Throughout the 21st Century, our world (at least for those of us inside the NAU) has become increasingly connected. So much so that we really are now thinking as a single fluid organism, changing not just how we live our daily lives, but who we are as a species. In Sterling Gibson's newest thoughtful exploration, one of the NAU's most renowned thinkers explores and illuminates how hyperconnectivity and The Beam have changed us forever.
This book is a faux-journalistic style book is meant as an adjunct to The Beam universe, by Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt. If you don't know The Beam, this won't make much sense. If you do know The Beam, however, (and you should -- it's great), this explains a lot of things that happened pre-Beam, and gives insight on how the technology of The Beam came about, filling in holes between the (so far) two seasons of the series.
It's not just a history, though, but a thought piece on how these technologies have changed the way people think in the future. The beauty of this book is in how the fictional author extrapolates ways of thinking, living and being from the technological advances, and how, although it is SF, one can see these happening today. The best science fiction is rooted in the present, and this does not fail to shed light on our current trends of dealing with increasingly connected technology.
I am also happy to see that the author, Sterling Gibson, has begun to play a fairly pivotal role in the most recent episodes of The Beam: Season Two. Talk about hyperconnectivity!
The audio narration is fluid and easy to follow, even in some of the denser passages.I could imagine a narrator getting bogged down in the details, but that doesn't happen here. I would recommend this for anyone who has at least read the first season of The Beam, but not for anyone unversed in the universe.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
As a Beam fan, I wanted to get into this book. Basically, this thing is dense like a high school history book. The narrator made me feel like I was in a 3 hour night class lecture. There is a TON of information inside but the delivery is droning and overloading. It was a grind getting through to the end. I give props to Platt and Truant for going all in on this project. Holy cow there are DEEP storylines behind the storylines. They go so deep with background information that it is easily mistaken for a true life historical account. There are things that allude to some of the characters or environments in Seasons 1 & 2. In that way, I was excited to make the connections, but was it worth it? Your mileage may very.
great book. if u already have red the beam 1 or 2. there are no spoilers to speak of.
Science fiction is at its best when it has emotional realism as its foundation. In this regard, Plugged absolutely delivers. It is thought provoking in the extreme. Will we know we’ve gone too far only after we’ve passed the point of no return? What happens when our technology outstrips our humanity? Such are the ever-present questions in Plugged.
The book is a companion to The Beam series, but can stand alone. It starts out a little infodumpish, but I stuck with it because the fictional world of 2097 seemed like both a threat and a promise of what was to come, and I simply had to know more. I loved having this book on audio, because I could speed up the sections that I, who hadn’t already read The Beam, thought dragged a bit, and slow down and savor the really good parts.
If you’re already a fan of The Beam, Plugged will be like backstory heaven. If you weren’t already a fan, then prepare to make another purchase. You’ll be wanting more.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes. I was intrigued by how the problematic issues of population control, health care, and politics and technology on a global scale were addressed in the book.How much should we allow technology to control our lives, our health, and our social interactions with one another? This is the question this book attempts to answer and does so intelligently.
What other book might you compare Plugged to and why?
1984 by George Orwell in its way it gives a fictional historical vision of the world.
Would you listen to another book narrated by Blaine Moore?
No. I felt the narrator Blaine Moore became a huge distraction. I found it difficult to concentrate on this fascinating story because he spoke a bit too fast throughout the book and almost stumbled through the sentences especially noticeable in the introductory chapter). He didn’t really do a good job reading dialogue well either.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
It’s a scary thought to have technology control our lives to the extent described in this book, especially when our human bodies would be controlled by it. We all know what it’s like when the Internet goes down on our computer. What happens when the Internet that’s controlling you goes out? That's something I hope I never find out.
Any additional comments?
I have been a hardcore fan of Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt for years and they always offer a fresh twist to their storytelling that will leave you wanting more after each and every book.This is a book I highly recommend reading, especially if you are a science fiction fan. Thank you Johnny and Sean for writing this book.