"A writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation" (New York Times) concludes his mindbending trilogy.
Webmind - the vast consciousness that spontaneously emerged from the infrastructure of the World Wide Web - has proven its worth to humanity by aiding in everything from curing cancer to easing international tensions. But the brass at the Pentagon see Webmind as a threat that needs to be eliminated. Caitlin Decter - the once-blind 16-year-old math genius who discovered, and bonded with, Webmind - wants desperately to protect her friend. And if she doesn't act, everything - Webmind included - may come crashing down.
BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and read by author Robert J. Sawyer.
Listen to the rest of the WWW Trilogy.
©2011 Robert J. Sawyer (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Sawyer shows mastery in his ability to move between complex scientific concepts and genuine and realistic characters....Wonder...is fast-paced and immediately engaging." (The Globe and Mail)
"The shining star of this near-perfect production is Jessica Almasy as the sweet teenager who introduces WebMind to the world. Her equal is Marc Vietor, the voice selected by the machine because of his brilliant work reading audiobooks. (Good inside joke there.) This story, the audiobook equivalent of a page-turner, challenges the listener to pick a side: human or machine. The answer is surprising." (Audiofile)
l'enfer c'est les autres
The series definitely makes the listener think. The author has the protagonist's math Professor named Heidegger for a reason. I had no problem with how the author steps through the creation of the self-aware entity into its understanding of its being about being, and is engagement in the world as an other. Heidegger (the real philosopher) if anything is nothing but a refutation of Descartes and his 'cogito ergo sum'. I'm not bothered at all by the author taking two entirely different approaches to the question of our own existence and self awareness (Heidegger v Descartes). This little novel provokes as a good science fiction should always.
I particularly enjoyed Caitlin's father, Malcolm. The author presents the character in a realistic fashion as someone who is on the Asperger Spectrum. It was a clever way to use him as a reflection to how some humans as well as an AI might see the world differently than neuro-typicals do.
The author gives voice to atheist and pretty much just assumes a progressive political world view. There was one theme that the author really pressed throughout the book, and that is you don't have to become like your enemy in order to defeat your enemy (either when fighting a bully or when fighting those who want to destroy you because your different).
The voice acting was superb and the discussions the characters have on the nature and evolution of consciousness are enlightening.
I'm a huge fan of Audible. I tend to listen to mostly science fiction, but I try to get to every genre. I listen mostly on my drive to work. I'm also on Goodreads.
I listened to all three books. The narration in this book was one of the best.
The ending was wonderful. This was a good stand alone, but a wonderful ending to the entire series.
Jessica Almasy as Caitlin (or Kaitlin, sorry not sure of spelling) did a fantastic job. I alway enjoy Marc Vietor, and I really enjoyed the reference to Webmind using this narrator as his voice.
I enjoyed the entire book, but the Epilogue was a nice closing.
Highly recommend the entire series to science fiction fans or anyone that enjoys a book about humanity.
The final book of the Robert Sawyer's WWW series, "Wonder" attempts to answer the ultimate question: Can an entity who knows everything. Unlike the first two books, however, it appears that Sawyer was attempting to make "Wonder" more accessible to those who had not read the previous volumes. A good 1/3 of the book involves the characters recapping action that occurred in the previous two books. This repetition becomes tedious at times, and detracts from the narrative flow of the story. I think from the onset, this story was broken down to be a trilogy, however, the final act, edited appropriately could have been told in two volumes instead of 3.
Jessica Almasy & Mark Vietor continue with their excellent characterizations from the point of view of Caitlyn and "the entity". The production greatly suffers for the disappearance of Jennifer Van Dyke's narration of the Primate Researcher Shoshanna. The passages from her point of view are ready by Almasy in this production. While there is nothing technically wrong with Almasy's characterization, her intonation and emphasis differ greatly from what we might have heard had Van Dyke had continued with the role. With the three volumes being a "tight" package, this change is somewhat jarring.
You will have to make up your own mind, about how satisfied you are with the ending of the series. Perhaps it takes the well known exclamation "Information longs to be Free." to the extreme, and I still am not very settled with how "the entity" manipulates people as a means to the end he seeks. In "Wake", "the entity" is given his prime directive by Caitlyn and the bulk of the story revolves around how an independent observer with virtually unlimited power would achieve that end.
