l'enfer c'est les autres
The series definitely makes the listener think. The author has the protagonist's math Professor named Heidegger for a reason. I had no problem with how the author steps through the creation of the self-aware entity into its understanding of its being about being, and is engagement in the world as an other. Heidegger (the real philosopher) if anything is nothing but a refutation of Descartes and his 'cogito ergo sum'. I'm not bothered at all by the author taking two entirely different approaches to the question of our own existence and self awareness (Heidegger v Descartes). This little novel provokes as a good science fiction should always.
I particularly enjoyed Caitlin's father, Malcolm. The author presents the character in a realistic fashion as someone who is on the Asperger Spectrum. It was a clever way to use him as a reflection to how some humans as well as an AI might see the world differently than neuro-typicals do.
The author gives voice to atheist and pretty much just assumes a progressive political world view. There was one theme that the author really pressed throughout the book, and that is you don't have to become like your enemy in order to defeat your enemy (either when fighting a bully or when fighting those who want to destroy you because your different).
The voice acting was superb and the discussions the characters have on the nature and evolution of consciousness are enlightening.
I'm a huge fan of Audible. I tend to listen to mostly science fiction, but I try to get to every genre. I listen mostly on my drive to work. I'm also on Goodreads.
I listened to all three books. The narration in this book was one of the best.
The ending was wonderful. This was a good stand alone, but a wonderful ending to the entire series.
Jessica Almasy as Caitlin (or Kaitlin, sorry not sure of spelling) did a fantastic job. I alway enjoy Marc Vietor, and I really enjoyed the reference to Webmind using this narrator as his voice.
I enjoyed the entire book, but the Epilogue was a nice closing.
Highly recommend the entire series to science fiction fans or anyone that enjoys a book about humanity.
Clinical treatment and research awareness. Sci-fi to Science to Maximim PC/parenting. How to best network HDMA? 70% SciFi-thrillers-30% science
This is one of the most memorable books/series I have ever read. I am always on the lookout for anything by Sawyer. His first book on this was my intro to him and I was awed.
A compelling argument for the origin-point and consequences of self-actualized A.I. -- Set in the ultra-near future-- Like, no kidding, next week "near future" --This story meshes golden-age style theorizing-- think Asimov-- with modern social consciousness-- think Doctorow-- and gets a very tailored and interesting result. A trifle slow to start in the first book, but once he gets going, Sawyer introduces more new ideas per-page than most contemporary sci-fi plot-lines. And he does it without fantastic or incredible elements-- outside of the perfect timing and collusion of real, albeit extremely rare, phenomena.
Now, I like explosions and ancient alien races a whole lot, just like most fans of this genre-- and this book doesn't go there. Instead of fantastic adventure outside of time and galaxy, we are plunged into the fantastic adventure that is our current lifestyle in advanced countries around the world. Sawyer could be offered a TED fellowship after this. I only have one critique about the story telling--it's just that---well, listening to teenage girls swooning over boys is a lot to ask, and not something I seek out. However, the sappy, love-struck, giddiness provides an emotional counterpoint that serves as a vehicle for several powerfully original suppositions about the consequences of social media. So...I guess it's a wash.
In short: A great story for idea junkies like me, not so great for hardcore fans of space-opera/ray-gun type science fiction. To the author: Thanks man! I wouldn't have learned about "confabulation" without you!
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
I enjoyed this story more than the middle book, as there was more concentration on Webmind and less on Caitlin and her boyfriend. But why ever did Sawyer have her send the photo to her boyfriend? How was that relevant or necessary to the story?
The ending gave me much to think about and to discuss. Would I want a "friendly" internet entity choosing my country's form of government or deciding what code of morality I should live by? Most definitely, no, not even if it went along with my own set of beliefs. Sawyer took an interesting turn at the end, not what I would have expected, and yet, it was a worthwhile listen. I would recommend the series, if this topic interests you.
This was a total suprise. I can't find the words to praise this masterpiece! It was a long time since I found a recently written book so exciting. Not only the topic focusing on blindness is fresh, the story is exciting, full of fresh innovative ideas. Of course the singularity idea is not new per se but it doesn't hinder the story at all, it enriches the thema. I couldn't wait for every next chapter. Jessica Almasy's narration is excellent, you can't wish for any better. It perfectly fits to the character. Her voice is also very easily comprehensible and pleasure to listen to. I can't recommend this book high enough to anybody who would like to see one of the possible outcomes of the inevitable singularity phenomenon.
I only finished this because I had invested in the previous books in the series. The author seems to have an agenda to push when it comes to human sexuality (especially teenage sexuality). It really distracts from the story. Also the rest of the story plays out in a fairly shallow way (IMHO). Not a great read, but it has its moments.
I absolutely loved all 3 books, and I loved the voice acting. I found Caitlin's voice actress simply perfect. I listened to the series in quick succession, and even the last book kept me interested right up to the last sentence.
All in all, great sci-fi
I am a huge fan of Robert J. Sawyer or at least I was till I read this book. I have met him several times and he signed my complete set of the Neanderthal Parallax. However, I was very disappointed with his effort here. While Flashforward was one of his best stories to date, I was sorry to see that it's success and industry's weak effort to make it a TV show caused Hollywood's liberal elite to have a negative effect on him. By the time WebMind makes his acceptance speak late in the story I had become tired of the liberal, secular diatribe that was continuously being trodden out. A majority of it had nothing to the story and just became annoying by the time you reached the end. In the past he has kept these issues at the ???food for thought??? level. There are several examples of this in Calculating God and the aforementioned Neanderthal Parallax where I would stop reading to sit and think about a point that had been made, but it here it crossed the line to just plain preaching/bashing.
I realize as an author it is his prerogative to write as he see's fit and I still look forward to his next story, but if this trend continues, I am sorry to it will be the last I read.