D. F. Jones
Colossus Cover

Colossus - DF Jones


This novel about an AI "defense" computer was released in 1966, led to a movie in 1970 and two book sequels in 1974 and 1977. Unlike the computer in Wargames, this computer doesn't learn the only winning move is not to play - Colossus learns that the way to win is to take over the world.

The author was a British Navy commander from WWII, and the arms race of the cold war is an excellent setting for this book. Unfortunately, sexism and racism are also built into the story - it would be refreshing to see a gender- and race-neutral version set in the modern day, between US and China for instance. The technology in this book is also clunky, but who can really see the future? Apparently nobody who predicts flying cars.

In short, I liked the story, 3 stars out of 5. I've seen bits of the film on TV, but not (yet) sat down to the whole production. This book is just one of many AI books I've been reading this year, and I look forward to the film and the sequel novels.