The Reefs of Space, by Frederick Pohl and Jack Williamson, is the first novel of the Starchild Trilogy (which includes Starchild and Rogue Star).
The novel follows the brilliant (and amnesia induced) scientist Steve Ryeland and his human “computational” companion Oporto through a future Earth dominated by the Plan of Man Computer (i.e. everyone gets a little strip of paper whenever they’re next to a console telling them what to do). Think 1984-esque dystopia with a computerized Big Brother.
Well, Steve’s job is to create a “jetless” drive. Also, Steve’s a Risk (i.e he has a bomb collar around his neck for doing something against the Plan of Man in the past) and he wants it off. Some cool space reefs, who’s the junkman questions, spacelings, and a drug pumpin’ version of heaven, all make this an enjoyable read.
This future Earth flies by so fast with the quick prose/action/dialogue that the reader has little time to think about anything else. Is that good? If you want an enjoyable few hours, then yes. Is there anything more than a good yarn, probably not. Great fun!