Preferred Risk

by Frederik Pohl and Lester Del Rey

Review by Bill Johnston

Preferred Risk by Frederik Pohl and Lester Del Rey is currently available at Book Swap, and if you haven't heard of Pohl before, you're not alone. I tend to think of Pohl as the lesser half of Frederik Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth, who wrote books like The Space Merchants. Pohl alone is said to have written only two good books: Gateway and Man Plus, but I didn't appreciate Man Plus. I've only read one novel by Del Rey (a juvenile); he's written mostly short stories.

Preferred Risk has various elements: a regenerating man, an insurance ruled world, nuclear terrorists, and massive amounts of cold sleep shelters. All are vital to the plot, which is unusual. Most writers seem to just have "tacked on" their secondary ideas. This book may not actually be as good as I think it is because it was the first book I read that was not written by Isaac Asimov. It was also a long time ago.

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