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Having read what a few of the other reviewers had to say about Echopraxia, I begin to wonder if we've listened to the same book. Let me begin by saying that I listened to Echopraxia before I ever heard of Blindsight, and I don't feel I've suffered from getting them out of order. They are both fine books.
Adam J. Rough isn't the best narrator I've listened to, but he's far from the worst. In any case, he seems to have been selected beautifully for this role.
I don't believe that this book intends to make a value judgement about religion or science or their respective roles. These are important themes in the book, and they are thoroughly explored. But this book isn't preaching to anyone, and its not trying to convince you of anything.
With the proper caveats in place, let me just say:
This book is what science fiction was meant to be.
This book inspired in me a feeling of awe that I had believed lost in the passage from childhood.
The quality of ideas explored in this novel is the standard to which I will hold all future readings.
And them's the facts.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Although this novel is set in the same universe as Blindsight, it is not a thematic sequel. There is some character overlap, and Echopraxia does deal with some of the story elements of the earlier novel. The author Peter Watts explains in the afterward that he was attempting something that many think an oxymoron: a faith-based Hard Science Fiction novel. In so doing he was not sure if he would be performing a complete face-plant. I think Echopraxia was successful. I appreciate the manner in which it portrays people with religious faith as intelligent. He even manages to let these spiritual characters get in a few good arguments against materialistic evolution. Here Watts is going against the mainstream in Science Fiction where intelligent design is routinely mocked and materialistic, atheistic evolution is habitually lauded.
I found the author’s afterwards to be thought-provoking and entertaining. In one section Watts explains his argument against free-will based on the cause-and-effect relationship for the central nervous system. This should be read by anyone interested in religion in Science Fiction. It will certainly advance the discussion in the arena of ideas.
Adam J. Rough does fine work as the narrator. I found that his female voices were first rate. He handles this primarily with subtle inflection and changes in pacing.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful