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Mindscan

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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,340 ratings  ·  202 reviews
Transplanting his consciousness into an android body in order to escape death, Jake Sullivan falls in love with the android Karen, a situation that is further complicated when Jake's biological body takes hostages and demands its mind back.
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Tor, Tom Doherty Assoc. (first published March 10th 2005)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,340 ratings  ·  202 reviews


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Naomi
Feb 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every time I read a Robert Sawyer book I always wonder the same thing: what kind of amazing novel would come out of a collaboration between Sawyer, who has great ideas about theme and plot, and another writer, who can write good characters and dialogue? Yes, Mindscan kept me reading: the premise is compelling and thought provoking. But like so many of Sawyer's novels, it's full of ham-handed author intrusion. The characters are so obviously loaded down with the pet peeves, knowledge and thoughts ...more
William
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Put yourself in the following situation: You are a young person in the prime of your life when you are told that you are terminally ill. You will be able to spend the rest of your life in peace and quiet provided you agree to live on the moon while your clone replaces you at work (you are a productive person after all). While on the moon colony for the terminally ill, you find out that the disease you have has been cured, but the clone refuses to give up what he has on Earth and the rules forbid ...more
James Steele
Apr 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
What happened to Calculating God happened to this book as well. Sawyer tried to build a story around some complex questions, and the only way he could was to have characters flat out ask them.

The basic premise of the story is illogical. Why the hell would anybody agree to copy their mind into a robotic body when they know it’ll be the robot that gets to be immortal and not them!? Nothing will change for them; they’ll still be in their aging, frail bodies, so this procedure does nothing to help t
...more
Ethan
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've read several of Sawyer's books, and I've always enjoyed them. Some reviewers here don't like his prose, but I find it perfectly serviceable. Sawyer writes in a thriller, page-turner style; it's not fancy, it's not poetic, but it gets the job done. I even like the corny jokes.

Most of his books are basically novel-length philosophical thought experiments, which is especially the case with Mindscan. In this case, the thought experiment is this: what if there were an exact copy of your mind in
...more
Martin
May 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, sf, gave-up-on
I haven't read much of Sawyer's work, but what I have has always been very well written, and this is no exception. I found myself giving up on it after only a few chapters though, because of what to me is fatal flaw in the central concept he actually raises himself but then proceeds to ignore.

The protagonist, who has a congenital condition which leaves him vulnerable to aneurysm, decides to take advantage of new technology which will scan his brain and enable his personality and memories to be i
...more
Cheryl
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
So, the first Sawyer I read, Flashforward, explored the concept of Destiny vs. Free Will. This explores the concept of Consciousness. Not a whole lot of action, some depressing ideas about the direction we're headed in the near future, characters more as role-players and less as authentic people... but still, a heck of a read, imo. I will keep reading Sawyer, as Ideas is what I read SF for.
Navi
Jan 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A great read that really makes you question the meaning of personhood and consciousness!
Andrew
Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it
“You know,” said Sugiyama, “there used to be a lot of debate about this, but it’s all evaporated in the last few years. The simplest interpretation turned out to be the correct one: the human mind is nothing but software running on the hardware we call the brain. Well, when your old computer hardware wears out, you don’t think twice about junking it, buying a new machine, and reloading all your old software. What we at Immortex do is the same: the software that is you starts running on a new, be ...more
Prashanth Srivatsa
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A terminally ill man transfers his consciousness to an identical android who takes his place on earth to live forever. It is, once again, a probing into the uncontrollable desire of humans to prolong lives, to approach infinity, and all that in a way that mirrors reality. It is a conundrum whose ethical motives are questioned in Mindscan. Sawyer stands neutrally in an argument about the existence of a soul, and pitches for an adapted consciousness by weighing it against faith. But, that life is ...more
Anita
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The basic idea of the story about people who decide to have their minds uploaded into fabricated durable bodies is good. The complications that happen were interesting. The story was told in a rather dry fashion and I didn't care for that. I felt that most of the book was pretty empty. The other Sawyer books I've read have been a bit heavy on philosophy, but this one seemed overly so. I did read it all, so I can't say that it was bad, but to me it was not good either.
Sophie
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: doc
Jake Sullivan est un homme entre deux âges. Il lui resterait plusieurs années à vivre en temps normal, mais il souffre d'une affection au cerveau qui menace de le plonger dans le coma à tout instant. Lorsque le processus du Mindscan fait son apparition, il est dans les premiers à s'inscrire pour le programme. L'idée en soi est assez simple: une copie de son cerveau est insérée dans une machine pouvant être updatée à l'infini, et l'original biologique de sa personne est envoyé dans un vaste compl ...more
Chazzbot
I've read several of Robert Sawyer's SF novels, and they have all been consistently entertaining and thought-provoking. This novel is set in 2045, at a time when it has become possible to scan and store one's brain into a new, virtually indestructable android body.

