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Mindscan | [Robert J. Sawyer]

Mindscan

Jake Sullivan has cheated death: he's discarded his doomed biological body and copied his consciousness into an android form. The new Jake soon finds love, something that eluded him when he was encased in flesh: he falls for the android version of Karen, a woman rediscovering all the joys of life now that she too is no longer constrained by a worn-out body. Karen's son sues her, claiming that by uploading into an immortal body, she has done him out of his inheritance.
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Publisher's Summary

Jake Sullivan has cheated death: he's discarded his doomed biological body and copied his consciousness into an android form. The new Jake soon finds love, something that eluded him when he was encased in flesh: he falls for the android version of Karen, a woman rediscovering all the joys of life now that she too is no longer constrained by a worn-out body. Karen's son sues her, claiming that by uploading into an immortal body, she has done him out of his inheritance. Even worse, the original version of Jake, consigned to die on the far side of the moon, has taken hostages there, demanding the return of his rights of personhood. In the courtroom and on the lunar surface, the future of uploaded humanity hangs in the balance.

Mindscan is vintage Sawyer - a feast for the mind and the heart.

©2005 Robert J. Sawyer (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Sawyer lucidly explores fascinating philosophical conundrums." (Entertainment Weekly)

"A tale involving courtroom drama, powerful human emotion and challenging SF mystery. Sawyer juggles it all with intelligence and far-reaching vision worthy of Isaac Asimov." (Starlog)

"Sawyer deftly examines what a future might be like in two neighboring countries that have become polar opposites. And he focuses on the legal and moral ramifications involved in various definitions of humanity in an intriguing and stylistically fine story. Grade: A." (Rocky Mountain News)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (50 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
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4.2 (43 )
5 star
 (24)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (44 )
5 star
 (27)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ripley I Attleboro, MA United States 04-23-12
    Ripley I Attleboro, MA United States 04-23-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    129
    ratings
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    "great concept not executed"

    This was the worst of Sawyer's books I've read. Actually I loved all the other books (maybe 5 of them) that I've read or listened to. The concept is great, new and interesting but I didn't feel anything for any of the characters. The human interactive element that exists in his other books just wasn't there.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daphne Parkville, MD, United States 04-16-12
    Daphne Parkville, MD, United States 04-16-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A most intriguing and disconcerting book"
    If you could sum up Mindscan in three words, what would they be?

    Makes You Think


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the back knowledge regarding the topics discussed.


    Which character – as performed by Peter Ganim – was your favorite?

    My favorite character had to be Karen. She was so well read and her words almost ALWAYS came easy to her. She had a certain calmness to her even when faced with a struggle.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but I made sure to break it up so that I can make it last longer.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book I chose for no apparent reason and I am extremely glad I did. It is absolutely marvelous a book. If you enjoyed Robocalypse, this is even better. It get's into your head, makes you think about what you would do in this case and the book takes a detour that perhaps you may not think was coming. GREAT writing.

    The premise of this book is so far fetched and yet none of it seemed fake. It was rooted deeply in some hard science. The writer is excellent as merging the science and the social in a way that was truly entertaining.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Watertown, SD 05-31-12
    John Watertown, SD 05-31-12 Member Since 2003

    Born with earbuds.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Entertaining, but not Sawyer's Best"
    Would you try another book from Robert J. Sawyer and/or Peter Ganim?

    Robert Sawyer is a talented writer, and has a strong grasp of science. His work is definitely worth reading.


    Would you recommend Mindscan to your friends? Why or why not?

    I can only give this book a lukewarm recommendation. Unlike other books of his, much more of Sawyer's liberal politics creep into this one. I don't have a problem with characters having liberal or conservative politics, but when the author's politics are embedded into the overall fabric of the book, I find it a turn-off. At one point in the book, there is a courtroom trial that is laughable, with both counsels and witnesses given off-topic soliloquies that would never be allowed and seem to have no other purpose than to provide the reader with information that the author wants us to know.

    In many ways this is the most Canadian of Sawyer's works:
    *Toronto is the center of the universe
    *The university of Toronto is Harvard
    *Guns are bad, even to touch
    *Queue jumping or getting better treatment because you have money is wrong
    *Global warming is real and will make Canada uncomfortably hot in just 10-20 years.
    *The collective is more important than the individual

    Sawyer's favorite topics seem recycled in this book:
    *Cellular Automata
    *Quantum Entanglement
    *Consciousness
    *Turing Machines

    Minor Spoiler:
    The book misses many opportunities to be more interesting and relevant. For example, a character makes a decision based on information that he will die soon. He changes his mind when he finds out he'll live after all. Is it really reasonable that Sawyer treats him like a whiner who's being unreasonable? Also the way things end up seems messy with no clear theme, moral, message, etc. It's a bit like the work of Robin Cook where meaningless conflict is used to give a sense of drama which is rather hollow.It's almost as if Sawyer was on autopilot or lost interest in his story and finished it anyway. Perhaps he retouched some old story he had in a drawer.

    To be clear the premise of the story is very interesting and the setup is quite good. It's after that, that the story disappoints. It does remain listenable and entertaining, but in a very insubstantial, fluffy sort of way.


    What does Peter Ganim bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator does a great job.


    Was Mindscan worth the listening time?

    While worth listening, I would read other Sawyer titles first. It's not a 4-star read.


    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brittani OMAHA, NEBRASKA, United States 09-16-12
    Brittani OMAHA, NEBRASKA, United States 09-16-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    "Interesting Concept, but Leaves a "Eh..." Feeling"

    This is my first book of Robert J. Sawyer and while the publisher's summary and the first couple of chapters were really caught my attention, I felt that as the book went on, I kept waiting for something more to happen and that never seemed to be the case. The end was extremely disappointing and left me with a "Eh..." sort of feeling. I don't feel that I wasted my time in listening to the book for it had some good parts throughout the book. However, I feel that this was a book more on philosophy than the characters and their story. I also did not enjoy the switching back and forth between the earth Jake and the moon Jake without much of a notice. It was sudden and took me a minute to understand that we had switched.

    The narrator was decent, though he seemed robotic at times when reading the narration. Maybe that was to add to the feel of the book, but I did not like it and it distracted me from what was going on in the book.

    Overall, it was an okay book, and the narration was okay. It would only recommend it if you really like philosophy more so than a story.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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