Warren Rochelle's Reviews > WWW: Wonder

WWW by Robert J. Sawyer
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May 03, 11

Read in April, 2011

WWW:Wonder is the third book in what Sawyer is calling the WWW Trilogy (WWW = Worldwide Web, I think), and for those who haven't read the first two, here's a quick summary of the story so far, bearing in mind there are two primary intersecting plot lines. The Chinese, to protect their people from foreign influences, set up a Great Firewall, as it were, and cut off their country from the Internet/Worldwide Web. This action mysteriously creates Webmind, a sentient artificial intelligence who exists in the Web.

The other plot line is centered on Caitlin Decter,a 16-year-old mathematical genius whose family has just moved to Waterloo, Ontario, from Texas. They learn of a Japanese scientist who is able, via connections to the internet and some miraculous hardware, gives Caitlin her sight. Because of this connection she has to the internet, Caitlin discovers Webmind. Complications ensue, particularly when the US National Security Agency initially decides Webmind is a threat to human freedom and must be eliminated.

WWW: Wonder is the climax of the trilogy. Webmind, "a vast consciousness that spontaneously emerged frm the infrastructure of the World Wide Web" (after the Chinese attempt at isolation and cultural purity) is changing the world, "from curing cancer to easing international tensions." But, people are afraid, especially Colonel Peyton Hume, an expert on AI for the Pentagon and associated with the NSA, is desperately trying to bring Webmind down. He seeks helps from hackers, but they began to disapppear.

Is Webmind killing them? Can Hume take down this vast entity? Can Caitlin protect Webmind? Lots of drama (including Caitlin negotiating her own coming of age, her first boyfriend) and a few miracles thrown in--which brings me to an overall impression of what is a fun read this novel is science fiction and it is a fairy tale. The elements of the Quest are here: miraculous or unusual birth for the Hero (Webmind, of course), a road of trials as he comes of age and learns his powers, his helpers, the wise old man and a wise old woman (Caitlin's parents, I think, and her Japanese surgeon), the Quest, the descent into the realm of the dead (when Webmind is cut off from part of his self, due to a second Chinese firewall) and the return with the boon, the Grail. Webmind also, in many ways, reminds me of a fairy godfather. He has many powers, such as being able to monitor just about anything and everyone who is on or uses the web. And the ending--a spoiler maybe?--happily ever after.

Like all the Sawyer novels I have read: he has a message a drum to beat, but for the most part, he doesn't let that trump story.

Give it a look.








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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Tim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tim The WWW stands for Wake, Watch, and Wonder (the names of each book in sequence). I'm sure it's not a coincidence that it matches World Wide Web, though since it does play an important role.


Warren Rochelle Tim wrote: "The WWW stands for Wake, Watch, and Wonder (the names of each book in sequence). I'm sure it's not a coincidence that it matches World Wide Web, though since it does play an important role."

Of course! Head smack. WWW = Wake, Watch, Wonder. Definitely not a coincidence it matches World Wide Web.


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