Completing my thoughts across the books, however, I was very entertained by Sawyer's writing style and enlightened by his knowledge of both pop culture and hard science, blending it together into an interesting brand of science fiction that is highly contemporary and teeters on the edge of the possible. This was the first of his works I've read and I'm eager to go back and check out his other writings, especially the original novel "Fast Forward" upon which the ill fated ABC series of the same name was based. It will be fun to see what was actually intended and left hanging by the aborted production.
I felt like I was being lectured to. Even if I agree with the authors philosophy, I still felt it was in my face. I don't like being preached to! I think almost 1/2 of the last book is preaching, including one 25 min. lecture. That was torture. If it wasn't the second to last chapter, I would have stopped listening then.
The story was good, but I think he forgot to finish hobo's part. The humans never even realized that he had web sight too, and was painting it. I waited for that the whole trilogy.
non, I think I would have liked to see some of the characters developed more.
The readers were fantastic, one of the best I have heard yet.
Clinical treatment and research awareness. Sci-fi to Science to Maximim PC/parenting. How to best network HDMA? 70% SciFi-thrillers-30% science
This is one of the most memorable books/series I have ever read. I am always on the lookout for anything by Sawyer. His first book on this was my intro to him and I was awed.
This is the third book in the trilogy. The first one was good, it established the background of the story. It felt disjointed and when the second book came along (the best of the three) it finally became a real story. I was excited to hear the third book. The last part of the trilogy was more about the government response than anything else. I was extremenly disappointed in the Caitlin Deckter part of the book. It went from a story of an emerging woman and her relationshp with Webmind, to one of a teenage girl who's thoughts of her boyfriend took center stage.The ads for the book talked about the Chinese man who partly created Webmind was part of the effort to dismember him. False advertising. How the book ended reminded me of a Doctor Who episode merged with Colossus: The Forbin Project. Very disappointing ending. A very cold ending.
It appears Sawyer is a good writer and I will read more of his books. He weaves a good storyline.
After time, the voice of Caitlin was annoying. I enjoyed Colonel Hume presentation. Sounded very government.
No extreme reaction, just good listening. Did not tug my heartstrings.
A good trilogy, just don't listen to the last chapter
A compelling argument for the origin-point and consequences of self-actualized A.I. -- Set in the ultra-near future-- Like, no kidding, next week "near future" --This story meshes golden-age style theorizing-- think Asimov-- with modern social consciousness-- think Doctorow-- and gets a very tailored and interesting result. A trifle slow to start in the first book, but once he gets going, Sawyer introduces more new ideas per-page than most contemporary sci-fi plot-lines. And he does it without fantastic or incredible elements-- outside of the perfect timing and collusion of real, albeit extremely rare, phenomena.
Now, I like explosions and ancient alien races a whole lot, just like most fans of this genre-- and this book doesn't go there. Instead of fantastic adventure outside of time and galaxy, we are plunged into the fantastic adventure that is our current lifestyle in advanced countries around the world. Sawyer could be offered a TED fellowship after this. I only have one critique about the story telling--it's just that---well, listening to teenage girls swooning over boys is a lot to ask, and not something I seek out. However, the sappy, love-struck, giddiness provides an emotional counterpoint that serves as a vehicle for several powerfully original suppositions about the consequences of social media. So...I guess it's a wash.
In short: A great story for idea junkies like me, not so great for hardcore fans of space-opera/ray-gun type science fiction. To the author: Thanks man! I wouldn't have learned about "confabulation" without you!
This was a total suprise. I can't find the words to praise this masterpiece! It was a long time since I found a recently written book so exciting. Not only the topic focusing on blindness is fresh, the story is exciting, full of fresh innovative ideas. Of course the singularity idea is not new per se but it doesn't hinder the story at all, it enriches the thema. I couldn't wait for every next chapter. Jessica Almasy's narration is excellent, you can't wish for any better. It perfectly fits to the character. Her voice is also very easily comprehensible and pleasure to listen to. I can't recommend this book high enough to anybody who would like to see one of the possible outcomes of the inevitable singularity phenomenon.
Having a series on television has definitely had an effect on Sawyer's writing style. This book, though mildly entertaining and well-read by the narrators, was still a dumbed-down take on William Gibson's Neuromancer. At least he gave Gibson a few hat-tips in the book. It should probably be in the young adult category, not grown-up sci-fi.
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