Early last week on one of the sci-fi book groups I follow on Goodreads, there was an Android/Cyborg discussion. A brief summary for the uninitiated: Androids are completely mechanical, whereas cyborgs are human with bits of hardware. Okay, yes I do realize just how geeky the discussion was and how geeky it is that I’m sharing it. (Pats self on back.) It was that discussion that led me to realize I’ve read a lot of books about cyborgs so far this year, and they’ve all approached the subject from different perspectives.
I received an Advanced Reader Copy of I Human by John Nelson, in return for an honest review.
The book was described as a cross between 1984 and Brave New World, two of my favorite books. There is a definite 1984 vibe, made all the more possible by the neuroprocessors the main characters have installed in their brains. From the first pages it becomes obvious that there are definite downfalls to the technology. I wished the ability to track thoughts through these devices was more fully developed. The first third of the book was my favorite. Most of the problem I had with the rest is that it became too woo woo for my taste, and the turn happens quite quickly. I’m much more a hard science not alternative therapy type of gal in real life and my fictional tastes.
Robopacolypse by Daniel Wilson turned the upgrading humans trope on its ear.
This book starts with an artificial intelligence gaining consciousness and taking over all programmable equipment. Self driving cars and mechanical equipment all start working together to clear the planet of all humanity. The AIs even start integrating mechanical elements into the humans they capture. The few free humans have to band together to save humanity. This was a fun, fast-paced read.
Interface by Neal Stephenson and J. Frederick George was the best of the lot.
Its premise is that it is possible to design a chip that can be implanted in the brain to help stroke victims recover their mental and physical capacities. Of course chips that can receive updates can also be hacked, which is all the more likely when a high-ranking politician has one. There is also a subplot of how campaigns segment the population into numerous, distinct categories to get a better read on how the vote will turn out. Both the political fiction and the Sci-Fi elements of the story were incredibly well done and compelling.
Am I the only one that has noticed trends in their reading selections? or When was the last time the way you envisioned a premise going was better than what appeared on the page?