Sawyer thoroughly explores the social and scientific implications of this development, following two characters: a novelist facing the physical frustrations of old age and a man in his late 30s who is genetically prone to strokes. The
...more
Lucy
Aug 30, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, sciencefiction
Jake Sullivan has a hereditary, potentially terminal disease. He lives his life in a state of utmost care so as not to trigger it, and knows that he, like his father, will probably die a young man. So when he hears about a new process, called mindscanning, he is intrigued. Immortex claims to be able to make a scan of your brain and duplicate your mind in an artificial body. The new body, the new you, will become the primary you, while the old you will live out the rest of your days in a luxury r ...more
Natasha
Dec 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This is the second Robert J. Sawyer book I've read and I have not figured out if I like his writing so much as I like the ideas he's writing about. The main concept in this book, mindscanning, is really something to wrap my mind around especially as I am a firm believer in my soul but having what I consider to be true or real challenged certainly made this book entertaining. I think I'll have a gander at some of his other novels that are available in my local library.
Debbie
Jul 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
What if you could exchange your faulty body for one that would never get sick, or age? You could keep all your memories, thoughts, etc. But you would have to send your old body to live out the rest of it's natural life in a nursing home on the dark side of the moon. What if a cure was then found for the terminal disease you had, and the old body wanted to come back?

Lots of questions to think about.
Bryan
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great page-turner, combining contemporary issues of civil rights and identity with some classic sci-fi themes of immortality, moon bases and artificial intelligence. Starts to veer into preachy territory a few times, but overall extremely enjoyable and thought-provoking.
Isabel
Feb 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
Decent near-future portrayal. The pop culture references kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but I'm not sure that isn't the point of their inclusion. I'm also a sucker for ethical discussions in scifi.
Sue
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Love Robert Sawyer's ideas, like the ones in this book!
Adam
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brandi
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in one of my Blue Spider's Attic boxes. Now, I liked the concept when I read the back, but months went by and I kept putting it off in favor of others in my TBR pile. I put up a little free library (LFL) in front of my house. Several more months passed and still this book sat in my TBR pile. I finally decided enough was enough, and started a blind date with a book program for my LFL. I decided that I was never going to get around to reading this one, and I started making the ...more
Sharon
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
A new time, a time when anything seems to be possible but then not. Jake Sullivan watched his father have a major medical catastrophe only to find that genetically he is predisposed to the same event, at any time he can and at some time will, become totally incapacitated. Guaranteed! Thankfully, medical science has moved on in some areas and though they can’t fix his medical problem, they can move his consciousness into an android form. It just takes money and luckily Jake has lots of it.

Life i
...more
Leila P
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
It took me only two days to read this book, I enjoyed it very much. Sawyer demonstrates that while getting an immortal android body is tranhumanist wet dream, it raises many questions and problems. The novel was easy to read and the plot and the themes were very interesting. I am intrigued by neurology and consciousness studies. Usually I don't like law suit /courtroom fiction, but here the subject was interesting enough. The ending left me a bit ambivalent, though. I didn't really except certai ...more
An Odd1
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The short story I remember "Shed Skin" is 'fleshed' out, plot and characters, to a surprise ending and epilogue. Blathery science and speculation about the nature of soul, consciousness, dreaming, and personhood, I could not follow, had to skip. What I remember from seizure- and drug-induced comas were a blip and a dream. The truth, what are we aware of within them, I still do not know, despite trying.
Erika Sajdak
The subject matter of personhood is one close to my heart, and I grabbed this from Kindle the first time I saw it mentioned in one of my other books. Sawyer takes many of the philosophical thought experiments around the self and personhood, and writes them into a fairly cohesive plot, trying the case in a court of the mind. I enjoyed the read, but was perhaps, spoiled for this book by the philosophy I had read before my encounter with it.
I like the subtle characters who allow the reader to ident
...more
Michael Tildsley
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Great book from beginning to end. I love the ideas, I love the philosophical and religious questions raised, and I enjoyed the narrative style itself, though it was a bit jarring at times. I am sad to see this end, and I think the Epilogue feels a bit tacked on, but other than that, the journey is great.
Jaclyn
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Robert Sawyer's books are always philosophical and interested in the Big Questions of life. This was no exception, but it was just a bit too talky for me. (I haven't read a Sawyer book in a while so it's possible this talkiness is just par for the course for his novels in general.) still, it's an interesting concept that grapples with complex issues.
James Lampkins
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Mindscan dealt with the ramifications of transferring your consciousness from your biological body into an artificial body. Are you the same person? Do copy right laws extend to the artificial body? There were also pieces of Quantum nights (Philosopher Zombies) and Flash Forward (Free Will) contained within the book as far as those concepts go.
Dave Nichols
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This book had a really interesting concept of a person getting a mind scan made to have his consciousness added to a constructed body. The idea is to continue living when is biological self dies. Problems arise when there are two of him that want to be the real "him". Book moved nicely to the end; but had a bit of a weak ending.
Scott Jann
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is not quite what I expected from the title. I found the idea in the book of being able to put your consciousness into an artificial body compelling. I appreciate the near-future where we might actually have a moon base. The social aspects of the artificial beings was something I didn’t consider and the book really did a great job of conveying the issues.
Nancy
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmm! Quite philosophical, is a mind uploaded into an artificial body human or not? It’s done in Toronto, the conservative US courts decide. Does the original owner of the mind, banished to a ‘resort’ or the back of the moon have the right to reclaim it? Big business decides. I enjoyed readin it.
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Robert J. Sawyer is one of Canada's best known and most successful science fiction writers. He is the only Canadian (and one of only 7 writers in the world) to have won all three of the top international awards for science fiction: the 1995 Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment, the 2003 Hugo Award for Hominids, and the 2006 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Mindscan.
Robert Sawyer grew up in
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“retire-or-expire” 1 likes
“Gone. and it was completely. Everyone I'd every known, every place I'd ever been.
My Mother.
My father.
Rebecca.
Out of site.
Out of mind.”
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