Blindsight

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just finished reading this because of the review and completely enjoyed it, oddly one of my favorite parts was reading the authors notes at the end, good stuff. To those worried about vampires, they aren't really.
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hard like my dick?
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The cast of characters sound like a typical game of Space Station 13. Having a vampire on a spacecraft always leads to incredible and wonderful results.
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Imagine my happiness when my favorite eve news site reviews my favorite book.If Blindsight sounds interesting to you, you may be interested in a link to the freely available copy in the backlist ( http://www.rifters.com/real/Bl... ), which can be read online or downloaded in PDF and other formats. I do, of course, recommend buying a copy if you enjoy it.
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Good review, getting this on the kindle when I get home!
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ok....ill be buying this. sounds totally awesome.
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Yeah, I will be getting this book today. Is there a place we can put book suggestions in? The song of Phaid the Gambler is a great book which more people need to read.
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Yeah, although Old Man's War elicits a feeling that is more DUST514 than plain spaceships & aliens only, and then its mech suits actually are a variation on Joe Haldeman's The Forever War (Scalzi denies having known Haldeman when he wrote his novel, not entirely believable but who cares).
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Peter Watts is good shit.
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Whoa, this came up in my RSS reader and I thought it was frmo Peter Watts' blog at first, it's good to see him mentioned here.His Rifters Trilogy is one of my favorite reads of the last 10 years -- it's a Creative Commons thing, so if you've got an eReader it's definitely worth picking up:http://www.feedbooks.com/book/...The Rifter books were FAR better than Blindsight, IMHO.
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Plus, you know.... Rifters.
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It's one of the most interesting hard sci-fi books I've ever read. Mind you it's not your standard hard sf fare, the technology is fairly hand wavy.However Watts does the best job of any author of projecting what society will look like in the sort of near future. He is very focused on making his social science and neuroscience predictions as solid as possible, his natural science stuff is very much secondary.It's a beautiful exploration of cultural trends and the Appendix at the end of the book where he justifies his 'predictions' is a wonderful thought experiment on just what the hell consciousness is.
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I've purchased two books recommended on this website and I've enjoyed both. I'm just finishing up Blindsight and I've recommended it to my corpmates and discussed it in game. A good read.
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> vampireYeah, no, but thanks.

Hugo-nominated Blindsight by Canadian author and former marine biologist Peter Watts is easily one of the best hard SF novels written in the last ten years - and I would argue that it is one of the best ever written. It is a First Contact novel of the finest quality, though in tone it has a lot more in common with Alien than E.T. In it, a crew of heavily-modfiied transhumans form the crew of the spaceship Theseus, sent past the edge of our solar system to investigate the presence of an alien craft which sent 65,536 probes shooting through Earth's atmosphere, scanning the planet in depth. They find that the aliens are even stranger than anyone ever imagined.

Here's a teaser from the back jacket copy:

So who do you send to force introductions on an intelligence with motives unknown, maybe unknowable? Who do you send to meet the alien when the alien doesn't want to meet?

You send a linguist with multiple personalities, her brain surgically partitioned into separate, sentient processing cores. You send a biologist so radically interfaced with machinery that he sees x-rays and tastes ultrasound, so compromised by grafts and splices he no longer feels his own flesh. You send a pacifist warrior in the faint hope she won't be needed, and the fainter one she'll do any good if she is. You send a monster to command them all, an extinct hominid predator once called vampire, recalled from the grave with the voodoo of recombinant genetics and the blood of sociopaths. And you send a synthesist, an informational topologist with half his mind gone as an interface between here and there, a conduit through which the Dead Center might hope to understand the Bleeding Edge.

And that's just it: Every aspect of this novel deals with questions about consciousness. It doesn't just savor the discovery of aliens who are really alien. It attempts — successfully — to extrapolate on what people who alter the shape of their minds to perform better in a particular area might actually be like. We are living in time where our understanding of the brain is expanding rapidly, and the questions that Watts deals with in this novel may soon be relevant in our day to day lives. How will people who are electively neurologically atypical cope? What will their internal lives look like? Will they still, really, be human at all?

Blindsight delves into these questions while simultaneously delivering an engrossing, highly enjoyable story of space exploration. Watts uses real science, for lack of a better word, religiously; even the so-called Icarus Drive that powers the Theseus, which uses antimatter and some quantum-teleportation stuff, comes with footnotes pointing at articles in Nature, Science, Physical Review Letters, and others, even ("everyone and their dog," according to the author) IBM. That's another thing I should mention: The science in this book is not only meticulously detailed, Watts includes every reference, just like a good peer-reviewed academic. He links to 144 of them, as a matter of fact. The author, a marine biologist ("in recovery" as he is fond of saying) has obviously made a lifelong study of neuroscience and related topics, and it shows as he both uses his knowledge of current scientific theory to both inform and inspire his work.

Let it not be said that the book is dry reading, either. Peter Watts wields prose like a barbed knife, sharp and vicious. His writing tends to lead the mind along an elegant path that make the story compellingly readable, as if the book prepares your mind for input, forcing it to be read. I read the entire novel in one breathtaking sitting, and it's still one of the most re-readable books I've encountered. Is there horror in this book? Absolutely. Is there beauty and wonder in this book? Absolutely.

If there is one failing this book has, it is that it does its job too well: Do not read it when your faith in humanity is at a low ebb. It has also been criticized for being confusing; this is largely due to the fact that the narrator is not a reliable witness. The narrator is, at the end of the book, having a personal crisis brought on by his unique neurophysiology, and so the conclusion is told from a perspective that is challenging to understand.

Blindsight is available on Amazon in both Kindle and dead tree format. Peter Watts has a website with a tremendous wealth of background information on the Blindsight universe, including the PowerPoint presentation (!!) that was given to executives of the corporation that created the aforementioned formerly-extinct hominid predator. A second book set in the same universe, Dumbspeech, is forthcoming in 2013 and covers the events that take place on Earth during the Theseus mission.

If you enjoy Blindsight (and any EVE player should), you can also find electronic, Creative Commons-licensed copies of his entire back catalog on his website as well.

[name_1]
Kesper North is a humble line member in GoonSwarm Federation. His passions in EVE are nullsec politics and solo PVP. He gladly accepts donations of Orthruses. Twitter: @KesperNorth