Monday, June 27, 2011

My Name is Legion

My Name Is LegionMy Name Is Legion by Roger Zelazny

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Eve of RUMOKO: Someone is attempting to sabotage the RUMOKO project, a project that creates volcanoes on the ocean floor for the purpose of creating more land for an overpopulated Earth. Albert Schweitzer, an engineer, tips to what is happening. Only, Schweitzer's not an engineer and doesn't even exist at all...

For a story written forty years ago, the tone is pretty relevant today. The man with no name, the protagonist, is a former computer programmer that erased himself from a global database so he couldn't be tracked and goes around doing good deeds for exorbitant sums of money. Although the future of 2007 isn't quite accurate, the undersea domes, for example, the idea of a huge database containing ever bit of available data known to man seems spot on. Our nameless hero seems like he might be an inspiration for Repairman Jack. The story itself isn't fantastic but I'm a big fan of the ideas presented within, both the creation of artificial islands (didn't Stephenson do that in The Diamond Age?) and the man who doesn't officially exist.

Kjawlll'kje'k'koothai'lll'kjr'k: Two men are dead and it looks as if a dolphin is to blame. Our nameless hero begins poking around, leading him into a plot involving adultery, diamonds, and questions about dolphins and their culture...

I didn't enjoy the second story as much as the first but it was still good. While the plot wasn't spectacular, the conjectures about dolphins and their society and/or religion made up for it. I didn't expect Martha Millay to play such a prominent role when she was introduced.

Home is the Hangman:An artificially intelligent planet exploring robot, the Hangman, has returned to earth to exact vengeance on his creators. Or has he...

This was quite a yarn. For a novella, it sure had a lot of twists. Our nameless hero continues taking megarisks for his client, Don. The Hangman's creators were an interesting bunch and, as I said, it had enough twists to rise above its seemingly simple plot.

While My Name is Legion isn't my favorite Roger Zelazny book, it's also far from my least favorite. I'd recommend it to fans of spy novels, since the nameless protagonist is more of a spy than anything else. The man with no name reminds me of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee at times and Repairman Jack at others. He should be a well-received character by fans of either.

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