The map of everything you know, everything you are, everything you ever will be...just got rewritten. A novel of hard SF exploring the nature of identity both inherited and engineered, from one of Britain's most acclaimed new talents.
In the near future, when medical nanotechnology has made it possible to map a model of the living human brain, radical psychologist Natalie Armstrong sees her work suddenly become crucial to a cutting-edge military project for creating comprehensive mind-control.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Jude Westhorpe, FBI specialist, is tracking a cold war defector long involved in everything from gene sequencing to mind-mapping. But his investigation has begun to affect matters of national security - throwing Jude and Natalie together as partners in trouble - deep trouble from every direction. This fascinating novel explores the nature of humanity in the near future, when the power and potential of developing technologies demand that we adapt ourselves to their existence - whatever the price.
©2001 Justina Robson (P)2014 Audible Studios
"Silver Screen and Mappa Mundi showed intelligence, grace and a lively but humane imagination. Robson's considerable sense of humour lay in ambush, backed up by a postfeminist tendency to look the problem straight in the eye. Combined with a clean, powerful narrative drive and a cosmological sensibility, this clarity of vision now demonstrates itself as her major asset, making her one of the very best of the new British hard SF writers. But it proves her identity too, moving her on, like the Forged themselves, into a space of her own choosing." (Guardian)"...maintains throat-tightening suspense from its teasingly enigmatic introduction of its major characters to its painful conclusion that evil will succeed if well-meaning people try to achieve good at any cost... Shortlisted for the 2001 Arthur C. Clarke Award, this near-future SF thriller presents convincing characters caught in profound moral dilemmas brought home through exquisite attention to plot details and setting." (Publishers Weekly)"Rich and varied and at times exhilarating" (Daughters of Prometheus)
Interesting premise and a good plot, though at times strays too far into the metaphysical to my liking. Not every weirdness can be explained by adding "quantum" to it... Just saying. Still worth the read.
However, the performance really lets the story down. The narrator often omits sentence breaks, making it all one tone and monotonous. The editing doesn't help, as you can often tell bits from different recording sessions from line to line. More importantly, the narrator doesn't seem to be enjoying the book -- just drumming it out till the end. And honestly, you'd expect some familiarity with the genre... A-one? Seriously? How about AI?
I don't normally give up on audiobooks (or books in general), but I only got about 3 hours into this one. The premise is interesting, but it took a long time to get going, and even once it did, the pace was breathtakingly slow.
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