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The Silicon Man

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  105 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Science fiction novel by author Charles Platt.
Paperback, 327 pages
Published February 1st 1998 by Hardwired (first published February 1st 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Karen
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
COnsidering that the book is 26 years old, the story was great and the characters believable.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
This is one of those novels about the wonders of cyberspace. Published in 1991 it's set in 2030, in a near future that has become stagnant and has taken limits to the future for granted. Enter James Bayley, FBI agent who stumbles onto a top secret project called Lifescan: an attempt to create a cyber-immortality--a silicon man. The novel plays very much like a technothriller by Michael Crichton or Dean Koontz, only taking place in the future rather than in a contemporary setting. It's well-writt ...more
Brian
Aug 08, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Deus-Ex fans
An enjoyable thriller as well as an interesting take on how the Internet and virtual reality were perceived before Prodigy and AOL. For all the cyberpunk-dystopian hints extensions that aren't fully explained or don't make the most sense (why do the meat-is-too-resource-intensive-to-be-sustained-so-we're-all-vegans always mention soy steaks or soy burgers, and never veggie stir frys?), there is still a good sense of believability to the tale. Maybe that's just because it's still set a few decade ...more
Ashley Walker
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
An influential story feeling out the dream of being able to download a human intelligence into a computer where provided no one in the real world pulls the plug one could become immortal.
I would have liked to see the story continue to investigate the consequences of such technology on society. Platt hints at economic chaos and the end of the big corporate system but I think this is just wishful thinking and his ideas are very sketchy. He also fails to tackle the question of where this leaves th
...more
Isabel (kittiwake)
Dec 03, 2011 rated it liked it
When FBI agent James Bayley decided to do a solo investigation how the scientific Life Scan project has been allowed to eat up billions of pounds of funding over 30 years while apparently being a total failure, he finds that he has bitten off more than he can chew. This is an interesting early novel about the possibilities of transferring the human mind into cyberspace and the consequences for both individuals and society. Unfortunately, once the setting moves from L.A. into cyberspace it seems ...more
Erica Dietlein
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Where did this book go? Why did it's super successful first printing go completely ignored? It's well done, intriguing sci-fi, but also... will maketh one very uncomfortable, I think. Very. In an introspective and speculative sort of way. I will disagree with almost everything I see the author saying with this book: I DON'T LIKE IT, but it was good, and it was provocative, as it should be, and as it was intended. I tip my hat to you, sir. (The end of the first chapter was still unnecessary. And, ...more
AshOfYggdrasil
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
The concepts are reasonably interesting, and the set-up leads you to expect a tech-heavy, hard sci-fi noir. Unfortunately, the book feels dated and its delivery falls flat through 2-d stereotyped characters and unexplored threads. The ending is pitifully weak, not to mention abrupt and (to my mind) nonsensical.

I totally agree with the reviewer below who references Deus Ex as a more considered and realistic perspective on transhumanism.
MamaCarrie
Aug 31, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A plausible, well-crafted narritive exploring cyberspace in a wholly new and very refreshing way." - William Gibson

I am engaged and thinking about the downloading of our consciousnesses in a new light.

Also, this one is somewhat staged in the San Jose/Santa Cruz area, so neat to try to figure out where on the coast the characters are at in this post-depression and post-epidemic future.
Simon
Jul 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Starts off as an SF thriller exploring concepts of virtual reality and the computability of consciousness and takes that to see how an anarcho-capitalist utopia might be realised.
Simon
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't remember anything about this book!
Brian R. Mcdonald
Jun 12, 2010 marked it as books-with-go-references  ·  review of another edition
Go reference on p.19.
Nick
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Predicted some of the cool / scary things that computers today can do 25 years ago. Interesting or scary now... cool when I was a young adult.
Jonathan
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JM
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From wikipedia:

Charles Platt (born in London, England, 1945) is the author of 41 fiction and nonfiction books, including science-fiction novels such as The Silicon Man and Protektor (published in paperback by Avon Books). He has also written non-fiction, particularly on the subjects of computer technology and cryonics, as well as teaching and working in these fields. Platt relocated from England t
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