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Customer Review

11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carbon or Silicon based?, 3 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Galatea 2.2 (Paperback)
Richard Powers is a gifted writer, a rather unusual measure of that are the reviews that people write about his work. With the usual exception, those that read his work take what he has written, and integrate it in to their own ideas. His books are not just entertainment. Another reviewer suggested the Author allows for this ambiguity in his writing, he allows the reader the freedom of opinion on outcome, the ability to make a choice. The primary subject he presents in this work is one that will continue to grow from theory, until it forces fundamental beliefs to be questioned, and bring out the most Fundamentalist of Luddites, and with them debate that will carry the potential for disruption, or worse, violence.

Mr. Powers has a talent for writing about arcana and making the subjects accessible. Unlike many reviewers, my knowledge of the pursuit of Artificial Intelligence is strictly that of an amateur. I found that Mr. Powers brought credibility to a theme that has been little more than bad Science Fiction in the hands of other Authors. He included all the tech-talk, but he used language in its most basic forms to first make the project appear possible, to bringing the true enormity of what will be required before anything akin to sentience can be achieved/created.

The written words, when he collected them into novel form, also became the deciding factor in his initial carbon-based personal relationship. When silicon took the place of carbon the importance of language was increased exponentially. Neither relationship was fruitful.

One reviewer queried that when we finished the book did the experience stop or is it continuing even now. If you have never read this Author, what I write might suggest I have a form of dementia. I admit that before I read "Plowing The Dark" I thought other reviewers were there, way, way, out there.

Mr. Powers is the perfect novelist, for when you are immersed in his work he suspends disbelief faultlessly. He does not intrude, and he does not preach. Making the decision to read his work is a bit like what Neo faced the red pill, or the blue? Once you start with the first book, you cannot stop reading until he stops writing.
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