BONUS AUDIO: Author Robert J. Sawyer explains how the creationism vs. evolution debate informed the writing of Calculating God.
©2000 by Robert J. Sawyer; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
"Is Sawyer Canada's answer to Michael Crichton? Very possibly yes." (Montreal Gazette)
"Jonathan Davis...is one of our very best narrators and this is a fine performance. I was rapt the entire time, and even near tears at one moment in the book." (sffaudio.com; named an SFFaudio Essential)
"Jonathan Davis portrays a thoughtful and quietly introspective Jericho....As the conversation with Hollus continues, Davis keeps a steady pace and reflects the intellectual engagement of both characters. He presents the alien's speech as lightly studied, a fitting style for a non-English speaker who coordinates his speech between two mouths." (AudioFile)
What a great story. Story? This is a very good approach to the big question, Is there a God or not. Packed into a very moving life story it keeps you listening to the last minute.
I read this book at the request of a friend, and although, I did not find it to be, what I'd call a page turner, it had some very good parts. I am a Christian, but I am also, very curious about our world, and our universe. I do not look for answers to the question "what is God?" or "why, cancer?" or " do we have a soul?" because I accept the revelatory nature of the Judaeo-Christian scriptures, however I love to think about the "how" of our universe. I have often thought of God as the greatest scientific mind, and our pursuit of scientific answers as a way of discovering truths about our creator, and his creation. This book touches on some of that and that part of the story was fun, but the rest was, in my opinion, just disappointing, under-par, sci-fi. I would recommend it, but with certain forewarnings that the author capitulated to tired, old, familiar "god-descriptions" used in past literature. I was hoping for a fresh, new spin on things.
So, though, somewhat disappointing at the end, a good story that asks all the big questions but, leaves the real research up to the reader.
I knew the author had an agenda up front, I just hoped it would be contained in more of a story. The premise was intriguing but key characters were made of too much straw and cardboard. If the words wasted in navel gazing and strawman fighting had instead been employed in fleshing out a story of first contact and the global reactions, that would've been the book I wish I had read.
My compliments on very good narrative performance, of such shaky material.
About the first 4/5ths of this book is a really solid sci-fi, first-encounter-with-aliens story that is very enjoyable. But the resolution and ending go a bit too far beyond the realm of possibility for this listener. Not that it was bad -- I was interested right to the end -- but the end of this book is not like the rest of it.
I found myself rolling my eyes a lot and just wishing it would be over as the end got nearer. I could not suspend disbelief enough to remain caught up in the story. It became something I was making myself listen to, rather than a story I was invested in.
I like Sci-Fi, logic, technical, and fantasy.
I enjoyed this book partly due to the fact that I already believe what Sawyer wrote about, and the introspection of Tom. There are moral issues brought up. The end was a pretty good ending with no hard stop. It made you think, which is
not what many people want from books. I was also entertaining.
Yes. For two reasons. First of all, it is a wonderful story with suspense. Although many of the characters are pretty thin (domestic terrorists, museum director, etc.), the drama and imagery is true sci-fi. Second, the arguments posed by the alien characters, being largely those used by Creationists, can act as target-practice for atheist-humanists .. because, quite frankly, each and every one of the aliens' arguments for God is flawed and quite easily defeated.
This book far exceeded my expectations. A great story, compelling characters, and believable science.
While having a spiritual tone in some respects, it handles the topic of belief in a respectful and logical way.
Whether you are a believer or not this book works on multiple levels. That combined with an excellent performance by the reader leads me to highly recommend it.
This book should be compulsory reading at school. The only word of warning is about the author's conclusive opinions on the lack of success to date and promise for a cure for cancer coming from science. Ask the many long term cancer survivors of the last decade who would have surely died if it were not for science whether they think his negative outlook is helpful.
It crawled through some parts and contained more than a few cliches, but there are some interesting things said, some fascinating ideas. Overall, it was quite enjoyable.
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