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.
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
“I know,” said Peter. “But if the soul is anything like what people believe it to be like—just the mind, w...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
Essentially a story...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
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
The story is about two extremely smart people, who are friends, and who each develop an amazing technology that are somehow ge...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
An experiment has gone terribly wrong. Dr. Peter Hobson has created three electronic simulations of his own personality. One will test life after death; another, immortality. The third one is the control unit. But now all three have escaped from Hobson's computer into the worldwide electronic...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
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
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
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
I really love a book that stimulates the mind and this is definitely fits the mold. As crazy but intellectually stimulating as it sounds to write about artificial copying of a person and then modifying it to simulate an immortal and a soul... And then make it believable!! the author did just that.
The only loose end here is that the author still thinks we'd have VCR's in 2011, but the book is still great...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.
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
Robert Sawyer grew up in...more