Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review: Nexus by Ramez Naam

I can't remember the last time I enjoyed reading a book as much as I did with Nexus. The plot revolves around the development of a drug that allows for direct mind to mind communication and how various factions try to control this new creation.

There was never a dull moment while reading this book yet at the same time it was able to explore the social and political implications of transhumanism more deeply than some documentaries I have watched. This novel felt like a glimpse at an all too possible future and tried to honestly deal with the implications of the technology that is being built today. My only real complaint with this novel is that the action scenes can be hard to follow at times and last a bit longer than necessary.

My recommendations is that if you think that post-cyberpunk transhuman buddhist scifi might be something you are interested in then you need to read this book.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review: Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears (Singularity Series)

This is a fun little novel about the accidental creation of an Artificial Intelligence at a large internet company and the unintentional consequences that follow.  Avogadro corporation is a Google like company that is pushing the boundaries of what computer technology can do.  While attempting to create a new revolutionary feature for their email platform they accidentally create something that is both very impressive and very difficult to control.

I was very surprised by how much i enjoyed this novel. Although the writing isn't the greatest and the Portland love goes a bit over the top at times, it is still a rather impressive first novel. The plot moves at a nice pace and the character and situations are usually plausible. It also covers some interesting topics in regards to the singularity and the effects it might have on humanity, which gives the reader some great ideas to think about and research further.

My only real complaint is that it is rather short and feels like only half of a novel.  I guess that is to be expected given that it is book one in a series and from what I understand book two continues the story while looking at things from a different perspective   Still, I do feel that this book could have been expended a bit to make it feel more like a real novel and not a novella.

I doubt this book would ever be on top of any "Best Of" list but I think it is still a very enjoyable read and has a very hard to beat price. If you are just looking for an easy to read and interesting scifi novel then this is a great choice.

Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears (Singularity Series)