Author Topic: Trying to remember a book title (Found!)  (Read 2293 times)

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Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Trying to remember a book title (Found!)
« on: July 04, 2012, 10:13:33 PM »
I've been trying to remember the name and author of a book I read when I was a kid.  It must have been early to mid '70s, don't know how old the book was when I read it.

I can remember most of the main plot, maybe someone here will recognize it?

It takes place on a large space station in orbit around Earth.
The computer that runs the station becomes self aware and starts fighting with the people on the station.
The fighting damages critical mechanical systems of the station that the computer can't repair.
The computer and people end up having to work together or else the station will tear itself apart killing everyone.

I also remember some bits about the station, it used complex systems to maintain balance of the rotating ring, and there was something like 10 feet of moon dust used as a radiation shield around the ring.

Ring a bell anyone?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 08:57:52 PM by MartyS (Gromit) »


Offline Lembach

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Re: Trying to remember a book title, anyone recognize this plot?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 11:08:38 PM »
I just spent a solid hour cross referencing the words: Late 60s, 70s, 1970s, sci-fi, science fiction, space station, space habitat, earth orbit, AI, Artificial Intelligence, and revolt.
Could not find a book specifically following that plot. I even went through wikipedia's list of fictional AIs, and space stations in fiction. Nada.  :-\


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Trying to remember a book title, anyone recognize this plot?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2012, 11:51:02 PM »
Thanks, I've done many searches even going back to the 50's and haven't found it either, hoping someone might have read it and remembered the title.

I can't remember how long it was, but it was a paperback novel, not a short story.  But maybe it was the main story in a book of several, I also remember there was a picture of the station on the cover.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 12:43:25 AM by MartyS (Gromit) »


Offline Thrifty

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Re: Trying to remember a book title, anyone recognize this plot?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 11:32:19 AM »
I'm not a big literature guy, but that sounds like the plot to "The Grapes of Wrath".


Offline Lembach

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Re: Trying to remember a book title, anyone recognize this plot?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2012, 01:24:00 AM »
Nailed it.  8)


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Trying to remember a book title, anyone recognize this plot?
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2012, 02:53:13 PM »
Oh well, I've tried going through lists of published books to see if I recognize the titles but nothing has triggered that memory.  Even tried looking at covers, I can remember the image of the station on the cover but not the title, I'm sure if I saw it I would recognize it.

I must have read it sometime between 1975 and 77. 


Offline SJP

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Re: Trying to remember a book title, anyone recognize this plot?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2012, 06:50:39 PM »
To aid in finding this book, I decided to go onto Google and look up "sci fi novels, covers, 1970s."

I don't know what book you read, but damn, the world needs more covers like the 1970s dreamed up for sci-fi.  Holy crap, some of those are the weirdest and most awesome things I've ever seen.

EDIT: Did stumble across a site that listed a bunch of science fiction authors and their books.  The closest things I could find (i.e., the only ones to mention the word 'station' somewhere in the summary, so it's not a scientific search by any means) were a book called "Satellite City" by Mack Reynolds and "The Complete Venus Equilateral" by George O. Smith.  The first one has a ring-style space station on it, was published in 1975, and is about a "space station with a dark secret."  No description other than that it's a pleasure resort, so I have no idea about a rogue AI or anything like that, but it's the only book I stumbled across that comes close along with a matching book cover (The Venus Equilateral stories sound more like the kinds of thing you're talking about, but the station itself looks nothing like how you describe and the stories seem fairly silly and lightweight).
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 07:56:16 PM by SJP »
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Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Trying to remember a book title, anyone recognize this plot?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2012, 07:59:44 PM »
Yeah, I've been searching cover images and there are some great ones from that era.

Here's a quick and dirty image of what I remember the station looking like, around it were little ships and guys in spacesuits battling.



Offline SJP

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Re: Trying to remember a book title, anyone recognize this plot?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2012, 08:18:55 PM »
Aha!  Thanks to TVTropes.org, I think I may have it...though it was published in 1979, the cover looks EXACTLY like what you said it was...and the plot sounds like it fits.



From the sound of it, a scientist installs a computer called "Spartacus" on a space station, which they are concerned might turn on its creators.  Lo and behold, it does.

If this isn't it, I'll eat my hat.  And if it truly isn't, I'm glad I don't wear hats.
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Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Trying to remember a book title, anyone recognize this plot?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2012, 08:37:36 PM »
That's it.  Thank you very much.

I thought the word "tomorrow" was in the title but wasn't sure, and it wasn't coming up when I used it in any of the searches I was doing.

Guess the old grey cells are not remembering stuff that great, really thought I read it earlier than 79.


Offline SJP

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Re: Trying to remember a book title, anyone recognize this plot?
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2012, 08:44:19 PM »
You're welcome.  I have no nostalgic attachment to it, but not knowing what it was either was driving me up the wall.   ;D
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Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Trying to remember a book title, anyone recognize this plot?
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2012, 08:47:28 PM »
Hey, it's available in the Baen free library:

http://www.baenebooks.com/p-439-the-two-faces-of-tomorrow.aspx


Offline Thrifty

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Re: Trying to remember a book title (Found!)
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2012, 09:43:17 AM »
I'm still pretty sure that you're talking about The Grapes of Wrath.