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
I'm not sure if it was the tonation of the narration, the production quality, the content, or all three combined, but the audio had a quality that begged the listener to tune out. Try as I might, I couldn't keep my focus on the book. I gave up after listening for a couple of hours and realizing I still had no idea what was going on.
I've listened to about 150 audio books. Of those, I've only re-listened to six or so. I'm now on my fourth listen for this one. Of all of the books I've re-listened to, this is the only one that I keep getting more out of with each listen. I almost passed on it because of the vampire thing. However, Watts makes it work. As others have said, this book is high concept and requires full attention. That being said, it is not dry and stuffy or heavy handed. I think about concepts in this book more than any other I've read in years. According to Wikipedia, Watts is working on two additional books set in the same universe. I really hope there are audible versions and T. Ryder Smith narrates.
I definitely would. It is a quick listen, and it is full of fantastic, quotable insights into the perspective of modern science on consciousness.
I loved the manner in which it addressed the question of what it means to be human. From the illusion of free will, to the nature of consciousness, to the nuts and bolts of biology, neurology, and psychology, Peter Watts was thorough and artful.
Smith seemed at first to be a bland narrator, until I met other characters and realized that bland is precisely what Siri sounds like. His rendition of Sarasti was downright chilling.
My strongest reaction was intellectual, deeply enjoying the dense, hard science fiction as well as the cognitive science themes. However, I also had an emotional reaction during a particular death scene that surprised me (as much as it surprised Siri, I'm guessing).
No. I have not read the print edition.
Something less strange. It felt a little too close to the Clarke stories about Rama with vampires and gene modified being included.
The reading was drone-like and made it hard to follow.
Blindsight is a really fantastic first-contact story. Peter Watts wrote something deep, insightful and often terrifying. He deconstructs the notion of consciousness a hundred different ways before challenging its utility outright, and does all of this inside a well written and structured hard-scifi story.
T. Ryder Smith does a pretty good job with the performance. He certainly captures the emotional core, and the savant/asperger feeling of the main character. My main complaint is that often times it is difficult to tell who is talking, and this is made more difficult by the writing and characters - one of whom has multiple personality syndrome.
All that said, I heartily recommend Blindsight, but I suggest the printed version over the audio one.
The truly unique take on consciousness and aliens. Yes, those two are closely related, but not in the way you might imagine.
An uncanny ability to switch between the high-functioning autistic who serves as the protagonist, and the predatory Sarasti.
Don't let blurbs about vampires discourage you from checking out the book. It's easily one of the best hard SF neuroscience novels.
someone who is more of sci-fi reader who doesn't mind having vampires thrown into the mix
too much jargon that left me wondering "what is that; what does that term mean. I would have liked a little more plot setting after the initial scene.
Frankly, I got this book because the synopsis and the sample sounded good, but mostly because I really like T.Ryder Smith as a narrator. Unfortunately, he couldn't save this one for me.
I don't think it would fair for me to say, since I bailed on it after about two hours
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