Sunday, June 04, 2006

book review

Robert J Sawyer is one of my favorite modern authors. His primary subjects center around putting human minds in computers or developing artificial intelligences, the social and theological ramifications thereof, and first contact situations.
The book that got me hooked on him was Calculating God. It's part first contact situation and part theological debate.

I just finished Factoring Humanity. A signal from Alpha Centauri has been coming for ~10 years. The first bit was understandable, but the rest seems to be gibberish.
The woman who figures out what the signal means and builds the device separated from her husband shortly after their first daughter committed suicide. In the beginning of the story the younger daughter accuses the father of molesting her and her sister.
The husband has developed a pretty slick AI, but it's not quite where he wants it yet.
The story follows the thread of the AI's search for it's own humanity, the device from the stars, and the quest to prove or disprove the husband's guilt.

It's not on part with Rob's other stuff, but it's still pretty good and has won a few awards.

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