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Subject: Android novels--worth it? rss

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Joe Bowers
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I read the Identity Trilogy and thought it was excellent.
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Richard Linnell
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None of it will be considered "literature" but they were all enjoyable reads.
 
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Brian H
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From what I have heard they have little or nothing to do with "running", but apparently are more like crime mystery novels?
 
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Gary Tanner
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If they're anything like the Arkham Horror books, avoid them like the plague. Some of that stuff was the worst writing I've read in years.
 
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Scott Osborn
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Free fall reads like it's being written as a 1940s detective story, by a guy making up phrases that sound like they are from the future. If that sounds awful, it's because it is.

The trilogy is pretty good. You will mainly be happy to read about locations and scenery from the game. As well as some of the named connections. But don't expect to see specific runners, or to go too in depth in the corporations, except a glimpse of HB.
 
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Edward K.
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Yeah I wouldn't read Free Fall, it was ok but the ending was very predictable which was kind of sad. I haven't read the other books, but I hope they're better.
 
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MavericK96 wrote:
From what I have heard they have little or nothing to do with "running", but apparently are more like crime mystery novels?


They have everything to do with the Android universe, of which "running" is but a small part.

They are key to understanding the Android universe (as is the 2008 Android game), and understanding what many ANR cards refer to. They are also very good at least by the standards of tie-in fiction. But, they will not be winning the Hugo or Nebula awards.
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Fabian Heidelberg
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Hi,
I would say they aren't that bad. But if you want to have the spirit of running an what the Netrunner universe is all about, you should read Neuromancer from Willam Gibson. I think they are the better choice.

Greetz
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Evan
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rbelikov wrote:
MavericK96 wrote:
From what I have heard they have little or nothing to do with "running", but apparently are more like crime mystery novels?


They have everything to do with the Android universe, of which "running" is but a small part.

They are key to understanding the Android universe (as is the 2008 Android game), and understanding what many ANR cards refer to. They are also very good at least by the standards of tie-in fiction. But, they will not be winning the Hugo or Nebula awards.


Yeah, Free Fall in particular is practically a novelization of a game of Android. Being the first, it also spends a lot of time explaining the setting, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on what you're looking for.

I don't know how it compares to the Identity Trilogy, but Strange Flesh wasn't bad. I could complain about certain aspects of the plot and characterization, but it was a perfectly serviceable corporate techno-thriller, featuring Jinteki as the bad guy. I also get the sense that it's the most Netrunnerish in terms of the references and overall vibe, although there still isn't any actual hacking.
 
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Miikka Sohlman
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Hmm, such Free fall hate here and I enjoyed the book. Perhaps it's not the most brilliant stand alone book, and yeah, I wouldn't put it in the same pile with Gibson or Stephenson, but as a companion to the original board game it worked very well. You get to read about familiar characters and learn all sorts of interesting stuff about the space elevator which is a dominant feature in the game.

I liked it very much. And a very easy read too. I'd buy the eBook.
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Simon C
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HaasBioroid wrote:
Free fall reads like it's being written as a 1940s detective story, by a guy making up phrases that sound like they are from the future. If that sounds awful, it's because it is.


I'd say that doesn't sound intrinsically bad at all- that's what I would expect (and want) from a cyberpunk noir. That said, it's certainly something that's difficult to get right.

I decided against reading any of the books based on the fact I wasn't very impressed with the writing in the inserts in the data packs, although I liked the universe fluff a lot. That was back in Genesis though, and the stuff in Spin - and H&P in particular - I though was much better. That said, I don't know if the writers are actually connected, and doubt they are, so this is provably a terrible extrapolation anyway!
 
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Allan Clements
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Identity Trilogy was good. Lots of names you will recognize.

I agree that Free Fall was not as good, I actually had to skip some sections because it was explaining the physics of the orbital tether in far too much detail....

Note, that I much preferred the Identity Trilogy to books like Neuromancer and Snow Crash
 
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Mark Campo
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Mel o dom is a great author read a few of his books (D&D forgotten realms based)
only read book 1 of ident. Golem, was good interested but not picked up 2 and 3 yet..(it was about a Cop bioroid)

none android books i've read since netrunner got me in to cyber punk,

snowcrash, Great!
ready player 1, fun read not a classic
nueromacner, think i got lost and gave up
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Grish Noren
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If you know what good writing is, you'll hate them. I mean no ill will towards anyone by saying this, but I couldn't get past the first 10 pages without shutting it down. I'm a bit of a word-snob, though.

If you've read Ready Player One, the writing in Android is about 3 times as bad as that. I found Ready Player One tolerable, simply for the sake of the plot. I didn't feel that way about Android.
 
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Andrew Swanson
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gumOnShoe wrote:
If you know what good writing is, you'll hate them.


I have to agree. I read Golem and it was basically a novelty. Got a little more flavor and saw an angle of the world that you don't get from the game. Golem specifically kind of wanted to have a bigger message but it didn't really execute that message very well. You could do worse though.
 
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Joe P
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Kamakaze wrote:
Note, that I much preferred the Identity Trilogy to books like Neuromancer and Snow Crash


HERESY.
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Rizzen wrote:
Hi,
I would say they aren't that bad. But if you want to have the spirit of running an what the Netrunner universe is all about, you should read Neuromancer from Willam Gibson. I think they are the better choice.

