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Signal to Noise
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Signal to Noise

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  607 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Jack Potter puts computer cryptography to work for the highest bidder: sometimes for private corporations, sometimes for the government. Sometimes the work is legal; if not, Jack simply raises his price. But one day, Jack discovers something cloaked in the hiss of background radiation streaming past the Earth from deep space: a message from an alien civilization. One that' ...more
Paperback, 371 pages
Published June 1st 1999 by Harper Voyager (first published December 12th 1961)
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Community Reviews

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I was really trying to read something more edifying by Rushdie, but got irritated and bored and treated myself to cyberpunk plus apocalypse. It would've been like a roller coaster ride, but there were no slow spots. Cutthroat math geeks and unscrupulous aliens in a dystopic American future - breathless in its fall and ruthless as the protagonist's adversaries. He was supposed to be ruthless too, but kept calling himself a normal guy. Hmmm. But who needs a believable character when the ride is so ...more
Through most of Eric S. Nylund's "Signal to Noise," the biggest issue I had with it was that the main character, Jack, is an idiot. I'm not talking about just a slow guy. I'm talking about a guy who seems to be incapable of understanding some of the main characteristics of his milieu (his forte, his arena, his bailiwick, etc.). Here's a guy whose profession is encryption and who does side jobs for the NSA-equivalent organization of his universe. Yet, from day one, he's constantly neglecting comp ...more
Laura Converse
Eric S. Nylund has inspired me to believe that teleportation will someday be possible. Though, perhaps, it might destroy the earth. You win some, you lose some.
Lily Unterreiner
2015 Reading Challenge: "A book chosen entirely based on the cover"

Signal To Noise was an interesting read. I got pretty lucky, given that I chose it without even reading the back cover. It was not particularly original (imagine that Snow Crash and 1984 had a baby--this book is that baby), but it was fairly well-written, and I have a weakness for both hard science fiction and stories about aliens.

Overall: 8/10

Part 2 of one of my favorite duologies ever. Packed full of interesting and amazing high-science-fiction concepts, in addition to horrifying and suspenseful situations. I read it regularly.

Caveats: It can be very depressing to read if you let yourself remember that the entire human race has been reduced to less than 10 live adult humans.

I didn't like that the Asian monk delivered many of the critical insights in the book. Sure, all the main characters contributed, but I'm skeptical of so much ta
Troy Morrison
Not the best book ever, but a fun read and a few new concepts that are definitely enjoyable. Sort of like Einstein's Bridge meets "Mission Earth" (but more the former than the latter).
Miguel Duarte
What a weird book. It kinda reminds me of Snow Crash for having such an unordinary story. I feel like Nylund tried to mix too many interesting concepts into one book, and it backfired. If some of the themes had been explored in a different story, it would make this one more focused, clearer and enticing. I also disliked the main character from the very beginning (too insecure, paranoid and deceiving), which decreased the appeal of the book and led to long periods where I just didn't pick it up. ...more
Amazing! Couldn't get enough of this book.
Delicious Strawberry
This is the first book I have ever read by this author. Reading the back page revealed that this guy has degrees in science - and this shows, because some parts of this book are very technical, so this book is not really for a casual layman or someone who has never read sci fi before.

Nonetheless, I really enjoyed it. It has a good story about a future Earth and presents some good thoughts for us to chew on. Enjoying this book makes me curious about this author's other work - and that in itself s
Mark Hanley
A very interesting read. Some similarities to concepts in Neuromancer, although I found this "version" much better and more compelling. I thought the way the technology was explained was fascinating, and the way that unbelievably complex or impossible activities (by our current standards) were described as almost trivial. One of the most spectacular climaxes I've seen in a sci-fi story. I'll definitely be picking up the sequel.
Man, I've been reading a lot of terrible books lately. I have *got* to get a library card. (Moving is hard, people.)

Once again there were some interesting concepts, but the way the tech was executed was implausible and annoying, and the characters were so unsympathetic and unrelatable I began to wonder if the author had met a human before.
Kelly Flanagan
I have enjoyed Mr. Nylunds book all along. Although this one requires a sense if not an intelligence inherent in science buffs. The intense amount of computer lingo and Quantum lingo is overwhelming at best. Despite all that I enjoyed the premise of the story.
Fast-paced. Starts out like a typical cyberpunk novel, but quickly veers off in other directions. Gives lots of glimpses of an interesting world, but rushes through to an unsatisfying conclusion. A quick, fun read.
A four for the Interesting backdrop, a three for the just ok characters, and a two at best for the plot. Enjoyed parts of it, but won't bother with the sequel they try to force you into.
Takes the gritty cynicism of cyberpunk and blends it with the starry-eyed, gosh-check-out-humanity of straight SF in a matrix of five-way politico-corporate intrigue. I liked it!
Need a higher degree in math to know what the formula is in the front of the book, but some really interesting concepts and ideas about bubble theory and other physics.
As-hard-as-it-gets hard SF. Loved it, but you have to love hard SF to enjoy this one.
A crazy fun ride.
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