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Android: Free Fall

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It is the future, and while the world has changed, crime has not. When an influential lawyer is brutally murdered at the top of the Beanstalk, a towering exo-atmospheric elevator serving as Earth's hub of interplanetary trade, Detective Rick Harrison reluctantly accepts the case. Harrison's investigation soon leads him from the sprawling megapolis of New Angeles to the dis It is the future, and while the world has changed, crime has not. When an influential lawyer is brutally murdered at the top of the Beanstalk, a towering exo-atmospheric elevator serving as Earth's hub of interplanetary trade, Detective Rick Harrison reluctantly accepts the case. Harrison's investigation soon leads him from the sprawling megapolis of New Angeles to the distant moon base of Heinlein, where he searches for clues amongst an uncooperative assortment of bioroids, clones, and disgruntled human laborers. But Harrison quickly finds himself at the center of an ever-deepening conspiracy, and is faced with the one question he never expected: What is the true definition of humanity? Free Fall is the first novel based on Fantasy Flight Games's Android, conveying a dystopian world of technology and corruption. This rich universe is masterfully brought to life by New York Times Bestselling author William H. Keith, winner of the H.G. Wells Award and multiple Origins awards, and the celebrated author of over 150 novels, short stories, and other published works.


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It is the future, and while the world has changed, crime has not. When an influential lawyer is brutally murdered at the top of the Beanstalk, a towering exo-atmospheric elevator serving as Earth's hub of interplanetary trade, Detective Rick Harrison reluctantly accepts the case. Harrison's investigation soon leads him from the sprawling megapolis of New Angeles to the dis It is the future, and while the world has changed, crime has not. When an influential lawyer is brutally murdered at the top of the Beanstalk, a towering exo-atmospheric elevator serving as Earth's hub of interplanetary trade, Detective Rick Harrison reluctantly accepts the case. Harrison's investigation soon leads him from the sprawling megapolis of New Angeles to the distant moon base of Heinlein, where he searches for clues amongst an uncooperative assortment of bioroids, clones, and disgruntled human laborers. But Harrison quickly finds himself at the center of an ever-deepening conspiracy, and is faced with the one question he never expected: What is the true definition of humanity? Free Fall is the first novel based on Fantasy Flight Games's Android, conveying a dystopian world of technology and corruption. This rich universe is masterfully brought to life by New York Times Bestselling author William H. Keith, winner of the H.G. Wells Award and multiple Origins awards, and the celebrated author of over 150 novels, short stories, and other published works.

30 review for Android: Free Fall

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dirk Grobbelaar

    Obvious Blade Runner references aside, this novel reminded me more than a little of a DOS game I played in the early 90s called Rise of the Dragon. It was pretty darn good, and Free Fall brought home some fond memories. Actually, the novel seems to reference Science Fiction culture quite heavily. Here are a few examples: - Weyland Consortium (Alien) - Heinlein Station (the author, obviously, and perhaps more specifically The Moon is a Harsh Mistress) - Melange Mining Corporation ( Dune ) - Rick Harri Obvious Blade Runner references aside, this novel reminded me more than a little of a DOS game I played in the early 90s called Rise of the Dragon. It was pretty darn good, and Free Fall brought home some fond memories. Actually, the novel seems to reference Science Fiction culture quite heavily. Here are a few examples: - Weyland Consortium (Alien) - Heinlein Station (the author, obviously, and perhaps more specifically The Moon is a Harsh Mistress) - Melange Mining Corporation ( Dune ) - Rick Harrison (Rick Deckard / Harrison Ford – Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)) - John Jones (The Martian Manhunter? Perhaps.) - Bradbury towers (well, duh…) I assume there are more, and perhaps you could point them out to me. That aside, it’s a futuristic noir tale with all the elements we’ve come to expect, such as clones, androids and space-mining. More importantly, though, is the inclusion of the Beanstalk, a space elevator, which plays a big part in what makes this novel tick. There is some pretty good actual science here, especially around the attributes of gravity, micro-gravity and zero-gravity. Physics too, especially during a hair raising rescue sequence that takes place in the second half of the novel. One reviewer also calls it “CSI in space”, which is as apt a title as any. Something that I found extremely interesting was how the science of this possible future would complicate a crime scene. The effects, long term and immediate, of Micro- or Zero-Gravity. Genetic engineering. Exposure to radiation. DNA infusion.…And more. And imagine my surprise when I realised I had read the author’s novels before. See, Mister Keith has been published under a whole string of pseudonyms, most notably Ian Douglas (Earth Strike). It’s a very good science fiction story, and also one of the best murder mysteries I’ve read in a long, long time. This should appeal to a wide audience. And of course, I’ve always wanted a toilet with a seatbelt: The facilities were designed for low-G, of course. A dry toilet, made from frictionless buckyfilmed ceramic, with directed water jets when you flushed and a seatbelt to hold you in place.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lit Bug

