The Terminal Experiment
Dr. Peter Hobson has created three electronic simulations of his own personality. But they all have escaped from Hobson's computer into the web-and one of them is a killer.
Winner: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1996)
Nominee: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1996)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1996)
The Terminal Experiment took a little while to set up the story. The beginning wasn't uninteresting, just not specifically about what it proposed to be about. It did weed its way into that about halfway through and I ended up being satisfied.
This book begins with a scientist in Canada who develops technology to assess when a person actually dies (not just when the doctor...more
I have yet to read a bad Robert J. Sawyer tale! True, I have not read a lot of them – the WWW trilogy, Flashforward, Mindscan – yet the flavor of these later stories pretty much began with his first Nebula award-winning novel, The Terminal Experiment.
As the author explained in his preface, he wrote this in the 1990s during the infancy of the Internet and the World Wide Web and did not want to update the story, yet this does not majorly affect the relevancy of the story nor...more
Uno dei primi romanzi di Sawyer, e probabilmente il primo ad essere stato tradotto in italiano. La vicenda contiene molti elementi che saranno comuni nei suoi romanzi: l'ambientazione canadese, il protagonista scienziato, i problemi in famiglia, l'intelligenza artificiale, la riflessione tra scienza e fede.
Il romanzo è piacevole da leggere, anche se è un po' discontinuo nel tema: parte con una vicenda (che non è quella presentata nell'imprecisa qua...more
I will give the Nebulas this -- they gave the award to a 2-star book rather than a 1-star one. But, man, this guy can't write as well as he thinks he can.
"Pseudo was about fifty, and as slim as the Leafs' chances in the Stanley Cup."
Not so good stuff.
The book reads like a second rate Robin Cook thriller. (And I've only read one Robin Cook novel, and that was enough)
It's not science fiction. Any speculative imagining is way out of date, and really doesn't go far enough. Hell, the idea of a killer AI was probably cliche and passe 5 minutes after it was created.
It's really hard to believe this book won the Nebula, must have been a off year.
I skipped through large sections of the book and wasn't lost in the slightest. It takes a good 1/3rd of th...more
Sawyer correctly predicted how the internet would explode and be incorporated into our PCs, phones, appliances, and our home. He foresaw the mobile smart phone and tablet computing. There are some other things he gets wrong, but that is always the fun of reading older science fiction predictions.
On the scien...more
The premise, in this case, is "what if there was proof of a soul?" The book can't be completely boiled down to that, there are other big questions explored, such as the afterlife, the nature of moral...more
Then Dr. Hobson wonders what it is like to "be" a soul - a soul minus a body. So, Peter and Dr. Sarkar, a Muslim schoolmate and friend, decide to create simulations of Peter's brain to test...more
Essentially a story...more
Characterization isn't really what Sawyer does. I can overlook that fault in science fiction if the story and 'what-if' premises are interesting enough.
Positing the existence of a demonstrable soul, well, all right, that's interesting enough, and the beginning fairly flew along. The story, after that, turns into a murder mystery. I liked Illegal Alien, also by Sawyer, and also a murder mystery, very...more
Along with this engrossing murder mystery, lies a host of attendant intriguing social, political, religious, and philosophical questions. They stem from the main character's creation of a monitoring device that p...more
Life extension seems to be one of the recurring themes in his works and, it played a minor role here too. A lot of the debate around the Soulwave centered around the fact that immortality would prevent the soul from leaving the body.
Also at the heart of this is a sp...more
The story is about two extremely smart people, who are friends, and who each develop an amazing technology that are somehow ge...more
“I know,” said Peter. “But if the soul is anything like what people believe it to be like—just the mind, w...more
The Terminal Experiment is yet another novel about identity (I seem to be reading a lot of these currently). Peter's wife cheats on him, so he does what any man in his position would do. He has his brain fully scanned and uploaded into a computer and then creates three distin...more
This is an entirely engrossing, story, a sci-fi murder mystery. As I have come to expect from reading all of Sawyer's later books, the story makes you think about a variety of philosophical and pragmatic issues that lie behind technology. In this case the issues arise when the main character creates a device that can capture a "soulwave", that energy that leaves a body when...more
I gather it was written in the mid 90s. It was set in 2012, so it was immensely interesting to see what 90s Sawyer thought today was going to look like. He anticipated smart houses (though I guess Bradbury had already done that.) Also portable GPS, though his didn't give turn by turn directions, just a MapQuest -like interface on the car dashboard. Also a TiVo like program that searched for programs on TV and records them, though, hilariously, it reco...more
However, once picked it up wasn't going to touch the shelf! An incredible story, fast paced and extremely likeable. Written in 1995 and set in 2011, it's interesting to see what the author had created for a period 20 years in the future. Some of what he's written is already here. Some might be here. Some might still be the figment of our imaginations, or already here, albeit...more
Sawyer's books are not only excellent and well-paced stories, they also cause me to think about the issues and themes in a much more profound way than those of most other authors. It had been a while since I'd read one of Sawyer's books, and I forgot how much I enjoy them.
I had a few quibbles with the boo...more
Sawyer introduces too many themes to deal well with all of them. His protagonist is well-realized, but the other characters do not emerge as complex multi-faceted people. Yet, Sawyer en...more
Robert Sawyer grew up in...more