediately becomes the ultimate prize for those who want power. Want to know how to build a WMD with stuff around the house, swing an election, become rich, or any other fantasy?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Christenson / Lunamation on April 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
They'd Rather Be Right is a "soft" science fiction novel that won the Hugo award for best science fiction novel of the year (1955). Most of the action is in the nature of political maneuvering and intrigue, a bit like some of the novels of the era by Robert Heinlein (Double Star) or C.M. Kornbluth (The Syndic). In my opinion it's not quite as good as either of those author's works, but very nearly so.

The beginning is the most intrigueing, with two professors and a telepath on the lamb from oppressive authorities in near-future San Francisco. This part reminded me a bit of the beginning of "Slan" by A.E. van Vogt, and it hooked me into reading the rest of the book, though the suspense gradually declined. The plot is about a cybernetic brain, nick-named "Bossy," developed by the two professors and other scientists, not knowing they were being manipulated by the telepath, Joe, who has his own uses for Bossy. They believe Bossy can perform psychosomatic therapy successfully, whereas no human doctor could avoid contaminating a patient with his/her own prejudices. They try Bossy's treatment on a volunteer, while still hiding out to evade the police, and the results are even more spectacular than they hoped - the volunteer is physically rejuvenated. Word gets out, and political factions want Bossy at any cost.

At some points the writing seemed a tad un-polished, repetitive, with certain words over-used. However, the narrative works in insightful, but cynical, indictments of physchology, the scientific method, politics, etc., and kept me interested to find out how it would turn out. The title refers to the prerequites for Bossy's treatment, primarily that the patient give up all prejudices, preconceived notions, biases and attitudes; and that most people would rather hang on to their convictions than submit to the rejuvenation. There is a clever resolution at the end.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?