    Published just two years ago, this cyberpunk novel based on the card game Android: Netrunner (I haven't played it yet) is one of the few really well-written cyberpunk I've ever read. Much to my chagrin, much of classic, well-loved cyberpunk is nearly unreadable. The writing is clumsy, deliberately obscure, the technology plausibly radical but unexplained so that by the time the reader has figured out what is going on s/he has already reached the end of the book and realizes that s/he has to read Published just two years ago, this cyberpunk novel based on the card game Android: Netrunner (I haven't played it yet) is one of the few really well-written cyberpunk I've ever read. Much to my chagrin, much of classic, well-loved cyberpunk is nearly unreadable. The writing is clumsy, deliberately obscure, the technology plausibly radical but unexplained so that by the time the reader has figured out what is going on s/he has already reached the end of the book and realizes that s/he has to read it again to actually enjoy it. That is, after s/he gets rid of the throbbing headache first. Take for example, Neuromancer. Recent cyberpunk, though, has been a lot kinder. It has been lucid, readable, but rarely interesting, if it happens to dwell on the 'What makes us Human?' question. If it has good world-building, it has a terrible plot. If it has got them both mind-blowing, amazing, it suffers from terrible writing and doesn't probe the 'human' issue. Like Infoquake. The last classic cyberpunk-ish I read (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) wasn't lucid one bit, and was peppered with generous misogyny. So I keep on plodding through books in hope of something that will satisfy me on every count. Or nearly every count. Well, I gambled on this one, got it without knowing anything about it, simply going by the title. I've read really terrible pieces already. What could be worse? To my surprise, I am really glad I still don't shy away from unknown titles and take risks. Basically, it draws generously from the movie I, Robot and the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and a little bit here and there from Heinlein and others, but puts in sufficient ideas of its own, followed by the most marvelous, most plausible, most convincing world-building in SF I've ever seen. It is near-future enough, but yet radical. Like it was in Infoquake, a cyberpunk business-thriller. It portrays a future just damn too realistically, more convincingly than anything else I've ever read. It is truly rooted in the present and commendably extrapolates into what a future of this world might be like. Because it does not plagiarize from the works it borrows from, and has enough uniqueness of its own, I consider this work more as a homage to those classic SF works than a mindless copying. In some ways, it is quite close to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. The story is a cop-and-killer one, with a prominent lawyer with anti-Clone/Android leanings is murdered in one of the most secure places on Earth, the Beanstalk (a residential tower that extends into the space)just before he is about to place a drafting of the Anti-Clone Bill (or something like that). Rick-Harrison is sent to uncover it, and it is a usual thriller with interesting twists and quite some action in the last 50 pages or so. What I really loved about this is (a) Immaculate and a more mature world-building than anything before, (b) Good, gripping narration (c) Well-developed, well-executed plot and (d) A humanistic critique of the humans v/s AI question, a subtle feminist critique of gynoids-as-sextoys and (e) A more realistic picture of how the shady world works. The android part fascinated me the most. I've always been a bit unconvinced by earlier novels that projects androids as indistinguishable from humans, save for some finer points. I suppose humans are not so stupid. But this book tackles it far more imaginatively - the androids are visibly different from humans, because humans are understandably paranoid at not being able to recognize a potential AI in their midst. The political atmosphere around the ethical question surrounding these AIs is uncannily realistic, and any other book I've read to-date revolving around human acceptance of AIs pales in comparison. It is less far-fetched in its imagination, and hence predicts the future more convincingly. For me, that entirely changes the equation - because then, the arguments in favor of or against AIs change too - at least slightly. Like the world-building, the arguments become more nuanced, trickier and more confusing. There is an even lesser chance of getting to the right decision. The fine sensibilities that direct our ethics become more clouded. And it is precisely this quality that I love in a work - its latent postmodernism that affords no easy answers, that lays open the inherent contradictions in the intention and inference of every decision so that nothing is ever purely black or white. Delicious Ambiguity. Only that it is not delicious. Maybe vicious. After all this gushing, I held back a star for two reasons. One, after all the feminist cyberpunk works I've read, it is easy to see that despite not being sexist, it is still stuck in cyberpunk - it doesn't really talk about so much more that plagues our real world, such as ecological destruction or LGBTs, or anything else. There's so much going on, and the book comfortably goes on with typical characters of men, androids, exploitation, prostitution, dirty politics and so on. It doesn't really go beyond what cyberpunk delineated. I certainly expect more, personally speaking. Second, the last 50 pages didn't appeal to me, because I didn't expect a regular thriller-kind of treatment with the protagonist facing a crisis in an action-scene, where he rescues the crew from an imminent threat when a bomb intended for him severs his space-train/elevator coach and sends it hurtling into Earth's atmosphere. Of course, it is clichéd that he used to be an ace fancy-military plane pilot and can overcome anything, because, 'Hey, the culprits must be caught and the hero must not die!' I'm not going to read this again. But I still recommend it to someone who enjoys impeccable world-building with some subtly, maturely conveyed observations on the human condition in a cyberpunk future with loads of good, imaginative detective work and action sequences at the end. And someone who can pick out insinuations of earlier SF classics and delight in them. But, oh boy, (oh girl), I'm seriously glad I read this. (That's also because I love typical espionage thrillers too!)

