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The Terminal Experiment Audiobook

The Terminal Experiment

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Publisher's Summary

An experiment has gone terribly wrong. Dr. Peter Hobson has created three electronic simulations of his own personality. One will test life after death; another, immortality. The third one is the control unit. But now all three have escaped from Hobson's computer into the worldwide electronic matrix. And one of them is a killer.

Robert Sawyer has won many awards for his science fiction, which is praised for its blend of high-tech mystery and suspenseful pacing.

©1995 Robert J. Sawyer; (P)2003 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1995

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (349 )
5 star
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4 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (182 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
3.9 (179 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Keith 07-14-15
    Keith 07-14-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A look at transhumanism"

    In this novel, Sawyer takes a foray into transhumanism as the protagonist seeks to determine the significance of the newly discovered "soul wave", which leaves the body at death. Coupled with one of Sawyer's trademark characters, a scientist who's been badly hurt emotionally, the novel is both thought-provoking and entertaining, as well as astonishingly prescient given the decade in which it was written.

    Four stars, easily.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 04-12-15
    John 04-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    7
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    Story
    "Don't listen to the prologue"

    Good story, but I found the prologue to be a spoiler that diminished it somewhat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacob Brenner Stanford, CA United States 04-03-15
    Jacob Brenner Stanford, CA United States 04-03-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Wonderful questions, facile answers"

    Great exploration of what a mind is, but unlike most great sci-fi, he provides his own answers. Some of those answers, such as the existence of a soul, have no logic and close off discussion.
    The worst reader/narrator in 50+ audiobooks I've listened to: monotone, no emotion, and lots of sounds provided by dry mouth sticking to itself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone 03-20-15
    Simone 03-20-15 Member Since 2016

    Follow me on Goodreads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Typical Sawyer-Mind-Bend"

    Yet again, another thought provoking book by Robert J Sawyer… but I expected no less!

    The book was written in 1995 and was set about 20 years in the future - which means right about now. This was comical to read because we now know if his future predictions about our culture have come to pass.

    He missed the mark on a few things like: Curbside Newspaper Printers, we don’t have VCRs anymore (although his VCR had all the same capabilities and programming parameters that our PVRs have), Donahue and Leno are no longer on air, and poor Peter Jennings passed away.

    He got things right like: Queen Elizabeth II is still alive and well, that there would be a Pope Benedict XVI (impressive!) and electronic readers (did we envision reading tablets in the 90s? It’s so long ago I can’t remember.

    Of course he did not predict the Iphone but he did conjure up video-phones.

    Aside from the fun of picking those details apart, the story itself was a typical Sawyer-mind-bend. I love his books, they never ever disappoint!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 03-18-15
    Paul 03-18-15

    A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun story, bland writing."

    Peter Hobson creates a scanner that can map the neural nets of the brain, and in the process discovers the soulwave. His wife reveals an affair she had. Hobson and his best friend Sarkar scan Peter's brain and develop three AIs to study immortality and life after death. Now, one of the AIs is behaving very badly. How can it be stopped?

    Sawyer makes me think of John Scalzi. His writing isn't too good, but the story is entertaining.

    Narrator Paul Hecht is OK but not great. He doesn't do women well and there is a general lack of excitement and suspense in his reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Pang Earth 10-01-14
    J. Pang Earth 10-01-14 Member Since 2010

    Computational cognition, ethics, transhumanism, etc.

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    Story
    "Mind hormones & senses role explored in good story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Terminal Experiment to be better than the print version?

    No. The narrator would drink water without unkeying the microphone. Minimally acceptable. Good story carried me through.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Exploration of technical angles of the components of the mind.


    What didn’t you like about Paul Hecht’s performance?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    More. Please.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Herndon, VA, United States 11-29-13
    Kevin Herndon, VA, United States 11-29-13 Member Since 2011

    Reading Fantasy and SCI-FI on audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting set of story angles"

    This book covers many disparate topics from religion (existence of a soul) to determination of when someone is actually dead - for organ donation purposes. The technology discussed moves between things long gone (technologically speaking) to things that have not been done. The concept that one could record one's self and store in on the internet, turn it on and have a discussion with your self is kind of interesting. The fact that there are limitations to that recording vs the physical experience is not surprising.

    The story carries well although a little weak on the ending. The reading is good and captured my attention. Overall a great performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cameron 12-15-11
    Cameron 12-15-11

    A lover of contemporary, character driven sci-fi.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Kept me reading to the end, where it let me down."

    Good characters and a high-tension plot, very cohesive story. The end, however, was a bit anticlimactic, much like other Sawyer works. Still, it's not like I want that part of my life back or anything. Meh.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RLH 05-11-11
    RLH 05-11-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Deserves 4.5 stars"

    Another compelling page-turner by RJS. With the right director, this book has all the components for a very good movie IMO.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EdgeWalkerZero 09-30-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Pulpy and common- An easy listen with nothing new."

    If I had to describe the book in a word, it would be "unoriginal."

    The major concepts have been been tired for years, having been thoroughly explored in B grade television sci-fi anthologies (i.e. Outer Limits) and present nothing new. The characters have some minor depth, but are never developed enough for me to care about them, an essential feature in a book where the universe and vision of the future are hackneyed ideas. I don't recommend this book at all, unless you are specifically looking for something that feels like a made-for-TV SyFy channel movie extended into many hours of audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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