My name is Legion, Roger Zelazny, 1976.

What I love about science fiction is the huge number of older but brilliant stories are out there. Sure, modern stuff is cool, but the golden age was golden for a reason.

In Zelazny’s ‘My name is Legion’ , the protagonist is a computer programming nerd working on a database containing every detail of every person in the world. This nerd realises that, just maybe, this digital big brother might be a bad thing. (Side note: This book was published in 1976, where such a database was in the future! and giving all your personal data to Facebook was inconceivable).

Rather than taking a moral stand against the system, Our Hero instead simply removes himself from the system, becoming one of the few people in the world who aren’t registered. Why? Well, mostly for his own benefit and amusement, it turns out, because such anonymity allows him to become a sort of freelance spy who travels the word to right great wrongs (or on occasion do great wrongs, seeing as mortality is not one of Our Hero’s great strengths).

The book is divided into three short stories, each built around a central science fiction premises. In the first, Eve of RUMOKO, artificial volcanoes are used to build new islands. A cool premise, but are we really that short of land that we need to build more? We are not.

In the second story, ‘Kjwalll’kje’k’koothai’lll’kje’k (not a typo),  our hero! must prove that dolphins were framed for an underwater (obviously) murder. In third, Home Is the Hangman, a sentient robot returns to Earth and its designers begin to die in mysterious circumstances. This story won a Hugo award back in 1976, but I actually enjoyed ‘Kjwalll’kje’k’koothai’lll’kje’k more, possibly because it has dolphins in it.

Overall, a fun collection of science fiction spy tales.

Read this if: If you find James Bond to be a bit too gentle.

Rating: 3 dolphins framed for murder out of five.

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