  3. 3 out of 5

    Karin

    Android: Free Fall is your typical detective murder mystery set in the Android universe. It is not a book of novelty. It is, however, fun. There's a reason people watch police procedural TV shows, there is a comfort to a new skin on the same story, and this book delivers that. In general, I enjoyed it, though I found it to be well padded. The thing about the Android universe is that it pulls on a lot of the same conventions that other transhumanist fiction does: clones, androids, space elevators. Android: Free Fall is your typical detective murder mystery set in the Android universe. It is not a book of novelty. It is, however, fun. There's a reason people watch police procedural TV shows, there is a comfort to a new skin on the same story, and this book delivers that. In general, I enjoyed it, though I found it to be well padded. The thing about the Android universe is that it pulls on a lot of the same conventions that other transhumanist fiction does: clones, androids, space elevators. The difference is in the in-universe history and arrangement of those elements. I don't need to be taught what the uncanny valley is (and its history), I just need to know why the bioroids (andorids and gynoids) have silver eyes and why that's creeping the protagonist out. It felt like, in an effort to make a word count, William Keith went back through and added in factoids and unnecessary details. It pulled the book down a star. On the other hand, will I read more Android tie-in novels? Probably. And for a first tie-in novel for this universe, I did come away understanding the major factions and the basic lay of the land.

  4. 3 out of 5

    Brad Wheeler

    What's this? A novel based on a Fantasy Flight board game? One of my FAVORITE Fantasy Flight board games, ANDROID? Bizarre. But I was curious, and I heard some good things, so I gave it the old college try. Lo and behold, the novel wasn't bad. To my surprise, it was decently hard science fiction that did justice to the source material, and actually provided some context for the board game. The story could easily have ben a case in the game, and featured a lot of familiar characters, plus the game What's this? A novel based on a Fantasy Flight board game? One of my FAVORITE Fantasy Flight board games, ANDROID? Bizarre. But I was curious, and I heard some good things, so I gave it the old college try. Lo and behold, the novel wasn't bad. To my surprise, it was decently hard science fiction that did justice to the source material, and actually provided some context for the board game. The story could easily have ben a case in the game, and featured a lot of familiar characters, plus the game's iconic conspiracies. It was pretty fun in that way. Unfortunately, for all its good points, the novel just wasn't NOIR enough. Android is as much about the screwed up people trying to solve a case as about the case itself, and the main character of the novel had his head screwed on way too tight. He wasn't alcoholic or taking bribes or suffering PTSD or a racist or anything. It's a strange omission. More forgivable: easily half the novel was confined to one location, which was disappointing considering the board game has you jumping around a massive city, plus the Moon. Final verdict: competent, definitely interesting at times, but ultimately underwhelming. An average novel that did good by much of the source material, but wasn't quite FUN enough.

