Analog in 2008 and 2009, explores the origins and emergence of conscio"/>
 

WWW: Wake

Robert J. Sawyer, Author
Robert J. Sawyer, Author Ace $24.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-441-01679-2
Reviewed on: 02/23/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009

The wildly thought-provoking first installment of Sawyer's WWW trilogy, serialized in Analog in 2008 and 2009, explores the origins and emergence of consciousness. Blind teen Caitlin Decter gets an experimental signal-processing implant that inexplicably opens up her vision to the wondrous infrastructure of the World Wide Web. Inside the Web is a newborn “webmind,” a globe-spanning self-contained consciousness that is just becoming aware of the outside world. Secondary plot threads about a highly intelligent hybrid primate and Chinese bloggers battling a repressive government extend the motif of expanding awareness. The thematic diversity—and profundity—makes this one of Sawyer's strongest works to date. Numerous dangling plot threads are an unnecessary pointer to the forthcoming books; readers will keep coming back for the ideas. (Apr.)

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