E–pub New (The Cool War)
Thoroughly disorienting read It s not totally unenjoyable especially if you have a soft spot for bad bits of media and I derived some pleasure from shouting out Wh I ove Pohl s hard science fiction Heechee stories and I The Essential Good Food Guide loved the cover of this edition of this book so I was reasonably confident that I would enjoy this However I on turning theast page I feel that this work is not exactly the Textbook of Wisdom literary summit of Pohl s career It has an interesting idea on how the nature of war might evolve but it is mixed with some basic science fiction ideas on energy generation and some of the genre s most egregious examples of one dimensional characters He then sticks all of that into a what can best be described as a dire romp plot that passes the time but doesittle than that I haven t read any of the author s other works But this one was a muddled and meandering story sort of a mash up or a futuristic spy farce I would say that as I read I had to check the copyright date a few times because some of his material was as current as today s news I In Defence of Dogs like Frederik Pohl but by his standards this book was prettyightweight It s set in the not too distant future where there is a cool war between East and West In it the spies merely try to irritate each other in order to sow chaos Amusing but just barelyHornswell Hake a Unitarian minister referred to as Horny throughout the book is recruited by the Team the post CIA spy agency to unwittingly create chaotic events throughout the world in travels they send him on Sadly he s a bit of a bumbling fool constantly being played by either the Team or their enemies who also try to recruit him to their side to fight the Team There s a great bit of irony in the book and some good aughs too but here are just some head scratching moments Case in point Horny and a parishioner named Alys who is married to two men and a woman are searching the Middle East for one of Horny s opposites a woman he s got a thing for named Leota who has been taken captive by a Mid East sheik to be in his harem Horny and Alys travel through the desert to this sheik s place and spot Leota outside There instead of grabbing her and fleeing Alys decides to exchange places with Leota apparently because she thinks it a bit romantic as well as the fact that she thinks she s better with men Huh They changed clothes with each other and then Horny and Leota take off while Alys stays Pretty hard to believe even if it is a sci fi novelI won t give away the ending but Horny suffers through all sorts of personal turmoil to get to the end of the novel only to have it tied up nicely by Pohl in just a few short pages and frankly rather unsatisfyingly to me It seemed ike he phoned that part of the book in Weak ending Still I did generally enjoy reading it I m glad I did I just can t recommend this book as a good representation of Pohl or even good sci fi It s inventive but rather mediocr. Leader of the underground cabal dedicated to destroying the Team;Yosper the Bible thumping foul mouthed nonogenarian killer;The Reddi twins professional terrorists who turned up in the oddest places at the worst times and always managed to make Horny's ife miserable;And Pegleg master of such ethal toys as the Bulgarian Brolly and the Peruvian PenPicaresue and fast moving THE COOL WAR is also a deeply ironic often hilarious yet thought provoking ook at where we could be some forty years from no.
Ilitary victory No one wants to fight a war after Israel nuked Arabia s oil fields so everyone just engages in petty vandalism missions Hence the name Cool War Due to oil shortages America has strictly rationed electricity and the characters comment on power piggeryHake spreads viruses through deliveries of marmosets to schools and accidentally tracks the Team s enemies through a bracelet he thought indicated sexual availability Hake finally tries to help the other side as much as possible after he finds out he has been ied to and he tries to stop the Team from sabotaging solar power in a fictional Arab country He then reveals the Team s secrets to the world and hopefully ends the Cool War It s interesting that this book has a NON Trinitarian Christian fundamentalist as a major character Jasper No Jasper is not a Jehovah s Witness In fact he would take major issue with the Witnesses position of staying out of politics Jasper believes in God and country and will argue with anyone who uestions the Team s atrocitiesAt No One Wants You least some concepts of the Cool War exist today in the form of hacking and other electronic sabotage especially in regards to Chinese scandals in the news Electricity usage meters and windmills are becoming common as well For all Pohl gets wrong you can see parallels with the modern world This book will also give you a few smiles Not majoraughs just smilesAs a final note who would The City Of Heavenly Tranquillity let a religious figure named HORNY around a bunch of children today In How Not To Write A Novel the authors note that a pastor should not drag a child character out of a burning building due to modern suspicions It was well written and an interesting setup but I kept waiting for something neat to happenand then the book ended I got a pristine hardback copy of this in the 1990s for 3 dollars because it was in some cut out bin at a used book shop that Iiked I recall enjoying it a Penguins Poems for Life lot It s an amusing take on cold war with some fun ideas But alas I read it soong ago that I can t vouch for it much in terms of style or what have you except that I do remember the episodes made me chuckle This novel inhabits that strange satirical world populated by other works such as perhaps On Her Majesty s Occult Service or Modesty Blaise serials and even The Loo Sanction or maybe even Catch 22 Pohl does not pull his punches and so absurdity has a backbone to it Continuing my ifelong interest in pulp sci fi I found this beat up paperback at a place where I volunteer and knew by it s garish 70s cover and not so clever title that I was in uck I found another that I will review aterI ve read a few of Pohl s books he was a very prolific writer and my hometown s ibrary had many of them and most of them are better uality than a Divine Beauty lot of pulp sci fi and a few are uite good even great This one though has an almost incoherent plot unbelievable characters and a breakneck pace that combine for T enlisted as an unwilling agent of the Team secret successor to theong discredited CIA and then courted by an anti Team underground group In practically no time at all Horny and Alys were touring Europe on a mission about which he knew zip except that it was a new move in the Cool War the worldwide campaign of sabotage that had replaced actual combatFor the team and its opponents though the Cool War could be as perilous as any hot one as Horny Hake discovered when he came up againstLeota ovely.
CHARACTERS ì E-book, or Kindle E-pub ☆ Frederik Pohl
I am really not sure why I didn t enjoy this than I didThe premise is great instead of open armed conflict between countries everyone is doing everything they can to ruin things for the other guy And this is brilliant and remarkably current I mean ook at the mess that the US is in right now Now imagine that the CA wildfires were started by German operatives in order to tax our resources and strain our economy Or what if the Astros cheating scandal was arranged by Japan to make us all give up on watching baseballTHAT S where this book is coming from and it seems Down to the Sea in Ships like it should have been awesome But I just wasn t all that into it I think on one hand the writing style and characters are very very dated So while the subject matter could fall in pretty much anywhere the characters are very much stuck in the 70 s Also it s a bit boring It should be tense and exciting but it isn t It s mostly exposition And even the action scenes are a bit too slow A forgotten gem of futurism this thriller explores some pertinent themes such as energy environment and economic coercion It is dated especially the computer technology but world events have only confirmed Pohl s analysis of our collective malaiseIf you have any interest in realpolitik or global economic development you should seek this one out This is good for aight read though it is uite datedFor a book written in the 1980s set in the 2020s it seems to mispredict a Wife by Wednesday (The Weekday Brides, lot about communications and politics One plot point depends on how the main character will reveal his findings to the world before the government silences him In the age of Wikileaks and YouTube it should be a trivial effort at best Computers are rare and aibrary search engine is treated as a new technological marvel Everyone still uses typewriters and tapes The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia still exist No one has cell phonesOrdinarily I wouldn t harp on these things so much but near future novels date badly and the widespread use of computers should have been apparent After all early mass market gaming systems which are merely specialized computers such as the Atari 2600 existed and the Altair 8800 was around in the 1970s When the plot involves secrecy and communications it can fall flat when it does not match up with reality I can forgive H Beam Piper and his slide rules in space because it was the 1950s and computers were primitive and unwieldy To miss that concept in the 1980s is just shortsightedThe actual plot is about a somewhat apathetic Unitarian minister he says he has not considered the possibility of God existing despite his profession named Hornswell Horny Hake being drafted into the Team which is the CIA s successor agency Yes women are attracted to him and the obligatory jokes are here Hake is unwittingly sent on missions to sabotage even nations that are friendly to America since politics is about having a slight edge rather than a decisive Fred Pohl multiple winner of science fiction's top awards presents a breathtaking romp through the energy poor world of the 2020s a gripping chase intrigue novel with a highly unlikely stand in for James BondOne day the Reverend Hornswell Hake had nothing worse to contend with than the customary power shortages and his routine pastoral chores such as counseling the vivacious Alys Brant and her husbands and wife At nearly forty his ife was placid almost humdrumThe very next day Horny Hake was firs.
E–pub New (The Cool War)
Frederik George Pohl Jr was an American science fiction writer editor and fan with a career spanning over seventy years From about 1959 until 1969 Pohl edited Galaxy magazine and its sister magazine IF winning the Hugo for IF three years in a row His writing also won him three Hugos and multiple Nebula Awards He became a Nebula Grand Master in 1993