- Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Ace Books (30 Aug. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441020801
- ISBN-13: 978-0441020805
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.2 x 17 cm
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 796,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Terminal Experiment Mass Market Paperback – 30 Aug 2011
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
Robert J. Sawyer has been called "the dean of Canadian science fiction" by The Ottawa Citizen.
He is one of only seven writers in history--and the only Canadian--to win all three of the world's top awards for best science-fiction novel of the year: the Hugo (which he won in 2003 for Hominids), the Nebula (which he won in 1995 for The Terminal Experiment), and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (which he won in 2005 for Mindscan).
In total, Rob has authored over 18 science-fiction novels and won forty-one national and international awards for his fiction, including a record-setting ten Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards ("Auroras") and the Toronto Public Library Celebrates Reading Award, one of Canada's most significant literary honors. In 2008, he received his tenth Hugo Award nomination for his novel Rollback.
His novels have been translated into 14 languages. They are top-ten national mainstream bestsellers in Canada and have hit number one on the Locus bestsellers' list.
Born in Ottawa in 1960, Rob grew up in Toronto and now lives in Mississauga (just west of Toronto), with poet Carolyn Clink, his wife of twenty-four years.
He was the first science-fiction writer to have a website, and that site now contains more than one million words of material.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
"Hobson's Choice", named with a touch of irony after the primary protagonist, Dr. Peter Hobson, and the title of the novel's serialization in Analog magazine, "is the choice between immortality or a scientifically verified life after death." Hobson's fascination with AI reaches new levels when he discovers an electromagnetic pulse that can be monitored as it escapes from the brain at time of death. He calls it a "soul-wave". Does that mean that a "soul" can be scientifically identified? Where does it lead and how long does it survive outside the body? Does it apply to everybody or was it a fluke? What about animals? Sawyer explores these topics with his usual sharp, investigative mind both from the technological angle as well as the spiritual.
Hobson's friend and partner in AI experiments is Sakar Muhammed. Together, they dream up a scheme that should provide new insights into brain functions after death. They do this by developing sophisticated computer models of Peter's complete brain map. The three models are not identical so that they can monitor the different behaviour patterns in the virtual environment. But then the virtual and the actual realities collide with consequences the two scientists have not foreseen... Are they in the end faced with a real "Hobson's Choice"?
As in the recent novels, brilliant to my mind, this novel combines the human aspects of what artificial intelligence (AI) can provide through advanced technology. He embeds pertinent questions of life after death and the morality resulting from the application of the technological advances into a full-fledged detective and mystery story. At times the story moves a bit slowly and there are unnecessary repetitions. His protagonists' characters are well drawn, their personal lives complicated by events and strong emotions. Other players, in particular, Sandra, Peter's wife are less convincing and rather shallow despite her role in the personal drama. While the reader may have more insights in what is going on than the protagonists, the unravelling of events is as creative as it is unique. Sawyer's knowledge of the latest science is, as usual, spot on and the realization of some of his fictional developments are within reach just a few years later. It makes the reading or rereading of Terminal Experiment years after publication particularly interesting and stimulating. [Friederike Knabe]
The story relates the life of Peter Hobson, who becomes a specialist in brain signal detection after witnessing a corpse reacting to an organ transplant operation. His research discloses that the brain indeed possesses something that seems to transcend death. Pursuing that issue, he records his own brain signals, creating three identities. Meanwhile, Hobson's a lovely, devoted, wife betrays him with a creep, devastating him. The result is mysterious deaths, a world reaction to his discovery and some heavy discussion on human values.
The debate over human consciousness, whether it exists, whether it's unique in the animal kingdom and whether it has a long term essence, remains ongoing and intense. Works on evolution and sociobiology are permeated with the question of whether our ability to communicate ideas reflects the existence of a spiritual element in humanity. Ever since early humans could perceive the idea of death the question of 'what happens after' has dominated our thinking. Sawyer makes a good effort to deal with the first part of the question: yes, there's something there, and it's not limited to humans. As to the afterlife, Sawyer raises the question, then leaves it for a later book or someone else to decide.
The many comments below about Sawyer's characters reflect the maturity of his prose style. Readers looking for simplistic people and predictable action are not pandered to in this book. He introduces a devout Muslim AI engineer, surely a novel idea in speculative fiction, and a graduate chemist unable to shed her childhood disappointments. Current concepts of family stress, with separations, sex, and parental tensions all become major features in this story. While the characters here are mildly wooden [especially in comparison with Sawyer's later books], their models are real enough. Sawyer simply had too much philosophy and technology to present in too few pages. The lady copper, in particular, is a pretty fast thinker, given the novelty of the circumstances.
The philosophy redeems any faults in this book. We need to recognize where evolution has brought us. Sawyer touches that issue lightly, bringing the story to a level rarely encountered. We are left uncertain as to whether the concept of the soul is meaningful. That will leave some readers unsatisfied, but that's a major part of Sawyer's appeal. He will raise the questions, you must come up with some of the answer. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?