Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

SF Site reviews Wake

by Rob - May 19th, 2009.
Filed under: Reviews, Wake.

SF Site is the wonderful web site run by Rodger Turner. It’s just posted a review of my novel WWW: Wake as the lead review for their Mid-May 2009 issue; the reviewer is Michael M. Jones, and it’s a particularly gratifying review because, praise aside, Jones clearly gets the book. :)

The whole review is here.

Some excerpts:

Now, the idea of a digital intelligence forming online is not a new one, by any means. But I daresay most of the people tackling such a concept automatically assumed, as I always did, that such a being would not only have access to the shared data of the Internet, but the conceptual groundings needed to understand it. And that’s where Robert J. Sawyer turns this into such a fascinating, satisfying piece. In a deliberate parallel to the story of Helen Keller, he tackles the need for building a common base of understanding, before unleashing an education creation upon the Web’s vast storehouse of knowledge.

More than that, Sawyer is an author who’s not afraid to make his readers think. The topics invoked in this book cover a wide range, from math to theories of intelligence, from what it’s like to be blind, to cutting edge technology. He incorporates the myriad resources available online, including Livejournal, Wikipedia, Google, Project Gutenberg, WordNet, and perhaps the most interesting site of all, Cyc, a real site aimed at codifying knowledge so that anyone, including emerging artificial intelligences, might understand.

He ties in Internet topography and offbeat musicians, primate signing and Chinese hackers, and creates a wholly believable set of circumstances spinning out of a world we can as good as reach out to touch. There’s quite a lot to consider, and Sawyer’s good at making it accessible to the average reader.

Sawyer has delivered another excellent tale.

More about Wake

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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