We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Factoring Humanity Audiobook

Factoring Humanity

Regular Price:$19.60
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

In the near future, a signal is detected coming from the Alpha Centauri system. Mysterious, unintelligible data streams in for ten years. Heather Davis, a professor in the University of Toronto psychology department, has devoted her career to deciphering the message. Her estranged husband, Kyle, is working on the development of artificial intelligence systems and new computer technology utilizing quantum effects to produce a near-infinite number of calculations simultaneously.

When Heather achieves a breakthrough, the message reveals a startling new technology that rips the barriers of space and time, holding the promise of a new stage of human evolution. In concert with Kyle's discoveries of the nature of consciousness, the key to limitless exploration - or the end of the human race - appears close at hand.Sawyer has created a gripping thriller, a pulse-pounding tour of the farthest reaches of technology. Factoring Humanity is a 1999 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel.

©2003 Robert J. Sawyer (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"[T]his is exciting, readable science fiction that will take you where no one has gone before - and you'll never forget the ending." (Amazon.com review)
"An intelligent and absorbing double-stranded narrative." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (403 )
5 star
 (131)
4 star
 (148)
3 star
 (88)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (12)
Overall
3.8 (358 )
5 star
 (114)
4 star
 (128)
3 star
 (76)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (12)
Story
4.2 (353 )
5 star
 (149)
4 star
 (134)
3 star
 (49)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Martin 11-01-16
    Martin 11-01-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fun approach on quantum theory"

    Lovely narrated. Interesting approach to quantum theory. Stereotypic persons and some simplifications disturbed me a bit. Overall enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walter 07-16-15
    Walter 07-16-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I didn't expect to cry..."

    Great science, great drama and even a great love story . thoughtful and optimistic. this book is even spiritual . a must read .

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 09-27-14
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 09-27-14 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3556
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    508
    428
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    323
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Artist Can Use Old Tools"

    The twin entwining plots of this tale are as classic as the names Asimov, Clarke, and Bradbury. But look, plots are to writers as brushes are to painters. I don't know a composer who fails to diddle with key, or photographers who avoid negative space because others have used it. Nope… they're all tools.

    And so in "Factoring" Sawyer churns at least two mature hunks of red meat through his grinder, mixes them with clever spices, then cooks and presents the dish deliciously. If there's a problem it's that he's got a tendency here to get pretentious and a tad corny. But hey… corn sells with me, especially when it's popped, hot, buttered and salty.

    Katherine Kellgren's very good and perhaps, given the echoes from romance literature, we'll the book fits better into the mind and mouth of an excellent woman. Kellgren's made it her own.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone 06-28-14
    Simone 06-28-14 Member Since 2016

    Follow me on Goodreads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1398
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    681
    560
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    101
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't Get Enough!"

    This is the ninth Robert J Sawyer book I’ve read and it’s the ninth I have LOVED! LOVED! LOVED!

    He is a hit every time! I can’t get enough of the stories and the themes he dreams up; his books are so good they are plan-cancelling good! I love how he makes me think and ponder fascinating scenarios… they are always so engrossing - I just want more!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JACOB 03-05-14
    JACOB 03-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    153
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "APPALING!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Not sure this book is for anyone. Horrible hodgepodge of science, mathematics and psychology held together by incest/sexual child abuse.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert J. Sawyer again?

    never


    What three words best describe Katherine Kellgren’s performance?

    decent enough


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    no. it was absurd


    Any additional comments?

    'nuff said!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SamanthaG Marietta GA 05-10-13
    SamanthaG Marietta GA 05-10-13 Member Since 2010

    SamanthaG

    HELPFUL VOTES
    259
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    282
    103
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "He can do better"

    Have to say that Sawyer handles aliens better than he does humans. I loved his "Calculating God", but I found this one a bit difficult what with his trying to deal with a somewhat dysfunctional human family and the resolution of marital and familial discord.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JLM Oakland, CA, United States 04-13-13
    JLM Oakland, CA, United States 04-13-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    244
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting Premise....a LIttle Sugary"
    What made the experience of listening to Factoring Humanity the most enjoyable?

    So this seems to be typical for Sawyer, great idea, don't worry I won't spoil it here, but always ends up a little sugary sweet for me. The 'tension' in his books, and this one is typical of this, just doesn't quite 'wind up' enough for me. The resolution is somewhat 'easy'... Happy Happy joy joy... Maybe it's a Canadian thing, but I wish for a little more conflict and difficulty in resolution.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N Oakleigh South, Australia 03-07-13
    N Oakleigh South, Australia 03-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    74
    34
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lacks internal logical consistency"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Robert J. Sawyer sets up the story using the scientific method and evidence that stands up to strong scrutiny, great, but,... then dumps this when it suits him to leave an illogical mess. ie a story that makes no sense. If you are going to set up a story using the scientific method and evidence that stands up to strong scrutiny you need to follow it up with a story that is plausible, even if only a little.

    Also I just did not care about the characters, as I do in a Peter F Hamilton book, for example.


    Has Factoring Humanity turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No but I will try to return this book, and may be try another of his but if that fails to then it will put me off Robert J. Sawyer, which is a shame as I think he has potential.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Having a man reading it, as a man is the main character would have made more sense.

    And the woman's voice grated on me, and she over acted, and it was not a pleasant voice to listen to, it put me of my toast!

    Maybe I have just been spoiled by listening to John Lee.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Factoring Humanity?

    The premise of the whole story. He talks about I think people who can supposedly talk to the dead as evidence for the existence of a 4th dimension where the memories of the dead and the living are stored and anyone can access them, via a machine the aliens tell us how to build. But this makes no sense as there is no evidence that stands up to strong scrutiny for anyone being able to talk to the dead or for any supernatural phenomenon, including god, and the tooth fairy. Also fyi all the feelings you have are created by the brain including any so called religious or spiritual feelings, for example feeling that a powerful supernal entity has special plans just for you, or that you are part of a greater whole etc... They are not real, so don't become deluded.


    Any additional comments?

    If Robert J. Sawyer could get his act together he could be a half way decent writer.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug in syd Sydney, Australia 02-28-13
    Doug in syd Sydney, Australia 02-28-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "soap ie science"

    If you have read other sawyer titles and enjoyed them its a safe bet you'll enjoy this one it is one of his best. if you have not read sawyer before then consider his works feel a bit like a science lesson, with a story of moral humanity woven through it.

    This style is suprisingly easy to listen to even if you don't feel your a science geek. I find his characters both enjoyable and believable. and feel like they live on after the story is complete.

    This particular story deals with people recieving a message from outer space and basically not giving a toss about it

    then your hit with the sub plot which i found hits hard due to the excellent narration and subject matter. and so the dance begins, unable to put it down you soon find yourself taking sides and trying to second guess what will happen next. totally enjoyable give it a try

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Attleboro, MA United States 02-22-13
    Lisa Attleboro, MA United States 02-22-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    161
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    817
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Probably my favorite Robert Sawyer books"

    I always worry when a book is "only" around 10 hours, that I am not getting my moneys worth. But just about all of Robert Sawyer's books grab you right away and never let you go - I mean you just can't stop listening, and there are no dull parts. Factoring Humanity is just awesome! He always has really wonderful female characters and this is no exception. But in particular, the story just feels good all around and has just enough sci-fi techno to keep it modern!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.