BOOKS: The Saga of the Cuckoo

Robert J. Bradbury (
Wed, 18 Aug 1999 10:44 PDT

I haven't run across anyone mentioning this, so I thought I would comment on it.

The Saga of the Cuckoo, by Frederik Pohl & Jack Williamson consists of two parts: "Farthest Star" (1975) and "Wall Around A Star" (1983).

The style of the book doesn't make it something to write home about -- it seems like it was adapted from a set of shorter stories. The content however is very interesting to many of us because of the subjects, which include:

Probably none of this is new to old SF hands. I thought it was both educational and entertaining from the perspectives we have regarding M-Brains, uploading, personal identity, self-editing, limits to intelligence, etc. I recomend it to people who want to expand their collection of ideas on these subjects.

The best part from my perspective were the internal self-conflicts that arose when you were "beaming" yourself into situations that were potentially dangerous ("... What risk? Its the *other* me that might get killed..."; "... Sure, why not, I've only been killed 7 times already..."). The complications of copies of copies with different time lines (some of whom were involved in romantic liasons & forced separations) point out how complicated this can get.

Powells ( has a couple of used copies for sale.