"If we're not in pain, we're not alive."
One of the quotes before the novel starts is:
"you will die like a dog for no good reason"
And the quote that starts the first chapter is one by Ted Bundy!
But still, it's a sci-fi book about consciousness...how could I not love it?
I've always loved Science Fiction, and not just because books about the future are inherently cool. The reason I've always...more
And then he slowly unfurls idea after idea that link together into a shillelagh to bash your brain in. At one moment near the end,...more
"There have always been those tasked with the rotation of informational topologies, but throughout most of history they had little to do with increasing its clar...more
Blindsight is a very imperfect creation. It sputters and starts, it rears it's head, looks around, drops a poop on your lawn and asks you to just figure it out in your spare time please. I'm going to piggy back a little bit on some of the great reviews I just read (especially Ma...more
"Oh hi, did you know that according to Game Theory the most efficient cooperative strategy is reciprocal altruism?"
Game theory may not be common knowledge, but it's hardly arcane either. The UK actually has a TV show built around it.
Same goes for bleeding edge opinions on consciousness, neurology, lin...more
It's certainly a gutsy choice to have a person with no empathy as your main character, but it's pretty hard to get readers to care about someone who has only a vaguely intellectual interest in other people. Especially if the story is told in the first person by this character.
So as a result, we know that one guy is a vampire, and another guy has some kind of prosthetic senses, and there...more
Fantastic exploration of 'what if' centered on consciousness and alien life. Discussion of self-consciousness includes the often overlooked questions: What good is it? Is self-consciousness necessary for intelligence? And, on which side of the evolutionary intelligence curve does it truly fall? -- This, and more -- so many more discussion points have been planted in Blindsight, my head reeled.
Premise: After being probed, Earth identifies an alien threat and sends a contact team(s) to assess and...more
Esta es una novela de primer contacto, pero maneja ideas tan complejas y poco comunes, que la alejan de cualquier otra novela que haya tratado este tema anteriormente...more
Blindsight is an excellent sci-fi novel on several fronts. We've got a meaty and complex apocalyptic aliens-arrive story; Watts somehow manages to make us care about his highly dysfunctional cast of post-human misfits, and then he comments both on the very deep philosophical issues of consciousness as well as indirectly on the problem of the Singularity.
The moderately near future. Technology has fractured the nature of "humanity", leav...more
That said this bo...more
Reading Peter Watts is like reading a synopsis of the latest issue of PopSci. His range of hard SF topics is so broad, moving easily through biochemistry, astrophysics, paleogenetics, linguistics, whatnot, that you almost need the latest SF lexicon to keep up. The mindset is something like: "Eschew the simple direct statement, find the closest sci-tech reference, no matter how obscure, and let the reader deal with it." For an SF geek, that's just, like, heaven on earth.
Blindsight is brimming wi...more
Anyway: Blindsight is a first-contact story (I'm always a sucker for those) that offers a potent blend of non-stop action and some smart ideas from information theory, ne...more
I'd recommend this to anyone interested in those ideas, and for a story about "first contact" and why we...more
So. The actual review. Summarizing this book is quite difficult without being far too parsimonious or far too verbose. It...more
I first read this book a while ago and recent conversations with a friend triggered me into reading it again. It blew me away the first time and it blew me away again on a second read. Honestly, I could read this book several times and get more from it on every go.
Peter Watts’ knowledge of biology is excellent – he has a doctorate in Marine Biology – but it doesn’t stop there. His knowledge and exploration of biology, anatomy, psyc...more
This book, like his others, is firmly based in present-day science with sensible extensions woven in where necessary for extrapolation. A marine biologist by training, he admits to having a had a lot of help writing this story since it is his f...more
I realized that this is the book that reignited my research into metaphysics and I hadn't even bothered writing a proper review on it... and I still can't because it is the most hard hitting sci-fi I've EVER read and I wouldnt want to destroy the experience for anyone planning on reading it.
What I will discuss though is one of the central and most fascin...more
The term I heard the most in reviews was "tour de force". And it was. Blindsight was a tour de force of everything Peter Watts. Or, at least, it certainly felt like it (especially in reading the end notes where the personality and "voice" of the author carried across from the fiction). It wa...more
I suppose that depends on what you use books for. Reading this, I had to face the fact that these days I read far more fantasy, horror, and even plain old fiction (thriller,...more
There were almost too many creative ideas jammed into it, without ever exploring the implications or more of the everyday situations that these would lead to. I would have liked to have a clearer picture of the society of the time and not just the small glimpses done in flashback.
The writing was almost too technical...more
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To this day, I still don't know what went wrong.”
understand how the sky could contain them all yet be so black.”