After the Firefall, all eyes are locked heavenward as a team of specialists aboard the self-piloted spaceship Theseus hurtles outbound to intercept an unknown intelligence.
©2006 Peter Watts; (P)2008 Recorded Books LLC
Sometimes I think one could write the perfect 2015 sci-fi novel by having a bunch of asexual and gender-fluid characters debate the evolution of the human mind endlessly while deus-ex-machina events move the plot along somewhere else.
Ta-da! Blindsight is that, but now with more vampires!
I had to really grit my teeth to get past the first few chapters, then it got easier. I guess the value of having super-intelligent aliens and super-intelligent AI's in your story is that at the end, instead of having a bunch of plot holes and inconsistencies, you can say "the super-intelligences did it!" about everything.
There are previous reviews written by: James 04-04-09 and Old Hippy 11-17-08. Please read their submissions. I have been reading and listening to SciFi since I was perhaps 8 or 9 years old. Sincerely without bragging, I feel I do know SciFi. (I'm 61 now). This is not for a novice science fiction reader. In my opinion it helps greatly to have the history of many reads and perhaps many years of SciFi to cope. I'm going to look into more of his writings. In other words,,,,"Yeah, it was a good story" ;-)
One of my all time favorites. Highly recommended for people that have already read the book as well. You should have no trouble following if you haven't read it but the performance of the narrator is so good and the details are so rich that it just gets better with repeat listenings.
Please record the Rifters Series next!
Snotty, elitist lawyer who reads too much and is kind too little.
Philosophical musings, space.
None of them stand out, actually.
Differentiate the characters better, inflect more emotion.
I can handle weighty matters of philosophy. I can handle long stretches of dense dialogue. It just all grates a little thin when the plot between them is only exciting in may two or three scenes. Good writing, flawed execution.
I struggled to finish this one for months. It was very dense, and conjured some very realistic, possible future technologies. But its density has mostly to do with intelligence, consciousness, and its role among the stars.
Loved it. If you are a sci fi fan, this is a must. Great use of philosophy, action, intrigue, second guessing, and plot development. Would certainly recommend.
This book is not your typical first contact book. It has some innovative ideas, but it suffers from stream of consciousness writing, and half the time you don't know what's happening. I think to really get it you'd need to read it twice. But I personally wouldnt take the time to do it. Perhaps it's not suited for an audio book because you'd have to rewind too many times to follow. There is some fascinating discussion of intelligence and consciousness and how they are linked. Many worthy passages but overall the writing is too scattered to deserve more than 3 stars. Great performance, though.
Very interesting and thought provoking concepts are explored in this story. It's a future where people with mental disorders or brain defects are not only "fixed" but also enhanced beyond "baseline" humans, at some expense to their humanity. On top of that there is the existence and integration of a mythical bloodline, first contact, and an interesting solution for long-distance multi-year space travel.
The story is told as a first person narrative about a first contact with an entirely unfathomable entity. The character's purpose on the mission is to be the equivalent of an embedded reporter, but with the added responsibility of translating the actions of the enhanced humans on the mission into baseline understandable terms. Exactly what this means is hard to explain, because the reader is only human. :-) Although he is enhanced himself, his abilities permit him to straddle both sides of the situation... And this struggle of understanding his ability is one of the themes.
The narrator does a great job of evoking the character's tone. The narrating character's enhancement makes him emotionally stunted, so the narrator reads the story in a fairly monotone voice. In my opinion this really adds to the story and makes the character's behavior more understandable. It really makes him stand out as apart from normal humans.
Definitely one of my favorite stories.
I really enjoy this author and the questions he raises here about the nature and bare utility of consciousness. The details and world are convincing and interesting, and the characters are all very 3d. The fact that non-male and non-caucasian characters exist and have interesting things to say and do is refreshing as well. He delves into tech, philosophy, Linguistics, and cognitive science with what is obviously a lot of research and thought, and will likely give most readers something new to ponder.
A different author.
First Contact is a genre I will always enjoy. But this isn't just one of the worst First Contact genres I've listened to, it's one of the worst books of ANY genre.
The narrrator's reading was just as flat and lifeless as the material he was reading. But I doubt any other narrator would have improved the listening experience by much.
If could play editor I'd cut almost every scene except the very few that actually had some semblance of plot or action.l But that would have made an 11 hour book closer to 1 hour.
This book had no romance, no sex, no humor, no sense of adventure, no joy, no drama, no intrigue, and almost no action. The lead character had no charisma. The writer had no style or skill. This was the kind of book that Mark Twain said made you wish all the characters would drown in the same boat and be done with it. Some books make you wish that each chapter is not the last. This book had me hoping that each chapter would be the last. The author is a poor writer with no ability to paint a scene or the characters in it. Its just page after page of dreary introspection on the nature of consciousness with less than a thimblefull of plot to move things along.
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