Baron Greystone's Reviews > Implied Spaces

Implied Spaces by Walter Jon Williams
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Oct 02, 09

Read in October, 2009

The book starts out by giving you the impression that it's one thing, then it becomes another. It seems a little uncomfortable in its first incarnation. I found it a bit unsatisfying. The transition from one thing to another was OK, but again, I didn't really settle in and accept the new scenario for a while. But finally, the novel began to evolve into something interesting and thought-provoking. I enjoyed the last few plot-twists very much.

One thing the novel didn't reflect upon was the nature of its version of "immortality." If a person is reborn after each death, or his personality and memories are copied into a new form, you have a copy. A clone. But the characters all consider this to be "immortality." Frankly, the knowledge that another edition of "me" will be born to replace me should I die is only comforting in that there will be someone to care for my family after I'm gone. But me, I'll be dead. That's not immortality. My existence is over, and if there's any "afterlife," that's where I'll be. Perhaps the author just didn't want to get into this, but it was a part of the book I kept banging my head on.
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Ethan Good point on the immortality stuff. I've had discussions about virtual consciousness with friends (editing memories and so forth) and once you start doing that (or revert to a back up) you're dead, end of story, and nobody likes to be dead. A little more panic -- especially in the war scene -- would go a long way.

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