Greetz


This is true for the original Netrunner only.

The new Netrunner is set in the Android universe, which for the most part has little to do with running. Therefore, if you want to have the spirit of what the ANR universe is all about, Neuromancer is a very poor choice.

Here is a good description of the relationship between the Android universe, ANR, and the Neuromancer universe:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/13044014#13044014

PS Even though the Android books do not match the quality of Gibson, they are not bad and you cannot call yourself a true ANR fan until you read them and played the other games in the Android universe
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Brian H
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rbelikov wrote:
Rizzen wrote:
Hi,
I would say they aren't that bad. But if you want to have the spirit of running an what the Netrunner universe is all about, you should read Neuromancer from Willam Gibson. I think they are the better choice.

Greetz


This is true for the original Netrunner only.

The new Netrunner is set in the Android universe, which for the most part has little to do with running. Therefore, if you want to have the spirit of what the ANR universe is all about, Neuromancer is a very poor choice.


Can't really agree with this statement. For one, original Netrunner and A:NR are VERY similar thematically...many of the cards have basically been direct cross-overs, in fact. Obviously the mechanics are different in regards to things like traces and whatnot, but that's not really the point.

Whether or not the other Android games or novels have much to do with "running", it's not really relevant if what you play is A:NR, which very much IS about running.

If you want to flesh out some of the characters and overall world themes, by all means play the other Android games and read the novels. If what you care about is the actual jacking into Cyberspace experience, you're better off reading Neuromancer.
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M. A.N.
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rbelikov wrote:
Rizzen wrote:
Hi,
I would say they aren't that bad. But if you want to have the spirit of running an what the Netrunner universe is all about, you should read Neuromancer from Willam Gibson. I think they are the better choice.

Greetz


This is true for the original Netrunner only.

The new Netrunner is set in the Android universe, which for the most part has little to do with running. Therefore, if you want to have the spirit of what the ANR universe is all about, Neuromancer is a very poor choice.

Here is a good description of the relationship between the Android universe, ANR, and the Neuromancer universe:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/13044014#13044014

PS Even though the Android books do not match the quality of Gibson, they are not bad and you cannot call yourself a true ANR fan until you read them and played the other games in the Android universe


Thumbed for quoting yourself.
 
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grissomspacesuit wrote:
I found a copy of Strange Flesh for a couple bucks, so I'll see how that is and decide if I want to pick up any afterwards.


Nooooo!

Free Fall and Golem are *much* better than Strange Flesh.
 
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MavericK96 wrote:
Whether or not the other Android games or novels have much to do with "running", it's not really relevant if what you play is A:NR, which very much IS about running.


Sure, but what most of ANR fans do not realize is that FFG has a subtle narrative and character development through ANR, a lot of which you will miss unless you are familiar with the Android Universe from the books and original games. Gibson and similar giants of cyberpunk stand far above FFG fiction, but they will not help you appreciate the full meaning of a lot of ANR cards within the context of the Android universe. Imagine trying to read Asimov or Clarke instead of Star Wars novelizations as reference for a Star Wars game (without being familiar with the movies).

Hence my claim above that you can only call yourself a true fan of ANR if you know the universe.

Have I just achieved a new level of dorkdom or what?
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Dannel Jurado
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I enjoyed the books because I wasn't expecting much more than pulp-cyberpunk set in the Android universe. Free Fall and the Identity Trilogy tell you all about the Beanstalk and space and Strange Flesh was about Jinteki and Tallie Perrault.

There are a lot of interesting thoughts/concepts brought up re:androids/cyborgs/bioroids in the Identity Trilogy but not much that other cyberpunk fiction hasn't dealt with more succinctly. The Identity Trilogy is the most entertaining and will no doubt share a lot of setting with the upcoming Lunar cycle
 
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Andrew Keddie
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I've only read Free Fall so far, and it was... ok. Not bad, but mediocre. I actually enjoyed the physics (one of the things I like in Sci-Fi is when future-tech is adequately explained, but that's not for everyone).

I figure I'll pick up the others eventually; but as others have said: these aren't NETRUNNER novels - they're ANDROID novels. Make sure you know what you're buying and set your expectations accordingly.
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Jeremy Espinosa
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I've read Golem and Mimic and enjoyed them enough to recommend them to any Netrunner fan who enjoys the theme. Golem was the better book of the 2 I thought. Only reason I haven't read the final book yet is because I don't think its available on Kindle yet.
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Paul Case
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Rediknight wrote:
I've read Golem and Mimic and enjoyed them enough to recommend them to any Netrunner fan who enjoys the theme. Golem was the better book of the 2 I thought. Only reason I haven't read the final book yet is because I don't think its available on Kindle yet.


All 3 of the Identity Trilogy are on Kindle. That's how I read them

To OP: The Identity Trilogy (Golem, Mimic, Rebel) is very good. Ties in nicely with a lot of cards in Netrunner, and is an interesting read in its own right. Free Fall was okay, and I couldn't get past the sample of Strange Flesh since the author liked the sound of his own writing too much.
 
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