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Terminal Mind

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The Philip K. Dick award-winning SF dystopian novel. Years in the future, the U.S. is a splintered country. The city-state of Philadelphia is ripe for revolution. Mark McGovern, the son of a rich politician, lives in a world of expensive parties and frivolous biological mods, a sharp contrast to the poor underworld of his best friend, Darin Kinsley. When the two accidental ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Meadowhawk Press
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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  213 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Apr 05, 2020 rated it liked it
If you, unlike me, are able to just go with the story without letting it's issues annoy you, the premise is fun and interesting, but I kept stumbling while reading and this reduced the joy in my experience.

I don't like how stereotype Walton seems to paint his villains across books, making them hard to believe, especially if they make a turn from good to bad. This is his third book I've read, Three Laws Lethal is overall better, but with this same issue.

The closer the book comes to the end the fa
Micah Krabill
I think the idea was great, and there were some good themes, but the writing needs some work. The characters needed depth, and the social themes were too shallowly explored. Also, it irks me that the ebook formatting needed a lot of help.
Steve McCann
May 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pkd-nominees
Interesting, messy, bloody minded stuff. Lots of food for thought re: migration to digital personas.
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh, wish I hadn't read it. silly characters and the story just collapsed into the path of least resistance at the end. Some interesting ideas eclipsed by a plot with branches into sophomoric musings on class that never got developed into worthwhile pages.
Joseph Santiago
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
It took a little bit for me to warm to the characters of the book. Once I did I got into the story. This is a good read!

Mr. Joe
Labe Malonέ
I really enjoyed premise of this book, however the story could have used some work and the writing was annoying. for some reason he like to underline stressed words, to make matters worse he also used the same underlining for the dialog for when the terminal mind spoke.
Shhhhh Ahhhhh
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Long but not longer than it needed to be. Good hard sci-fi. My only real gripe is that I'm not a huge fan of kid-speak in books. IN fact, this has revealed to me how irritating I find it. With that said, top notch premise. As stated in my updates while reading it, it reminds me a lot of Bobiverse. I don't feel they exploited that element of it enough but I understand that if they had, the plot wouldn't have worked out. The antagonist was.. a bit much to say the least. I mean, yeah, classic narci ...more
Riko Stan
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Would love to read more in the same world.
Zachary Roberson
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Drags on a lot in the beginning and is hard to understand. But true to what I've come to expect from David Walton by the end you learn more about science and everything makes sense. A good book.
Maury Breecher
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
kept me on edge of my seat

Best for lovers of hard tech Science Fiction with a
a humanist physiology and an appreciation for strong female characters.
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
When I first started reading this book, the ideas of slicers and mods and Rimmers were mildly intriguing. I found myself thinking, 'well, okay. I mean, it's not like I've read similar books with a lot of the same or similar things, but let's see where this goes. Maybe the author will add some kind of twist or something.' Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed for the most part. Although, I did like that children had to be sliced in order for the procedure to be successful and that (view spoile ...more
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed Terminal Mind and it's easy to see why it won the Philip K. Dick award in 2008. Walton's future Philadelphia is sharply drawn and frightening, and the story moves quickly. There are so many things to love about this book, but my three favorites are the way he portrays the lives of the poor, his concept of a digitized mind, and the main villain of the story.

In Walton's future Philadelphia, the poor live in a low-lying area of town called the Combs. Buildings are smaller and c
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
I read "Terminal Mind" mainly due to reviews on Goodreads and Amazon; and because it won the Phillip K. Dick award in 2008. Unfortunately, I think its quite overrated. The writing is not crisp, there is way too much dull dialog, to many characters have little or nothing to contribute, and there are dead-end plot lines (and semi-romances) that do nothing to advance the main story.
Author David Walton includes several very interesting sci-fi ideas: the breakdown of the United States into many small
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
What makes this book great is how the author describes in detial the technology of the future. I found this really contributed to creating a world where the basic premice of the story could take place. I just wish that the author took as much time developing the characters as he did their surroundings. Most of them tend to be two dimensional and stereotypical. It was hard to relate to any of them. The relationship between Mark and his best friend was very awkward and seemed overly contrived. A g ...more
Sean Randall
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a hugely exciting novel. It reminded me a little of Ramez Naam, and I found myself keen to read even when it wasn’t quite appropriate. Walton’s no stranger, but I’ve yet to pin him down (each of his other works is so different in tone and style as to seem written by someone totally different). This impressive multi-hatism is marvelous to read and I can guarantee that picking up all of his published novels to date will not bore you. ...more
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf, storybundle
It had a few interesting parts, like the slicer thing (and the childhood thing). Otherwise, it was really simplistic and as another reviewer said, fell into the path of least resistance. I didn't like what happened to the interpersonal relationships. They didn't seem at all realistic (and I'm not expecting realism from sci-fi, but I am expecting people to act according to how they're written).

