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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for Science Fiction

“The most unique book I have read in a very long time” - Readers' Favorite
“An astonishing combination of science and human emotions” - KindleBookReview

His universe has fallen apart, but, piece by piece, he puts it back together. He overcomes the deepest hurt he has ever experienced – the rejection of an
ebook, 304 pages
Published March 25th 2013 by Ergo Sum Publishing (first published March 23rd 2013)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  111 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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May 23, 2013 rated it liked it
As the book description suggests, this is a multi-faceted story which explores a range of topics from human will and passion to the complex issues of artificial intelligence with a side helping of sex and lust thrown in for good measure.

The key character, Bogdanov, is a clearly autistic genius whose powerful sexual urges conflict with his inability to form meaningful, loving relationships. As the story progresses, the robot he has created becomes both his alter ego and confidant while his own sa
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vadim Babenko's reputation as a scientist and innovative mind in the field artificial intelligence was put on tangible display in the content of this disturbing and poignant book. I say disturbing only because, like all great literature should, it spoke to real issues that may develop in our lifetime. If this book had been written fifty years ago, it would have been prophetic and deemed ludicrous, as so many science fiction novels used to be. Babenko is able to build a bridge between his old lif ...more
Ian Miller
Nov 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Whether you like it or hate it will depend on what you want in a book. The first chapter starts with Bogdan Bogdanov in an asylum, fantasizing about having sex with the nurses. The rest of the book outlines in his mind how he got to be there, which raises a problem: is what he is writing real or fantasy, or what mix? The book is written first person, and it is essentially all tell, with an overlain "stream of consciousness" in which Bogdan fantasizes about all sorts of things whenever anything i ...more
Veritas Vincit
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is science fiction at its best, the kind that challenges ideas and concepts of reality that we understand by pushing them into new realm. Semmant is a tale of humanity, and the struggle for self-expression, but couched in such intelligence and creativity that the lines of fiction, science, creative license, and reality successfully disappeared. Bogdan is a fascinating character that is weighed down by normal, earthly troubles and sensations. He has the desire for wealth, the craving for att ...more
April Wood
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charlotte Bell
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Semmant is by no means an easy read, but it really is worth the effort.
The character of Bogdan Bogdanov, a brilliant scientist who has difficulty with almost every aspect of his life, is exceptionally well described and although I initially disliked him intensely, I found myself warming to him as the book progressed and I learnt more about his life.
The story opens in a mental hospital with Bogdanov going back in time to when he attended a school for gifted pupils. We follow his life through var
Anita D
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In the tradition of such great books as AI and I,Robot this story by Vadim Babenko is that and so much more. It is a look at a genius so great that it borders on madness. Using his own background in physics and technology our writer takes us on a trip through a time that very well could be tomorrow.

We become invested in the life of the cybernetics’ genius Dr. Bogdan Bogdanov, through his memories. When we meet him he is locked away in an asylum. He spends his time ruminating on the various nurse
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Bogdanov is a very unique person. He has been so since childhood, and some would say he is a genius. This same genius can cause boredom, and loss of interest can lead to destructive behavior, such as impatience and undertaking big tasks, such as…creating robots. This A.I. ‘Robot’, called Semmant is just the beginning of things going awry for Bogdanov.
Babenko spins a tale of a genius going further and further from the controls of sanity, and has Bogdanov give you the account of it all from his e
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Semmant by Vadim Babenko is a Sci-Fi novel that always keeps you guessing. It starts off with some naughty interludes and quickly turns to the obscure.

Meet Bogdan Bogdanov, a Russian scientist with a PhD from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and a Cybernetics genius. As a child everyone noticed that he had a unique gift and a brilliant mind. It is that mind that got him a state sponsored trip to a special for students like him. From that young age, however, he always felt like some
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is extremely well written. The story appears simple at first, but quickly becomes increasingly complex and interesting. Bogdan Bogdanov is a cybernetics genius. He uses his brilliant mind to create the most brilliant robot the world has seen. He calls his creation Semmant. At first, Semmant is the perfect robot. The pair takes on the stock market, and they efficiently climb to the top. All is well, and Bogdan feels like his life can't get any better - until he gets involved with a woma ...more
Jun 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of a man and his sentient computer program.

