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Acts of the Apostles (Mind Over Matter Series)
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Acts of the Apostles (Mind Over Matter)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  28 reviews
March 1990: American-led forces assemble in Saudi Arabia for "Desert Storm", the largest military operation since the Normandy Invasion. Meanwhile, across the globe in Massachusetts, in a former textile mill that's been converted to the home of legendary computer company Digital Microsystems, computer chip designer Todd Griffith is working past dark during a late winter sn ...more
Kindle Edition, 372 pages
Published (first published November 17th 1999)
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John Sundman
Sep 02, 2009 John Sundman rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Writing a novel is hard work.
Jeffrey Zeldman
Am currently rereading John Sundman's bravura first novel, more than ten years after reading it the first time. On the surface, it is a compulsively page-turning, highly assured thriller, scarier and more propulsive than most. A software developer whose marriage and career are in the toilet must clear himself of a crime he didn't commit. To clear himself, he must penetrate and expose a deadly global conspiracy - all the while staying barely a step ahead of the police, the people who are expertly ...more
The author provided a copy of this book in exchange for a review.

(Note: Acts of the Apostles is part of a three book “set” which includes Cheap Complex Devices and The Pains. It isn’t quite right to use the word “series” or “trilogy”, since the relationship between the books is more mathematical/logical in nature. This review covers the first book only. When I’ve completed my reading of the “set”, I’ll post a link here to my review of the books as a group.)

Acts of the Apostles takes the reader i
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scribble Orca
Nov 03, 2010 Scribble Orca rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of techno/bio/cyber thrillers
Recommended to Scribble by: John Sundman
This is a long novel, with plenty of twists and turns. The intricate nature of the plot and some of the subject material of this book resemble The Bourne Identity, Tom Clancy's works or Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy. So if you're a fan of corporate and international espionage, techno-bio thrillers with a sci-fi feel, apocalypse, races-against-the-clock, quirky-but-fun characters, this is for you.

The plot kept me reading - where was it going, how was it going to be resolved. Some of the chara
Jun 18, 2008 Blixco rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who likes cyberpunk
John is a friend, so this review is biased.

That being said, his writing here...the idea, the story, the characters...are right on. If you have been involved in technology, and especially if you were involved in technology in the early 90s and know DEC, you'll recognize the setting and scenes. This was a technology still capable of discovery, no web 2.0 market strategy saturation, no glass-eyed cynicism.

John makes cyberpunk approachable for the average geek. He brings his own experiences in the
Chuck Leduc
Two of my top ten books of the turn of the century are Cheap Complex Devices and Acts of the Apostles by John Sundman. These are two of the richest and most complex pieces of fiction produced in a contemporary, technically proficient vein. He has written only three books, but he has a mastery of literary structure that takes you by surprise. They mangled my mind.

I suggest starting with Acts of the Apostles. This is presented as a very straightforward Neal Stephenson or Crichton thriller, like Sn
Timothy Ward
Acts of the Apostles stands out as an inside look into the possibilities of combining advanced computer programming, conspiracy theories and the future of nanotechnology. Mr. Sundman coaxes the story with characters you really care about, even though they make some pretty bad decisions. At one point I had to put the book down I was so mad at them. While that may sound bad for the book, it really is a testament to how engaged I was with their lives. The main character is a computer programmer str ...more
Wendy White
Oct 23, 2010 Wendy White rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Wendy by: Scribble Orca
I thoroughly enjoyed this, and anyone who enjoys thrillers/crime stories with a tech edge will find it worth the read. This will also sate your nanopunk and biopunk cravings nicely. There are some very enjoyable characters, although it is the mystery, the why and how, that kept me hooked. This is definitely a book worth adding to your cyberpunk collection, particularly if you enjoyed Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age.

The pacing is quite good, and there are a few pay-offs for people who Pay Attentio
About Acts of the Apostles by John F.X. Sundman: Be nice to yourself. Read this book. I would send a copy of this book to every sentient individual I know if I could.

