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BLINDSIGHT [Paperback]

Peter Watts
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

25 April 2008
Two months have past since a myriad of alien objects clenched about the Earth, screaming as they burned. The heavens have been silent since until a derelict space probe hears whispers from a distant comet. Something talks out there: but not to us.Who should we send to meet the alien, when the alien doesn't want to meet?Send a linguist with multiple - personality disorder and a biologist so spliced with machinery that he can't feel his own flesh. Send a pacifist warrior and a vampire recalled from the grave by the voodoo of paleogenetics. Send a man with half his mind gone since childhood. Send them to edge of the solar system, praying you can trust such freaks and monsters with the fate of a world. You fear they may be more alien than the thing they've been sent to find - but you'd give anything for that to be true, if you knew what was waiting for them...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; Reprint edition (25 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765319640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765319647
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.3 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"* "This stimulating hard science fiction novel." - Publishers Weekly."

About the Author

Peter Watts lives in Toronto, Canada.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really impressive, cutting-edge science fiction 5 April 2007
By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
If you like your science fiction hard, deep, and philosophically compelling, you're going to like Peter Watts. Self-awareness, consciousness, communication, ethics, intelligence, and the nature of life and reality are just some of the high-brow subjects Watts wraps into the plot of Blindsight. Eschewing the age-old question of what consciousness is, Watts probes deeper to try and get at what consciousness is actually good for. Obviously, this isn't light-weight science fiction, so I suspect the complete science fiction novice might have a little trouble getting into this book. Sure, there is some great action taking place in a deep-space environment, but Watts' philosophical questions are truly at the heart of this novel.

If you want to get Earth's attention, sending sixty-five thousand objects (dubbed "fireflies") careening into the planetary atmosphere is a pretty darn effective way to do it. All of the objects burn up in flight so no physical damage is done, but this shocking event serves as quite a wake-up call for a now-nervous human race. When, two months later, a distant space probe picks up whispers (in English) from the edge of the solar system, no time is wasted on trying to figure out who is out there and, perhaps more importantly, what its intentions are. An extraordinary crew is assembled to fly out there and investigate: a linguist with multiple, surgically-induced personalities allowing her to process information in four different ways, a biologist almost Borg-like with his machinery-enhanced senses, a pacifist warrior who may or may not be able to accomplish anything if the aliens prove hostile, a synthesist to serve as a conduit of information back to Earth, and a genetically reborn vampire to call the shots.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read! 16 Feb 2007
Format:Hardcover
If you've been frequenting popular SFF message boards lately, you are aware that a lot has been said about Peter Watts and his latest hard scifi novel, Blindsight. The more so since the author has made the book available for free on his website [...] Many critics and readers opine that Blindsight should be a sure contender for a number of awards, and few people disagree. In addition, my recent interview with Watts leaves no one indifferent, at least judged by the responses I've been receiving. All of which, in the end, is for the best, for I believe that the more people get to know Peter Watts, the more will give Blindsight a shot. Those who do won't be disappointed, let me tell you!

Whenever I hear the appellation "hard-SF" I'm a bit concerned, because such works habitually require a Science degree or Ph. D. in order to understand what the concepts contained within the novel are all about. Neophytes never know if they'll "get it." Not so with Blindsight, though at times things are not that easy to follow.

The notes and refrences found at the end of the book show what sort of extensive research the writing of Blindsight required. Many claim that Peter Watts is on the cutting edge of science fiction. Be that as it may, although Blindsight is based on science and contains loads of scientific facts and jargon, the book also tackles enough philosophical issues to make it truly stand out from the other scifi works out there. As such, that makes Blindsight a demanding but utterly satisfying read.

The permise is traditional: First Contact with an alien race. Typical, you say? Not so, at least beyond that premise. Watts has many surprises up his sleeves, have no fear. The presence of vampires alone should pique your cusiosity.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough, but very worth it 13 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback
It's a really demanding read. It takes no shortcuts and expects the reader to be versed in at least the mainstream trends in cognitive sciences, psychology and linguistics. Being well-read in at minimum the popular science version of physics and biology also seems necessary to be able to follow the plot. If you don't know off-hand what ATP, Chinese Room and Sapir-Whorf hypothesis are, you will have a hard time not getting lost even before the book gets to the real hard questions. It's quite possibly the hardest hard SF I've read in the past couple of years, and definitely not a leisure read.

However, if you're willing to invest the time and mental effort, it will reward you by positing some truly fundamental questions with no easy answers that will get you thinking. It takes some of our most basic beliefs we commonly hold about ourselves, life, sentience and intelligence, and mercilessly crashes them at a high speed with the results of countless scientific studies until nothing but shattered illusions and lies remain. I don't think I agree with what it's saying; I'm still not sure sure I actually understood what it's saying, and I have a strong suspicion we don't even have a language to discuss properly what the book is touching, but it damn well got me thinking about these things, and that's way more than 99% of SF out there can claim.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rewarding read, and thought provoking 4 April 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Vampires and the meaning of life, what more could you want? Reflection punctuated by intense action, set in a scientifically accurate universe, and the concept that sentience gets in the way of "unconscious competance" - except in life threatening moments. Some innovative threads, I particularly like the resurrected vampire - more of this in future novels please!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very thought-out book
And it will make you rethink all the romantic assumptions you have about alien contact and how alien aliens really could be.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
A darker take on 2001, with added vampires...but fear not it's not the daft potrayals you might be used to. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Wookiee
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent hard sci-fi with a dark mood
Just read this book after a friend recommended it, and I'll be following up his other recommendations enthusiastically - this book is excellent! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Denny de la Haye
4.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted innovative Sci Fi. Just what the genre needs
Very interesting scenario based around a good plot. This is what sci fi needs. This is a genuine attempt to think through the implications of alieness and the implications of... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Malcolm Roy Ash
4.0 out of 5 stars Smart, Strange and Satisfying
Smart, Strange and Satisfying
A Review of "Blindsight" by Peter Watts
"Science fiction?" my father liked to sneer, "Neither science nor fiction. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jeremy Minton
3.0 out of 5 stars I'd read another one
3.5
Oh, this is a hard one to rate. It was an well written book that was almost painful to read. The science in this fiction is quite heavy handed. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Sadie Forsythe
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Enough ideas in this one excellent book for ten lesser ones. Proper SF, original, and aliens that are actually alien. Recommended.
Published 15 months ago by C. R. White
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring and unreadable
I was glad to see there's another 1 star review and that someone else had the same opinion as me. I enjoy hard sci-fi, and to have my mind stretched a bit with interesting ideas... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Metaltoe
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense and Original.
Having mostly enjoyed my first Peter Watts toe-in-the-water (Starfish, the first in the Rifters Trilogy), it was definitely worth reading another. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Willy Eckerslike
3.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected find
I hadn't heard of this author before and when I picked up the book I thought it was going to be a trashy aliens & spaceships adventure to entertain me for a few guilty hours. Read more
Published on 5 April 2012 by John W
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