  5. 3 out of 5

    Wesley

    After being introduced to the 'Android: Netrunner' card game and having enjoyed other table top hobby games under Fantasy Flight's Android setting I was in a positive position to read this novel. Normally tie-in literature is the type of fiction that I make fun of others for reading be it 'Star Trek/Wars', movie novelizations or adaptations of DC Comics summer events. That said I was going through a rough patch and really needed an easy piece of fiction to take my mind off my woes. Despite being After being introduced to the 'Android: Netrunner' card game and having enjoyed other table top hobby games under Fantasy Flight's Android setting I was in a positive position to read this novel. Normally tie-in literature is the type of fiction that I make fun of others for reading be it 'Star Trek/Wars', movie novelizations or adaptations of DC Comics summer events. That said I was going through a rough patch and really needed an easy piece of fiction to take my mind off my woes. Despite being a novel based on a board game, 'Free Fall' was surprisingly enjoyable and well written, even without the Android license tie. The story is a murder mystery from the perspective of an overworked police detective in Earth's largest megalopolis. Forced to travel up 'the beanstalk' to solve a brutal crime, the protagonist uses real science and forensics to solve the crime. There's a lot of referential 'game' material in the book that seems a bit forced but if you came to the novel out of the cold you wouldn't recognize it or object. It isn't a perfect read. The characters are two-dimensional and it's pure plot-plot-plot. But if you're a fan of 'Blade Runner' and other future-noir stories, I might recommend 'Free Fall' as a quick, enjoyable beach or plane/train ride read.

  6. 3 out of 5

    Christian Petrie

    With the books from Fantasy Flight, I have tried to avoid learning about what the plot is. The reason is I understand the reputation books have based on a game. In this case, it does not matter it was based on a game, because it was good. From the cover, and what the game Android was about, I was expecting a Blade Runner like story. It is a detective story, but did not turn out what I was expecting. It does take place in the future, but not all on the Earth. The murder investigation of the story i With the books from Fantasy Flight, I have tried to avoid learning about what the plot is. The reason is I understand the reputation books have based on a game. In this case, it does not matter it was based on a game, because it was good. From the cover, and what the game Android was about, I was expecting a Blade Runner like story. It is a detective story, but did not turn out what I was expecting. It does take place in the future, but not all on the Earth. The murder investigation of the story is well done, making you guess who the murderer was and the reason for it. The plot does hold up well, and the ending is a good resolution. The other aspect of the book is the author's description of future technology. He writes in a manner that makes it sound plausible. It is based on theoretical technology and advancement of current tech. He makes it come alive. He also addresses the concerns people have similar to current concerns. Again, another a book I would recommend if you are interested in a science fiction book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    PopcornReads

    The world has changed dramatically in many ways since 2011. Among other things, clones and bioroids (androids) walk among us as a cheap source of highly specialized labor, with all of the to-be-expected abuses by employers and protests from human workers about loss of jobs, as well as other discrimination and bigotry toward these new groups. Mega-corporations are mining the moon and other planets for mineral resources. The population on Earth has exploded. Read the rest of my review at http://po The world has changed dramatically in many ways since 2011. Among other things, clones and bioroids (androids) walk among us as a cheap source of highly specialized labor, with all of the to-be-expected abuses by employers and protests from human workers about loss of jobs, as well as other discrimination and bigotry toward these new groups. Mega-corporations are mining the moon and other planets for mineral resources. The population on Earth has exploded. Read the rest of my review at http://popcornreads.com/?p=1582

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cody

    Read the dead tree version. This was not at all what I expected. I guess I was expecting a sci-fi version of FFG's Arkham novel... somewhat lighthearted, kind of goofy, but a fast read and fun. What I got was a detailed, hard sci-fi police procedural. It was like CSI in Space.. with androids and clones and lots of science. I loved it! More, FFG!

  9. 3 out of 5

    Paul

    Enjoyable, if somewhat forgettable. I've recently started playing Android: Netrunner, and this book was a great way to get introduced to the universe. Pretty typical detective novel fare, but the setting made it interesting and enjoyable to me. The writing is nothing special. Totally fine for genre fiction.

  10. 3 out of 5

    neko cam

    A passable detective story only remarkable for being set in the Android universe.

