By Martin Caidin,

Book cover of Cyborg

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Cyborg as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Cyborg was a book I’d known about since childhood but had never read. Published in 1972, it was one of the first depictions of cybernetics, as defined by Manfred E. Clynes and Nathan S. Kline, in their proposed solution for space exploration, though proto-cyborgs existed in literature going back to the 19th Century.

Martin’s novel is remembered for inspiring the 70s TV show The Bionic Man, but it also influenced my favorite genre of science fiction, cyberpunk. 

The novel is highly technical, devoted primarily to the protagonist’s injury and subsequent cybernetic treatment; it’s not until the last quarter…

The 1972 novel Cyborg probably isn’t well-known now, but everyone knows the mid-70s TV show it inspired, The Six Million Dollar Man. The show often dealt with serious subjects, but (much as I loved it) its sometimes cartoonish sound effects and slow-mo undercut its dramatic punch. Caidin’s novel plays it straight. Steve Austin survives a horrendous plane crash and is rebuilt with super-advanced prosthetics without his permission, and his reaction is anything but heroic. He’s recruited as a special operative against his will, and the story is an earnest examination of psychological pain and divided loyalties. Cyborg wasn’t…

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