Is it a techno-thriller? Yes. Or is it science fiction (with solid Science in every nanothought)? Yes. Is it a page-turning, midnight-oil-burning, international-conspiracy mystery? Yes. Or is it a brilliant satire that will terrify you with the recognition of how annihilatingly destructive our own inventiveness may prove to be? Yes.
Douglas Ridgway
Acts of the Apostles will be remembered as the first great thriller of the era of synthetic biology. Written during the height of the 90's Silicon Valley boom, Acts blends together different arenas of new technology, both silicon and carbon-based, with high finance, humor, and the usual thriller quotas of violence, mystery, and sex. The technological ideas are detailed, wide-ranging, and largely plausible; by themselves they'd be worth the price of admission. And yet there's a good novel attache ...more
Peter B
I stumbled onto this book by complete accident, couldn't stop reading the sample, and then had hard time putting the book down. Author presents us with an interesting take on what the convergence of nano technologies, biology, brain research and advances in computers can lead to. But it's not a rambling boring academic treatise:the plot holds you in its intricately woven techno grip until the very last pages. Characters are crisp and rich, descriptions are vivid, pace is fast. There quite a few ...more
Andy Strain
This is the first book in the Mind Over Matter series (a 3 book series). An amazing read it is! Kind of a cross between William Gibson's Neuromancer and George Orwell's 1984. The plot is solid and the characters are interesting as well. For me, it was a major page turner. Very highly recommended!
A smart book with lots of hidden jokes and references if you're a geek... it does show its age a bit, and some of the renamed references are pretty thinly veiled (espresso / Java), but all in all I had a lot of fun reading it.

What it reminded me of was reading William Gibson's books again, or reading Cryptonomicon: you think "I've seen this before" and then it dawns on you that this book was written way before any of the contents was common-place. Viewed in that context I have to applaud Sundman
Eric Hellman
After reviewing John Sundman's Biodigital, I promised to report back after reading Acts of the Apostles which shares about 60% of its text.

It's very unusual for a lay reader to have access to two versions of a book in this way. Biodigital is partly the result of the sort of editorial work that goes on behind the scenes of publishing, and to read Acts is to become aware of sausage making that is usually invisible.

The bottom line is that Biodigital is a much better book. You won't miss anything if
J.E. Jr.
Nov 23, 2010 J.E. Jr. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore computer users
Shelves: fiction
A good, fun read. After a somewhat complicated start, this one will draw you in and keep you interested.

I read it as an ebook; I'm not sure if it is available in print. It reads well as etext, which seems a bit fitting given the subject (though it feels a little dated, set in the mid-90s). There were a few annoying artifacts which I am pretty sure are the fruit of using Smashwords, not poor editing. But overall, it was well laid-out and flowed well in iBooks.
Andy Oram
There is plenty in this book for many types of readers: a thriller, a sci-fi fantasy, a mind-jerking philosophical challenge, a peek at the gene-splicing future. (I should admit I'm a colleague of the author.) I found a lot of standard elements in the book, but always tweaked and twisted enough to throw me off-balance and keep me wondering what would happen next. You can't take anything for granted while reading it.
Well written cyber that gets technology & computers (as well as wall street) right. I find myself re-reading it for the sheer entertainment value...
Matt Comstock
Read like Gibson, Stephenson, Crichton, Lincoln&Child, Richard K. Morgan...A great book. Gotta find more by this guy.
I'm going to hold off reviewing the individual work until I've read the trilogy.
Todd Griffith is a hardware guy developing the Kali chip which is severely off schedule. Arrogant or not, Todd's never been late before and he blames it on his new junior partner, Pavel the Weirdo. Rather than working around his design flaws like Casey, his previous partner, Pavel follows the specs precisely and thereby placing the burden on Todd to troubleshoot and fix. On this particular evening, Todd is going after the most elusive bug and when he triumphantly figures it out he realizes that ...more
Philip Robar
If you were a Sun Microsystems employee you'll especially enjoy this book. There are numerous insider references to early Sun history—John was an early, mostly east coast, Sun employee.
This book just tried too hard, combining a potentially-interesting tech-hip plot with conspiracy theory, gratuitous sex and philosophy, and all sorts of bizarre sub-plots that read like a collection of ideas from a writing journal.
surprisingly good "what if Bill Gates was evil" novel.
Poor editing and nothing new made this debut novel so-so.
Jeff Karpinski
Decent tech thriller. Drags a bit in the middle.
Martin Frost
some very interesting ideas
Pat Elvidge
Pat Elvidge marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2015
John Muñoz
John Muñoz marked it as to-read
Jun 16, 2015
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