  11. 3 out of 5

    Krzysztof

    Thi book does the "detective investigation in the future" bit very well, even if it does spend too much time introducing you to in-world concepts as part of its narrative. However, I think it's better to have more of that than not enough in a SF setting. This serves as a source of some rather deus-ex-machina reveals which you didn't know were coming because you didn't know they existed. The main hero goes like "Obviously! It's because there's this technology/setting piece/world info which I have Thi book does the "detective investigation in the future" bit very well, even if it does spend too much time introducing you to in-world concepts as part of its narrative. However, I think it's better to have more of that than not enough in a SF setting. This serves as a source of some rather deus-ex-machina reveals which you didn't know were coming because you didn't know they existed. The main hero goes like "Obviously! It's because there's this technology/setting piece/world info which I haven't mentioned yet!" which can get a bit annoying I guess. The author makes reverences to stuff not found in the board game this book was based on, which is to be expected, since the game didn't cover things like food or post-human beings other than clones and bioroids - but I found some of that to be rather far-fetched and not fitting the setting like it should, or just waaaay too high tech (a microscopic electronic device?). Some other things ARE mentioned though, with some of the characters from the game making an appearance, shoehorned into the plot more or less, but most of the time it doesn't bother you as soon as you just "buy it". The plot unravels very much like the game does - with some moments of "A-ha, that's clever" when the author writes about something which is easily recognizable as a concept or action in the game. As long as you're into this kind of first-person detective narrative, with a lot of internal reasoning and concept-explaining, this is a very nice bit of Cyberpunk I would recommend to anybody.

  12. 3 out of 5

    Anton

    Первая книга в серии Android издательства Fantasy Flight Games. Интересный детектив в мире киберпанка. На лунной колонии произошло убийство одного из "шишек" организации Human First, выступающей против клонов и биороидов. Само собой, что все подозрения падают на клона-шахтера и андроида-секс-игрушку. Данный факт может привести к массовым волнением "настоящих" людей, мол искусственно созданные люди и роботы опасны. Но истина как всегда где-то рядом... Из киберпанка здесь только выдуманное будущее, Первая книга в серии Android издательства Fantasy Flight Games. Интересный детектив в мире киберпанка. На лунной колонии произошло убийство одного из "шишек" организации Human First, выступающей против клонов и биороидов. Само собой, что все подозрения падают на клона-шахтера и андроида-секс-игрушку. Данный факт может привести к массовым волнением "настоящих" людей, мол искусственно созданные люди и роботы опасны. Но истина как всегда где-то рядом... Из киберпанка здесь только выдуманное будущее, с колониями на луне и марсе, со всеобщей электро- и гено- модификацией. Т.е. если вы ждете историю про хакеров-нетраннеров, борющихся с мегакорпорациями, в стиле Нейромантика, то тут этого нет. Зато здесь есть детектив, причем не плохой. Сюжет очень интересно закручен. Не просто банальное убийство, а практически заговор! В книге так же поднимается вопрос: что такое 'быть человеком, клоном или роботом'? Где та моральная черта, что разделяет одних от других? Ответ, впрочем, не дается. Но, думаю, наиболее глубоко этот вопрос рассмотрен в трилогии Identity. Что не понравилось, так это несколько последних глав, связанных с тем самым "свободным падением", давшим название книге. Уж больно в стиле голливудских фильмов написан этот эпизод. А в конце герой становится поистине супергероем. Не понравилось это. Но в целом от книги положительные эмоции. Рекомендую. Особенно поклонникам вселенной Android от FFG.

