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The Soul Consortium (Soul Archives #1)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  111 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
In a future so distant that time is almost without meaning, death is defeated and immortality has been made reality through instantaneous cloning and synaptic transfer. Mankind, frustrated by the futility of timeless existence, chooses extinction. All but one man. Far removed from the known universe with only one companion, an AI named Qod, Salem Ben watches the cosmos fro ...more
Paperback, 455 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Medallion Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I can't remember the last time I read a sci-fi novel (not a big genre reader in general, aside from crime fiction). Even with films and television, my sci-fi tastes always lean to character-driven stuff, like Gattaca, BSG, Children of Men, etc., where the technology is downplayed in favor of human drama. Simon West-Bulford's The Soul Consortium straddles the two, stocked with an abundance of (very, very) distant-future tech described with such precision and detail that we rarely question its fun ...more
Paul Eckert
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Soul Consortium is the type of book that I always hope to read but rarely do. It’s smart, exciting, full of big ideas, and the ending does not disappoint. I was reminded of being a kid again, back when I first discovered my love for stories and the magic they infused in my life, before all the cynicism of adulthood or the need to deconstruct. The Soul Consortium brought that magic back, and I’m really grateful for that.

Salem Ben is the last human alive, and he’s been alive for trillions of
Richard Thomas
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Soul Consortium by Simon West-Bulford is the fractured offspring of Orson Scott Card and Philip K. Dick. This heartbreaking, mind-bending tale challenges our assumptions about life, death and the fragility of our eternal spirit. Out of the darkness and into the light, and back into the darkness once again, we root for Salem Ben, while at the same time, wishing mercy on his battered, bruised soul.
Nicholas Karpuk
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I can't be the only person who grew up loving impossibly large things? Death Stars, Dinosaurs, predictions of life thousands of years from now, it all kept me spellbound as a kid.

There are moments in the Soul Consortium that give me the same sort of giddy feeling I usually only get from stuff like Iain Banks' novels and giant Hellboy villains.

Keeping a story that spans the existence of the universe and beyond and involves galaxy murdering AI and an evil that essentially confirms that the univer
Michael Gonzalez
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fantastic Sci-Fi debut. I feel like one of the best marks of speculative fiction is losing yourself not only in the story, but also the logic. When things are laid out in a manner that has you thinking "This is so simple! Plausible! Why haven't we invented this?"

The loneliness of being the last man in the universe, the insatiable curiosity of the "why are we here?" question, all of the things that drive Salem Ben kept the story moving forward and kept me hooked in.

Simon's command of language
Edward Rathke
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
The four stars is possibly a temporary rating. Lots of thoughts to come. Probably a review somewhere.

But this is really great. Read the last 350 pages in one sitting. Highly recommended.
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book. I like it.

As a man without religion death is scary and final, and what lies beyond is not tantalizing enough for me to accept it with open arms. Rather I ignore it so I can function throughout the day without bouts of crying and fist waving at the sky. I only acknowledge my impending doom at night before I fall asleep where no one can see me casually shit myself. I say all of this only to preface the simple statement that Salem Ben is a character that hits close to home for me.

I thin
Caleb Ross
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Soul Consortium not only spans multiple universes but also manages to bring to life the spaces between the universes. This is by far the most expansive book, in terms of setting and chronology, I’ve ever read. The Soul Consortium redefines epic as a literary form.
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, deep-time
Have you ever gotten the strange feeling that you’re being watched? Have you experienced Déjà vu or had the feeling that your life may be part of something much larger; or, you’re just waiting for something unique to happen? These may just be the psychological side effects experienced by a distant-future subject who is remotely experiencing your life/soul millions of years in the future.

For most of 2015 I’ve been on the hunt for the most obscure science fiction story and I can confidently state
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of “The Soul Consortium” by Simon West-Bulford through a First-Reads giveaway.

"The Soul Consortium" is a book about Salem Ben, the last of humanity, as he searches for the answer to a question that has plagued most of humankind through most of our existence: what lies beyond death? What truly happens after one dies?

Never finding an answer, Salem passes the time – which he has plenty of in a future where man-kind is immortal until they so choose to end their existence, whic
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book in the Goodreads giveaway.
I really liked it. The author creates an interesting far far future setting, where humanity exists as uploaded data in a vast structure called the Soul Consortium. There is only one living human left, Salem Ben. He spends most of his time reliving the lives of peoples from all ages and places through the technology of the Soul Consortium. One day, he discovers that there are aberrations that should be technically impossible, and decides to inve
Wesley Fox
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant novel! Soul Consortium has incredible depth, scientific brilliance, captivating narration, and a an ending that left me asking dozens of questions about the experience. Novels like this are extremely rare.

