Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Terminal Experiment” as Want to Read:
The Terminal Experiment
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Terminal Experiment

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  3,387 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
To test his theories of immortality and life after death, Dr. Peter Hobson has created three electronic simulations of his own personality. The first has all knowledge of physical existence edited out, to simulate life after death. The second is without knowledge of aging or death, to simulate immortality. The third is unmodified, a control. Now they are free. One is a kil ...more
Published 2004 by Easton Press (first published May 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Terminal Experiment, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Terminal Experiment

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
May 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-sf, near-future
The Terminal Experiment: A Substandard Crichton-style thriller
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Robert J. Sawyer is a very popular Canadian SF author, with many novels under his belt and several major awards, including the 1995 Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment, 2003 Hugo Award for Hominids, and 2006 John W. Campbell Award for Mindscan. I hadn’t read anything of his so I decided to give The Terminal Experiment a try. It’s about an engineer who creates three artificial copies of his c
Always with that contrived ripped-from-the-headlines-plugged-into-a-thriller feel and the distracting sense that Sawyer's characters are just cameos of folks he met while researching his book, but you would think that after 50+ years of SF exploring the ramifications of AI and afterlife, Sawyer would come up with something more perceptive than just murderous AIs and a completely imaginary proof of soul-life. Another example of hailed Hard sci-fi that relies on arbitrary fantasy tools and measure ...more
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who else writes like Sawyer nowadays? This is thoughtful and engaging, sometimes even thrilling, as I've come to expect from him. I love all the different ideas sprinkled through, the predictions of possible near-future politics, culture, and technology. I love the 'exoticism' to me of the Canadian setting (and the view from there of the US).

But this particular book isn't perfect, because it hasn't aged well, SF-wise. We still have VCRs, but can create fully sentient and self-aware AI. We have
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Excellent read. Well thought out premise that was very well executed. Highly engaging, original story. Recommended

Winner: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1996)
Nominee: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1996)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1996)
May 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I loved Flashforward by Sawyer. This book was good, but not quite up to the same quality as that one. Still I enjoyed it a lot.

The Terminal Experiment took a little while to set up the story. The beginning wasn't uninteresting, just not specifically about what it proposed to be about. It did weed its way into that about halfway through and I ended up being satisfied.

This book begins with a scientist in Canada who develops technology to assess when a person actually dies (not just when the doctor
Nov 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
4 stele pentru ideea inițială, 2 pentru realizare.

Senzația că Sawyer a combinat două romane diferite într-unul singur. Premisa SF e exploatată doar ca intrigă polițistă, o intrigă slăbuță, facilă și destul de previzibilă.

Premisa e foarte bună. Încercând să dovedească științific momentul în care creierul nu mai are activitate și omul moare, un cercetător descoperă o undă de energie care străbate ambii lobi și iese la propriu din craniu. Acea undă e numită unda sufletului și pare să fie primul sem
Avery Olive
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As Robert J. Sawyer seems to be able to do so effortlessly; taking a series of very human circumstances, complex philosophical questions, futuristic ideas, and ties it all together to create an intellectually stimulating page-turner.
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]This is not quite as bad a book as I had been led to believe. The prose is often leaden - in particular, the cringe-worthy opening passage which I think should be used as a model of how not to write in classes for impressionable young writers, and the numerous info-dumps idicating that the characters have read all the available scientific literature up to 1994 (which is a shame as most of the book is set in 2011). What appears to be the kille ...more
Sep 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reading Robert J. Sawyer's other work helped convince me of problems with the Hugo process. Since I was happier with the Nebulas I was surprised to see one of his novels on that list.

I will give the Nebulas this -- they gave the award to a 2-star book rather than a 1-star one. But, man, this guy can't write as well as he thinks he can.

"Pseudo was about fifty, and as slim as the Leafs' chances in the Stanley Cup."

Not so good stuff.
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Peter Hobson creates a scanner that can map the neural nets of the brain, and in the process discovers the soulwave. His wife reveals an affair she had. Hobson and his best friend Sarkar scan Peter's brain and develop three AIs to study immortality and life after death. Now, one of the AIs is behaving very badly. How can it be stopped?

Sawyer makes me think of John Scalzi. His writing isn't too good, but the story is entertaining.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Adult near future sci-fi with existence of soul proven scientifically [s] 6 39 Sep 07, 2015 11:29AM  
The Challenge Boo...: Almost Finished or Finished 1 1 Mar 06, 2015 12:51PM  
The Challenge Boo...: Halfway Through 1 1 Mar 06, 2015 12:50PM  
The Challenge Boo...: First Impressions 1 1 Mar 06, 2015 12:50PM  
The Challenge Boo...: * Book Facts 1 1 Mar 06, 2015 12:48PM  
  • The Healer's War
  • No Enemy But Time
  • The Falling Woman
  • The Quantum Rose (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #6)
  • Stations of the Tide
  • The Moon and the Sun
  • Camouflage
  • Rite of Passage
  • Moving Mars (Queen of Angels, #3)
  • A Time of Changes
  • The Einstein Intersection
  • Slow River
  • Powers (Annals of the Western Shore, #3)
  • Seeker (Alex Benedict, #3)
  • Man Plus (Man Plus #1)
  • Press Enter
  • Timescape
  • Even the Queen: & Other Short Stories
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
More about Robert J. Sawyer...
“Sentir la necesidad de convencer a los demás de que uno tiene razón es algo que procede de la religión. Yo simplemente me contento con saber que tengo razón, aunque los demás no lo sepan.” 2 likes
“Es nuestra concepción de la muerte lo que determina nuestras respuestas a todas las preguntas que la vida nos plantea.” 0 likes
More quotes…