  13. 3 out of 5

    Wes

    Seeing as how it took four months for me to finish this book, the best way to describe it is.... not compelling. The writing was bland, the world was interesting, but the overall story just lacked any punch or hook to keep me invested. Reading Free Fall felt like watching any run-of-the-mill network television law enforcement procedural, and for me that ain't fun. The whole reason I started reading the book was because I was interested in the Android Netrunner cyberpunk universe. The book did a f Seeing as how it took four months for me to finish this book, the best way to describe it is.... not compelling. The writing was bland, the world was interesting, but the overall story just lacked any punch or hook to keep me invested. Reading Free Fall felt like watching any run-of-the-mill network television law enforcement procedural, and for me that ain't fun. The whole reason I started reading the book was because I was interested in the Android Netrunner cyberpunk universe. The book did a faithful job of implanting itself into this world, but once we got past the "cop cracking a case in the future" shtick, the characters and tech just came off as bland. I honestly can't even tell you the main character's name... and I JUST finished fifteen minutes ago. He had no depth, no edge, and neither did any of the crooks. The author gave me no reason to care. When I finally felt guilty enough to come back to this book, the last three hours were a plodding drudgery just to finish. I'm glad it's over. Unfortunately, this has soured me on the Android universe for now, and I will definitely NOT be reading any more stories from Mr. Keith Jr. in the future.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Despite some bright spots, game-related fiction (be it tabletop RPG or board game) doesn't have a good track record. Despite some problems, Free Fall is definitely one of the bright spots. Free Fall is based on the Fantasy Flight board game Android, which is set in a noir-soaked near-future. Free Fall keeps that atmosphere, mixing elements of hardboiled detective fiction, hard sci fi, the almost-like-now uneasy of cyberpunk, and the moral quandaries of film noir. The story follows NAPD captain Ri Despite some bright spots, game-related fiction (be it tabletop RPG or board game) doesn't have a good track record. Despite some problems, Free Fall is definitely one of the bright spots. Free Fall is based on the Fantasy Flight board game Android, which is set in a noir-soaked near-future. Free Fall keeps that atmosphere, mixing elements of hardboiled detective fiction, hard sci fi, the almost-like-now uneasy of cyberpunk, and the moral quandaries of film noir. The story follows NAPD captain Rick Harrison as he investigates the death of a high-profile lawyer. Things quickly spiral out of control. The prose isn't as sublime as — say — Chandler, but I was impressed. Bill Keith is a solid writer, a veteran of the game-novel industry (he's written some of the better franchise-related books). The story clips along, has some fairly unexpected developments, and features several fantastic set pieces that will stick with me for a while. I may be somewhat biased because I'm a fan of the board game on which the novel is based, but I'm just happy that this is franchise fiction that isn't terrible.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ozgur Ozubek

    to be honest, i found the author more of a dedective-thriller one then a scifi. what you read is a dedective story with bits of terms borrowed from Android card game. "What is the true definition of humanity?" once you read this proposition, you happen to expect a "ghost in the shell" or "blade runner" drama. yet the author fails to meet my expectations. I'm a fan and player of the Android: Netrunner card game. I started the book hoping to find icebreakers, deckers, ruthless corporations and thei to be honest, i found the author more of a dedective-thriller one then a scifi. what you read is a dedective story with bits of terms borrowed from Android card game. "What is the true definition of humanity?" once you read this proposition, you happen to expect a "ghost in the shell" or "blade runner" drama. yet the author fails to meet my expectations. I'm a fan and player of the Android: Netrunner card game. I started the book hoping to find icebreakers, deckers, ruthless corporations and their agendas,etc. None was in the book. just some mention of the famous decker "Noise" along with the descriptions of corporations. The author did not bother much to dive into the world of Netrunners and just delivered an average dedective thriller spiced with scifi terms. i found some reviews crediting the author for the marvelous environment, for Beanstalk, corporations, New Angeles, bioriods, etc. Hear me guys, they are all borrowed from the game. they are not the creation of the author.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Rarely do books based on video games or board games have an interesting story, never mind it being a good science fiction story. This book was an enjoyable story of a detective trying to solve a heinous murder in a dystopian future, possibly our own. The mystery here is intriguing as detective Rick Harrison uncovers clue after clue leading to the apprehension of the killers. Along the way there are discussions about clones and bioroids (human looking robots) and whether they have human rights o Rarely do books based on video games or board games have an interesting story, never mind it being a good science fiction story. This book was an enjoyable story of a detective trying to solve a heinous murder in a dystopian future, possibly our own. The mystery here is intriguing as detective Rick Harrison uncovers clue after clue leading to the apprehension of the killers. Along the way there are discussions about clones and bioroids (human looking robots) and whether they have human rights or if they possess morals as humans do. I found some of the descriptions of the setting a little tedious to read at times. But there is a nod here and there to classic science fiction authors and stories which was fun. Overall I enjoyed the book. The story reminded me of the movie Blade Runner which has some of these same themes.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tobin

    Disclaimer: I play and love Android: Netrunner the living card game in whose universe this book takes place. Goodreaders rated it well enough for me to try it. I like noir, and crime stuff. With those three elements it seemed I would like it. Lo and behold, I did. Harrison's back story wasn't completely filled out which leaves fertile ground for future works. I think the crime captured the world I knew through the card game well and I learned a lot about the universe while being entertained. It' Disclaimer: I play and love Android: Netrunner the living card game in whose universe this book takes place. Goodreaders rated it well enough for me to try it. I like noir, and crime stuff. With those three elements it seemed I would like it. Lo and behold, I did. Harrison's back story wasn't completely filled out which leaves fertile ground for future works. I think the crime captured the world I knew through the card game well and I learned a lot about the universe while being entertained. It's not Phillip K. Dick or William Gibson but that's probably because Keith was working in a mostly already established world in which he was limited in how he might innovate it. I recommend it for anyone whose interested in the Android Universe or cyberpunk generally. :) I gave it 7.5/10 on my personal scale. -tpl

