[a Novel]

Book - 2012
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In a future world dominated by a neural-link web where people can tune into live events and revolutions can be instantly sparked, an active alien communication device is discovered in orbit around the Earth, triggering an international upheaval of fear, hope and violence.
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2012
ISBN: 9780765303615
Branch Call Number: F BRI NVD
Characteristics: 556 p. ; 25 cm


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Apr 28, 2018

The first half of this book is a mess. Is it about the Great Filter? Global warming? The loss of privacy in the internet age? First contact? Economic inequality? Several of the subplots have been published as short stories, and it isn't obvious whether the novel was created to fit the stories or the shorts were extracted from the book.

The author employs a couple of annoying cutesy mechanisms that break up the narrative flow: replacing vowels with 'ai' in anything that has artificial intelligence built in, and making up portmanteaus on the fly.

The story accelerates in the second half of the novel, as Brin focuses on his (very) big ideas. The tale discusses events on a huge scale, and one or two of the themes are new to me.

Brin was clearly planning a sequel, as he needlessly dropped hints to future events that he never resolved. I'll probably read it if it is published, hoping it is more like the second half of Existance than the first.

Dec 30, 2016

read up to page 326

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