As a boy, Bogdan Bogdanov is taken away from his home in the former Yugoslavia, and sent to a special school for the very intelligent in Brighton, England. After several years, the school is forced to close, so Bogdanov finds himself on his own.

His first job is at a laboratory in Switzerland. He starts it with the highest level of enthusiasm, but, after a couple of years, he gets bored and quits. Moving from lab to lab all over Europe,
A tale of Russian introspection, science fiction, philosophy, and detailed sexual relationships, Vadim Babenko’s Semmant is a long, slow, weighty read, written with Chekovian bleakness and heady self-analysis.

The protagonist’s life changes when his “aura of Indigo” is identified at age twelve. Taken from his parents, he becomes part of an experimental school for genius children who are taught never to view the less intelligent as less valuable, but also never to fail in rising high above their w
Felicity Terry
May 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Without a doubt I'm convinced that this has the potential to become a huge cult hit amongst the devotees of the Artificial Intelligence/cybernetics genre and just like the teenage me's fixation with the creation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein's monster the adult me thought the possibility of creating such a robot fascinating but alas overall this just wasn't to my taste.

Certainly a very different read and the author, a recognised leader in the area of Artificial Intelligence, is obviously very k
Lynelle Clark
Sep 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-receive, sci-fi
I received this book from the touring host for an honest review.

This book is definitely for the intellectual reader even philosophers amongst us. It is very detailed in its story line, specific in its explanations. The moment we met the main character you had a suspicion of nuttier than most. As the story progressed it became evident.
I think the author did a wonderful work in creating this story, well written with enough to keep you wondering with this character's mind frame will be. Since I am
Sage Adderley-Knox
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
After reading the book synopsis, I was under the impression that Semmant (the robot) would play the main role, but the book is truly about the inner workings of the cyber genius, Bogdan Bogdanov. He grew up with vagabond parents that traveled across Europe and at a young age he was sought out for his intelligence, and taken from his family to a school with other gifted children.

Bogdan lost whatever childhood he had and transforms into a studious being that is incredibly bright. As he matures, it
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Semmant is a robot created out of despair. When another childhood friend of genius Bogdan Bogdanov takes his own life, Bogdan truly begins to despair of his own life. What is its purpose? When genius is far above almost anyone else's ability to even begin to comprehend, what is the purpose of life, or of that genius?

Then he decides that he will create a robot. Using all of his knowledge in cybernetics and every conceivable mathematic, Bogdan creates Semmant, an artificial intelligence originall
Joy D. Fanning
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

This book turned out to be quite different than I thought it would be. The first few chapters were all narration and full of detail. As people who read my blog regularly know, I'm a huge fan of dialog so this was kind of a letdown for me. I was able to push through though and thats where the story started to come to life.

Semmant didn't play as big of a role as I thought he would (hes the AI) but we are taken into the world of his
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Semmant by Vadim Babenko is a three hundred and four page sci-fi/romance novel, translated from Russian to English and written in first-person.

The story begins with a brilliant, Russian, cybernetics scientist, Bogdan Bogdanov, inside of his cell. You are brought into his weird view of the world and his strange ramblings. Right away you question if he is a genius or just crazy. You learn that he grew up poor and created Semmant, a robot that lived inside a computer. They have a special bond, acti
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is my first Babenko book I have read and have heard good things about the other books he has written. I am impressed. Sci-Fi fans, this book is for you. I am not a fan of Sci-fi, but this first chapter sucked me in. I was first confused by the setting of the scene he described in chapter one, but then in chapter 2 Bogdan begins his story. What kept me intrigued were the slight erotic descriptions and the real mind set of a man. Bogdan is a genius and invents a robot that is inside a compute ...more
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There are lots and lots of naughty bits in this book- but it's a wonderful read for anyone who loves Sci-Fi.

I'm quickly becoming a Babenko fan because I'm so incredibly impressed that his books are written in Russian and then translated and published exclusively in English, yet there is absolutely nothing lost in translation. It fascinates me to try and find bits where I think that his native language shines through and I can't.