  18. 3 out of 5

    Paul Schulzetenberg

    This is not my usual type of novel. Although I read science fiction, it tends a bit more to the side of William Gibson or Neal Stephenson, and less on the series genre fiction. Still, I'm an avid board gamer, so when I saw that there was a novel based on the game, I had to read this for the novelty factor if nothing else. I expected complete genre trash, but this book is actually better than that. There's interesting themes here of humanity and crime, and the noir sci-fi thriller style works pret This is not my usual type of novel. Although I read science fiction, it tends a bit more to the side of William Gibson or Neal Stephenson, and less on the series genre fiction. Still, I'm an avid board gamer, so when I saw that there was a novel based on the game, I had to read this for the novelty factor if nothing else. I expected complete genre trash, but this book is actually better than that. There's interesting themes here of humanity and crime, and the noir sci-fi thriller style works pretty well. The world is convincing, and the story moves along. If you're interested in the board game, or have played it and want more, it's worth finding a copy of this book. It's good enough to hold up as more than just a novelty.

  19. 3 out of 5

    Dylan McNamee

    This is a noir detective novel that ties in to the very good card game Android : Netrunner. I have to say I enjoyed the book both as a noir/science fiction romp, as well as an enrichment of the Netrunner universe. I can imagine (/ have experienced) very forced game tie-ins, which were painful to read. Keith does a nice job of setting a fun noir murder mystery in this well fleshed-out world, without being dominated by the game. If you like Bladerunner-esque (but more fleshed out in the science pa This is a noir detective novel that ties in to the very good card game Android : Netrunner. I have to say I enjoyed the book both as a noir/science fiction romp, as well as an enrichment of the Netrunner universe. I can imagine (/ have experienced) very forced game tie-ins, which were painful to read. Keith does a nice job of setting a fun noir murder mystery in this well fleshed-out world, without being dominated by the game. If you like Bladerunner-esque (but more fleshed out in the science part of the science fiction) stories, I give it a thumbs up, but if you like Netrunner, I'd say this is a must-read: it makes me want to play the game, with a deeper appreciation for the setting and the MegaCorporations.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marie J

    A great mystery/thriller/crime novel set in the universe of the LCG "Android: Netrunner" which I simply love to play. It is reminescent of "Bladerunner", the cyberpunk/science-fiction settings perticularly well rendered. All those technical term were brilliantly written. And then there's Rick, one hell of a great cop. Reading the story from his point of view was truly captivating Granted, the story dragged on from time to time but all in all, it is gripping with fast-paced action. That last Beanst A great mystery/thriller/crime novel set in the universe of the LCG "Android: Netrunner" which I simply love to play. It is reminescent of "Bladerunner", the cyberpunk/science-fiction settings perticularly well rendered. All those technical term were brilliantly written. And then there's Rick, one hell of a great cop. Reading the story from his point of view was truly captivating Granted, the story dragged on from time to time but all in all, it is gripping with fast-paced action. That last Beanstack scene actually had me sweating bullets as I read. A great novel with a gastly murder, a Hydra-like conspiration, Bioroids, Clones, Beanpod... oh my!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Poy Mendoza

    A great starting piece for the Android universe My first finished book since I was 10. As a Batman fan, I always loved detective stories and with my current obsession with the Android universe, this book has been perfect. The story describes a thorough view of the Cyberpunk world of Android and I would recommend it to people who loves the Cyberpunk and Android universe. The book may start slow but picks up the pace mid-read and ends with a fair twist. Do not trust my review as I have said that t A great starting piece for the Android universe My first finished book since I was 10. As a Batman fan, I always loved detective stories and with my current obsession with the Android universe, this book has been perfect. The story describes a thorough view of the Cyberpunk world of Android and I would recommend it to people who loves the Cyberpunk and Android universe. The book may start slow but picks up the pace mid-read and ends with a fair twist. Do not trust my review as I have said that this is the first book I have completed.