For those of you unfamiliar with my goodreads rating, two stars really does mean "it was ok" so it is wo
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having stumbled upon Walton's second novel, "Quintessence", and loving it's creativity, and originality, I determined to find this book, which won the Philip K. Dick Award. If anything, this book is AS creative, and original, leading me to believe that Walton has a bright future, if he can keep it up. Terminal Mind has everything I look for in a book: a good plot, interesting characters, a little action, and a great pace. I'm seriously looking forward to his next book, "Quintessence Sky". I'll a ...more
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
True science fiction without all that Fantasy in many of the current "SciFi" genre. There are no dukes, kings, wizards or other distractions. This is a new look at the future with some very good mind challenging concepts and identifiable characters. I enjoyed the ideas and the story witch kept you turning pages. The idea of a thinking computer is made more human by combination rather than imitation. A provocative idea which is presented in a believable context.
tom harmon
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Gerbils hit a homerun.

This is a well thought out story that roars along at a breathtaking pace. The notion of merging mind and computer has rarely been handled so well. The method partakes of the horror genre without being horrific. The love stories are sensitive without being graphic or maudlin. My only quibble is the abrupt ending. Perhaps the gerbils grew weary. (You have to read the afterword to understand who wrote this book.)
Kim Zinkowski
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Steve Monett
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Both Christianity Today and World have given good reviews to David Walton's latest book named. Quintessence. I found this earlier novel on Amazon for a bargain price. It was more than worth adding to my bookshelf. It starts a bit slow as the author builds the world and pulls you in. The story gave some surprising emotional kicks to this tender hearted grandpa.
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cool-new-sf, kindle, 2014
A surprisingly well-written, exciting, technology-driven story of a not too distant future. I thought the technology was fascinating, and really made the story believable.

I couldn't help thinking of the Daemon books by Daniel Suarez, and I think anyone who enjoyed those would enjoy this one. This Philip K Dick award winning book does not disappoint.
Michael Cunningham
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I had never heard of this book or this author until I read a blurb about him in World magazine's book issue. It was quite good story telling. I wouldn't be surprised to see this adapted for film someday.
Toby Goodwin
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
I was initially sceptical, and the first couple of chapters appropriated a bunch of Gibsonesque future tech for no clear reason. But I was soon drawn in. Essentially it's a political thriller, with the new technology throwing up some interesting (and eventually horrific) possibilities. Recommended.
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
A futuristic look at the world when the "internet" is a much bigger deal and the divide between "haves" and "have-nots" is way huge.

A transplanted mind commits havoc to give the "bad" guy a foot up, the story is about saving the city from the craziness.
Barbara Randall
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clever and entertaining

I appreciated that the technical stuff did not overwhelm the story as many books of this type do. The action and relationships and philosophy were evenly distributed.
Jackie Gamber
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A Philip K. Dick Award winner, and well worth it. The characters are deep and believable, and lend more to the story than simple device. Brilliant writing.
Apr 03, 2010 marked it as to-read
Shelves: scifi
Won (in a tie) the 2008 Philip K. Dick Award.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Technical without being totally unintelligible, it's an interesting story that raises several important questions...
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A really good read. The ending wasn't predictable, and the book was very well written. A fun surprise. I couldn't stop reading.
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David loves to read science fiction and lives near Philadelphia with his wife and eight children. His latest book, THREE LAWS LETHAL, is about self-driving cars and the AIs that drive them.

"Three Laws Lethal gives the reader exciting insights into the threats and the promises that are coming our way."
—Vernor Vinge

"Walton has brought hard sci-fi roaring back to life."
—The Wall Street Journal


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