I love the story of Bogdanov and I think that you'll all love the un
Heather Bennett
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a stunning novel. Babenko describes each scene with such detail that you can practically taste, smell and feel it. His prose is determinedly clear, and his overall story quite soul searching. Set in Russia, this is story with great depth, complexity, and excitement. The author has won me over.
Aimee Ann
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Semmant by Vadim Babenko is a mind-blowing science fiction novel that will ensnare all readers with its sensationally unique narrative and fantastic story! Vadim Babenko pushes the bounds of reality bringing us, voracious readers, to a world where artificial intelligence goes beyond our wildest imaginations. What are the consequences of manufacturing love? Semmant explores this and so much more in a riveting tale of fate, love, envy, and morals on an expedition to elevate humankind and make us d ...more
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Originally posted on - I was provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I am going to start off by saying that the above synopsis, provided on Goodreads and Amazon, gives a completely skewed and incorrect tone, assumption and impression to readers about this book. The above synopsis sounds more like a suspense filled, fast paced sci-fi married with some sci-fi romance and erotica. This book is none of the above. This book, however, is wonderful in its o
Feb 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Not Your Typical AI Novel

This book needs less failed romance, whining, negativity and more substance. The Woe is me protagonist repeats himself in conversation, couplets and general exposition so many times I halted the book at 69%. I then read the last few pages, which cleared up all I needed to know.

I was going to give it two 🌟🌟, but I liked The Black Pelican so much that I bumped it up a star.
Scarlett Jensen
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Babenko is the Stephen Hawking of the Emotional Black Hole
17 February 2015

Review by Scarlett Jensen: Novel by Vadim Babenko

The author is Russian and was nominated for some prestigeous literary awards. The book was translated to English with the participation of Babenko. It is product of a great mind manifesting extreme capacity of thought and creativity, shifting borders of reality against the background of his specialization field of Cybernetics
Bert Edens
From my book review blog at:

Ergo Sum Publishing was kind enough to make this eGalley available through NetGalley. Although it was provided to me at no cost, I am under no obligation to give a positive review.

Bogdan Bogdanov is a genius. Don’t take my word for it; ask him. He tells you as much early in the story. He’s unmatched when it comes to bits and bytes and putting it all together, especially when it comes to recognizing patterns. Not only that, he’s
Oct 02, 2013 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I was immensely fortunate in winning this new sci-fi novel in a Goodreads give-away. Not so lucky: the postman marked it for return to sender. Because I live near the end of a hard-to-find cul-de-sac [whoa! a festival of hypens!], our substitute postal people work assiduously to keep me on my toes. This year, I have learned to order well before, or well after, the holidays. But it took me ONLY six weeks to clean up the mess and get a replacement for the printer that a well-known delivery company ...more
Ed Morawski
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not long after starting this book I had to check to see what the page count was - it's listed at 304. Well it seems like 3,004! This book reminds me of so many so called works of 'Literary Fiction', where the author seems to feel obligated to use a dozen words where one would have sufficed.

There is a slang term for someone who talks too much: diarrhea of the mouth. If there isn't a similar term for writers, this would be a perfect example of why one is needed. It is WORDY! The book often goes on
Dzemo Sh
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Dear God I finally finished this!
When I won this giveaway, and the book arrived in my mail (signed copy) I was so excited, I couldn't express myself. Unfortunately that was the only time I was excited about this book.

I expected this book to be so much different from what it turned out to be. It's about a scientist who creates a robot, and he (the scientist) falls in love with a woman. I thought it was going to be some kind of sci-fi romance drama, but it was nothing like that. It took like a 10
Maria Beltran
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Reader's Favorite

Bogdan Bogdanov, cybernetics genius, is confined in a mental institution and is writing in his room, when his thoughts wander to the events of his life, beginning in his childhood. While still very young, Bogdanov’s precociousness earns him quality education but Bogdanov, in his being special, is not able to form friendships and does not fit in well with his immediate environment. He eventually forays into cybernetics, later in life, and creates a r
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Green cover, previously featured. [s] 5 63 Apr 11, 2014 03:36PM  

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Vadim Babenko left his career in science and business to pursue his lifelong goal of writing novels. Born in the Soviet Union, he earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the Moscow Institute of Physics & Technology, Russia’s equivalent to MIT. As a scientist at the Soviet Academy of Sciences he specialized in biophysics and artificial intelligence. After moving to the U.S. he co-founded a high-t ...more

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