A lot of people love John Varley’s books, and he’s a Hugo- and Nebula-award winner, so I decided to give him another try (I didn’t particularly like one of his other books, Titan).
Unfortunately, while Steel Beach had some interesting characters and cool ideas, the plot wandered around so much that I had to stop several times and wonder what the point of the book was. I almost put it down several times, and maybe I should have.
The whole story takes place on the moon two hundred years after aliens invaded Earth and kicked all the humans off. On the moon, a central computer that controls everything makes life easy for everyone, except the protagonist, who keeps trying to kill himself, but his motivation never struck me as realistic.
Recommendation: Unless you’re a John Varley fan, skip Steel Beach.