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
Computational cognition, ethics, transhumanism, etc.
No. The narrator would drink water without unkeying the microphone. Minimally acceptable. Good story carried me through.
Exploration of technical angles of the components of the mind.
Checking out Brandon Sanderson's work
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.
A lover of contemporary, character driven sci-fi.
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.
Another compelling page-turner by RJS. With the right director, this book has all the components for a very good movie IMO.
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.
If you have extra credits, it is worth the listen. The technology (which is the centerpiece of the story) is on such weak foundations that to me much of the story lacked credibility and kept me from engaging. The characters were well written and the overall premise interesting, but there are so many GREAT books out there leave this one for a long summer vacation when you leave your critical thinking hat at home.
In all fairness, I didn't give this book much of a chance. Just did't like the writing style or the story.
I have listened to quite a few from Robert Sawyer and found them all very interesting. This story is a good choice as well. It is not as captivating as some of his other titles (such as Flashforward) but it steadily gets the job done. I like the fact that Sawyer always discusses some relative technology and has a solid gift of presenting his sci-fi take on this technology without bombarding the listener with unnecessary information. This sci-fi light approach makes his books easy to listen to, even for the non-scientific person who is looking only to be entertained while driving. I would also mention that it did take me a little while to get comfortable with the narrator Paul Hecht. Having listened to many other narrators who seemed more contemporary and animated, his very deep and professorial tone took a few chapters to adjust to. Overall, solid buy if you like technology and don't overthink its applications!!!!
Audio Books only
Fast pace worth buying, January 23, 2010
By Barbara Lane "Audio Books only" (Sydney Australia)
Dr. Peter Hobson, scientist discovers that there is a current in the brain that escapes at the moment of death he chooses to interpret it as the soul. Of course, this discovery opens all kinds of discussion from the most scientific to the most extreme religious groups.
When he and an old Muslim schoolmate and friend decide to create simulations of his brain to test their theories on the soul. They put it on the computer and find that cannot be eliminated despite all their high tech knowledge. With three simulations loose on the Internet they do Peter's deep thoughts, things become frightening and desperate.
Add to all this Peter's dilemma over his wife's infidelity and you have a futuristic mystery with drama, stress and ethics problems thrown in. This is a thoroughly entertaining story. A fast pace story, it is also thought-provoking and intelligent.
It's a great story. Run and buy it!!!!!
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