Salem Ben is the last of his kind, an advanced human living on a vast artificial moon known as the soul consortium. The rest have chosen death rather than living millions of years without purpose. Technology allows humanity to escape death through cloning, synaptic mapping, and nann
Gareth D.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Simon West-Bulford coincidentally works on the same site as me though we'd never met before the book was released, 'The Soul Consortium' is a slick-looking volume with an eye-catching cover, though the generous type face means it's not as long as it looks. It is however a gripping read.

The setting is in the far future. I mean really far. Think Greg Egan squared. The last human, Salem Ben, lives alone with an AI, immersing himself in the recorded lives of the dead to pass the millennia. The high
Hemmie Martin
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing

5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing!, 6 April 2013
By H.M.Martin - See all my reviews

This review is from: The Soul Consortium (Kindle Edition)
I like to read a variety of genres and authors, so I thought I'd try this novel, and I'm glad I did. It is so well written that I could picture the characters and worlds traversed during the story. The characters are well fleshed out, and some of them, especially Keitus Vieta, are gross to the extent that they linger in mind after finishing the novel.
The Soul C
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Is there something after death?

When the Universe dies, can it be reborn?

What is a soul?

If Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov had a love child who studied theology/philosophy and then learned to write like a master they might have come up with a novel as deep and thought provoking as Soul Consortium by Simon West-Bulford.

Soul Consortium starts with several simple, but profound ideas and never lets up. Salem Ben, our narrator has lived for what seems like forever, but can’t seem to move on. What l
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Soul Consortium brings us Salem Ben, the last survival human being in the universe after trillion and trillion of years which, through the advanced technology is able to experiment the lives of those who no longer live. He turns this capability into his reason to live, looking for adventure at the other's experience until he finds out there's an abnormality that can risk his on life.

Simon West-Bulford wrote a spetacular thriller based in a future so far away that probably no one dare to do at li
Matthew Spampinato
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing...easily one of the best stand alone books I have ever read. All the concepts introduced to us in the novel were very well thought out and very believable. After about halfway through the book, I couldn't put it down anymore, not wanting to stop reading because I couldn't imagine how it could end. Needless to say the ending blew me away and left me wanting more. 1st class sci-fi book done right, highly recommend it to anyone that loves sci-fi and loves twists and a good end ...more
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a fan of Goodread's Five Star button, because the clarifying 'It Was Amazing' strikes me as modernist hyperbole.

The Soul Consortium is a definitive Five Star 'It Was Amazing' book. This one has everything. Big Dumb Objects and the End Of The Universe; physics and philosophy; character and charm - this runs the gamut of what modern yet nostalgic science fiction can be.

That this is a book from a first-time author, and from a small publisher, is astonishing to me. Look at the other reviews
Paul Ohlson
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Chapter one of the main characters experience of the life of Orson Roth is the single greatest chapter I have ever read in my life. The drama, the description, the end - it's like I was reading fiction on a whole other plane of existence. No pun intended.
Becky Hilton
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a really enjoyable and page-turning science fiction. I agree with other reviews that this universe and the characters have lots of potential to be expanded on. I look forward to reading more from Simon West-Bulford.
Nikki Wotherspoon

I loved reading this book. It's an absolute thrill ride for the mind. It keeps you constantly attempting to think ahead for what is coming next, for what the next revelation will be as you immerse yourself in the puzzle pieces.
Sep 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Entertaining enough read set well in the future. Keeps you gripped throughout but I would think if you ask me in a month if I remember reading it I'll probably have to check back here before answering...
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very intresting but also weird book to read, the end really left me a bit puzzled, and i had to re-read the last few pages to really grasp it.
Stephanie Hughes
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very interesting concept. While this wasn't one of those "can't put it down" books it was still a really good read. One that you need some peace and quiet to really enjoy it.
Tobacco Jones
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely outstanding. Brain food of the richest variety. A delight to read that only improves as the chapters go on. The last 100 or 200 pages are un-put-downable. Outstanding.
Sameena Jehanzeb
rated it it was amazing
Jan 13, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Apr 26, 2016
Jason Dyer
rated it liked it
Jan 13, 2016
Nathan Sims
rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2017
Bryant Jeffery
rated it it was ok
Nov 15, 2017
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Simon West-Bulford turned his attention to fiction following more than a decade of writing theological essays and tutorials for PC game level design. In 2010, his short story “Crimson Lakes” was chosen as the New Year feature story at Dark Fire. “Amiko” was published in Eternal Night: A Vampire Anthology, “Star God” appeared in This Mutant Life magazine, and a string of his short stories were feat ...more
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Soul Archives (2 books)
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