Jake Sullivan has cheated death: he's discarded his doomed biological body and copied his consciousness into an android form. The new Jake soon finds love, something that eluded him when he was encased in flesh: he falls for the android version of Karen, a woman rediscovering all the joys of life now that she too is no longer constrained by a worn-out body. Karen's son sues her, claiming that by uploading into an immortal body, she has done him out of his inheritance. Even worse, the original version of Jake, consigned to die on the far side of the moon, has taken hostages there, demanding the return of his rights of personhood. In the courtroom and on the lunar surface, the future of uploaded humanity hangs in the balance.
Mindscan is vintage Sawyer - a feast for the mind and the heart.
"Sawyer lucidly explores fascinating philosophical conundrums." (Entertainment Weekly)
"A tale involving courtroom drama, powerful human emotion and challenging SF mystery. Sawyer juggles it all with intelligence and far-reaching vision worthy of Isaac Asimov." (Starlog)
"Sawyer deftly examines what a future might be like in two neighboring countries that have become polar opposites. And he focuses on the legal and moral ramifications involved in various definitions of humanity in an intriguing and stylistically fine story. Grade: A." (Rocky Mountain News)
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Entertaining, but not Sawyer's Best
Robert Sawyer is a talented writer, and has a strong grasp of science. His work is definitely worth reading.
I can only give this book a lukewarm recommendation. Unlike other books of his, much more of Sawyer's liberal politics creep into this one. I don't have a problem with characters having liberal or conservative politics, but when the author's politics are embedded into the overall fabric of the book, I find it a turn-off. At one point in the book, there is a courtroom trial that is laughable, with both counsels and witnesses given off-topic soliloquies that would never be allowed and seem to have no other purpose than to provide the reader with information that the author wants us to know.
In many ways this is the most Canadian of Sawyer's works:
*Toronto is the center of the universe
*The university of Toronto is Harvard
*Guns are bad, even to touch
*Queue jumping or getting better treatment because you have money is wrong
*Global warming is real and will make Canada uncomfortably hot in just 10-20 years.
*The collective is more important than the individual
Sawyer's favorite topics seem recycled in this book:
The book misses many opportunities to be more interesting and relevant. For example, a character makes a decision based on information that he will die soon. He changes his mind when he finds out he'll live after all. Is it really reasonable that Sawyer treats him like a whiner who's being unreasonable? Also the way things end up seems messy with no clear theme, moral, message, etc. It's a bit like the work of Robin Cook where meaningless conflict is used to give a sense of drama which is rather hollow.It's almost as if Sawyer was on autopilot or lost interest in his story and finished it anyway. Perhaps he retouched some old story he had in a drawer.
To be clear the premise of the story is very interesting and the setup is quite good. It's after that, that the story disappoints. It does remain listenable and entertaining, but in a very insubstantial, fluffy sort of way.
The narrator does a great job.
While worth listening, I would read other Sawyer titles first. It's not a 4-star read.
- John C. "Born with earbuds."
A most intriguing and disconcerting book
Makes You Think
I enjoyed the back knowledge regarding the topics discussed.
My favorite character had to be Karen. She was so well read and her words almost ALWAYS came easy to her. She had a certain calmness to her even when faced with a struggle.
Yes, but I made sure to break it up so that I can make it last longer.
This is a book I chose for no apparent reason and I am extremely glad I did. It is absolutely marvelous a book. If you enjoyed Robocalypse, this is even better. It get's into your head, makes you think about what you would do in this case and the book takes a detour that perhaps you may not think was coming. GREAT writing.
The premise of this book is so far fetched and yet none of it seemed fake. It was rooted deeply in some hard science. The writer is excellent as merging the science and the social in a way that was truly entertaining.