  22. 3 out of 5

    Farrell

    Decent writing, obvious comfort with science fiction and military fiction. Enjoyable story that was in some ways hamstrung by having to tie-in with several elements of the boardgame setting it is based on. Would have loved to have seen more depth with two or three of the characters from the game, rather than having to lose focus by lightly touching on several characters. A key weakness to this book is that is likely less enjoyable if one has no knowledge of the boardgame it is based on (Android, Decent writing, obvious comfort with science fiction and military fiction. Enjoyable story that was in some ways hamstrung by having to tie-in with several elements of the boardgame setting it is based on. Would have loved to have seen more depth with two or three of the characters from the game, rather than having to lose focus by lightly touching on several characters. A key weakness to this book is that is likely less enjoyable if one has no knowledge of the boardgame it is based on (Android, by Fantasy Flight Games).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andy Malcolm

    Passable mystery story. Well written but fairly pedestrian and had a tendency to bog down in un-necessary detail to pad things out. I was kind of hoping for some pulp cyberpunk action, which wasn't the case, but the story did manage to touch on some interesting themes regarding how humans, androids and clones get along (or otherwise). The setting allows for plenty of creativity and intrigue but the author failed to take advantage of that, with the story constrained to just a small smattering of Passable mystery story. Well written but fairly pedestrian and had a tendency to bog down in un-necessary detail to pad things out. I was kind of hoping for some pulp cyberpunk action, which wasn't the case, but the story did manage to touch on some interesting themes regarding how humans, androids and clones get along (or otherwise). The setting allows for plenty of creativity and intrigue but the author failed to take advantage of that, with the story constrained to just a small smattering of not particularly exciting locations.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Steinhoff

    This was not a bad book but it did seem very rushed. It seemed very much like the author got to around page 230 and then decided he didn't want to write anymore so just finished everything up. It was not epic but, it did seem to be leading up to a car chase or take the mask of a greater conspiracy or something. In the end, though, it started and finished with a simple detective doing his job, following the evidence and arresting the bad people. Again, not a bad book. Just seemed to be going one dir This was not a bad book but it did seem very rushed. It seemed very much like the author got to around page 230 and then decided he didn't want to write anymore so just finished everything up. It was not epic but, it did seem to be leading up to a car chase or take the mask of a greater conspiracy or something. In the end, though, it started and finished with a simple detective doing his job, following the evidence and arresting the bad people. Again, not a bad book. Just seemed to be going one direction and then finishes another.

  25. 3 out of 5

    Vidar Madsen

    As a big fan of the Android: Netrunner card game, this was a bit of a must-read for me. The book is decently written, exciting and contains a good amount of excellent hard sci-fi and the physics to go with it, which I loved. The characters and storyline are fairly straigh-forward, so four stars might be a bit much, but the inclusion of many people and elements from the Android games universe made the book enjoyable enough for me to be generous. Great experience overall.

  26. 3 out of 5

    Taddow

    This book started out really good and I was sucked into the plot and the setting (I'm a big fan of the game too) and I just plowed through this book from cover to cover. While I did enjoy the book, I will state that I thought that the plot could have used a little more toward the end when the mystery started to wrap up. The hints at a bigger conspiracy might lead to some sequels, which I'm all for. Everyone should try the game out too.

  27. 3 out of 5

    John

    If you like Netrunner, this is a good read and it'll introduce you to Raymond Flint, one of the characters in that game. If you don't, honestly, this is an okay crime novel set in a vaguely futuristic setting; if you're in love with cyberpunk then give it a read, but if not you probably won't miss out on much.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Verdecchia

    un libro incredibilmente noioso, che si risolleva al penultimo capitolo, per poi sprofondare nuovamente. fortunatamente l'ho acquistato in formato kindle, così non posso dire che è carta straccia. questo è stato il mio primo e-book in lingua originale, ed ho potuto apprezzare la facilità ed immediatezza delle funzioni di traduzione del kindle, fottutamente utili.

  29. 3 out of 5

    Damon

    Still reading, but it is a really interesting world that has been created. The book seems to be a sci-fi murder mystery in a modern re-interpretation of the "cyber-punk" genre. Really looking forward to being able to sit down this weekend and dig deeper into it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Darren

    Great scientific descriptions of the Beanstalk (a lift to geostationary orbit) and of near future technology. The characters were a little wooden I thought. I didn't find the plot that exciting either. A decent escapism.

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