Saturday, 14 June 2014

An old favourite: The Duelling Machine by Ben Bova #bookaday

Oh, I love this book: The Duelling Machine by Ben Bova. This is my choice of an old favourite for today's #bookaday. As a teenager I read it over and over and over.

Like a lot of the early science fiction books I read, this one came from my dad.

When I was ten or eleven he gave me a box of grown-up sf that contained my first books by Philip Jose Farmer (The Stone God Awakens), Michael Moorcock (The Bull and the Spear, I think), Robert Heinlein (Starship Troopers?), Isaac Asimov (Foundation?), A.E. van Vogt (an omnibus). I went on to read everything I could find by those writers.

The Duelling Machine was one that he found floating around at work and brought home for me.

I loved it to death: it was about games, the duels taking place online in virtual reality, which back then seemed like the ultimate dream. It reminded me of my favourite Blake's 7 episode, with Tarrant in a similar duel, and I liked how the dweeby hero became a badass.

Must read it again.

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