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The Terminal Experiment | [Robert J. Sawyer]

The Terminal Experiment

An experiment has gone terribly wrong. Dr. Peter Hobson has created three electronic simulations of his own personality. One will test life after death; another, immortality. The third one is the control unit. But now all three have escaped from Hobson's computer into the worldwide electronic matrix. And one of them is a killer.
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Publisher's Summary

An experiment has gone terribly wrong. Dr. Peter Hobson has created three electronic simulations of his own personality. One will test life after death; another, immortality. The third one is the control unit. But now all three have escaped from Hobson's computer into the worldwide electronic matrix. And one of them is a killer.

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

What the Critics Say

  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1995

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (310 )
5 star
 (93)
4 star
 (117)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (144 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (6)
Story
3.9 (141 )
5 star
 (40)
4 star
 (67)
3 star
 (22)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
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  •  
    J. Pang Earth 10-01-14
    J. Pang Earth 10-01-14 Member Since 2010

    Computational cognition, ethics, transhumanism, etc.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    107
    18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mind hormones & senses role explored in good story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Terminal Experiment to be better than the print version?

    No. The narrator would drink water without unkeying the microphone. Minimally acceptable. Good story carried me through.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Exploration of technical angles of the components of the mind.


    What didn’t you like about Paul Hecht’s performance?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    More. Please.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Herndon, VA, United States 11-29-13
    Kevin Herndon, VA, United States 11-29-13 Member Since 2011

    Checking out Brandon Sanderson's work

    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
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    62
    60
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting set of story angles"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cameron Arnold, MD, United States 12-15-11
    Cameron Arnold, MD, United States 12-15-11 Member Since 2011

    A lover of contemporary, character driven sci-fi.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    170
    17
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    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Kept me reading to the end, where it let me down."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RH BRENTWOOD, TN, United States 05-11-11
    RH BRENTWOOD, TN, United States 05-11-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
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    201
    44
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    0
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    Overall
    "Deserves 4.5 stars"

    Another compelling page-turner by RJS. With the right director, this book has all the components for a very good movie IMO.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EdgeWalkerZero 09-30-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    223
    10
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Pulpy and common- An easy listen with nothing new."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oliver 04-27-10
    Oliver 04-27-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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    162
    58
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    3
    28
    Overall
    "Cool sci-fi"

    Really interesting concept. A little out there, but still easy to listen to and hold my attention.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Byron Holloway 12-11-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    49
    4
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    Overall
    "It was "meh""

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Lakeside, CA, United States 01-08-11
    Debbie Lakeside, CA, United States 01-08-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    102
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    3
    Overall
    "zzzzzzzzzzzzz"

    In all fairness, I didn't give this book much of a chance. Just did't like the writing style or the story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Tampa, FL, USA 01-27-10
    Douglas Tampa, FL, USA 01-27-10 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    138
    16
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    0
    4
    Overall
    "Interesting Listen"

    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!!!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Lane Sydney Australia 01-23-10
    Barbara Lane Sydney Australia 01-23-10 Member Since 2008

    Audio Books only

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    26
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    Overall
    "Fast pace and really worth a listen!!!"

    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!!!!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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