Mindscan

Mindscan

by Robert J. Sawyer

Paperback(First Edition)

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Mindscan 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had a great premise, but I found the offered view of the future a bit depressing and the conclusion disappointing. Mr. Sawyer's research and detail are great, as always, but they weren't enough this time. Worst of all, the aithor's political views and opinion of US society clouded the story for me. In many ways, it came across as preachy. In my opinion, not his best work.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
Sawyer puts a little bit of everything into this book from robotics, to brain studies, to psychology to philosophy with a little bit of high drama and excellent courtroom cross-examination. He studies the question "what makes a person"? and takes it way beyond what Asimov presented in the Millenium Man story. Jake Sullivan, a man with an illness that will eventually kill him decides to opt for a process called Mindscan where a copy of his mind will be uploaded to a robot brain and will live on as Jake on Earth why Jake goes to a pleasant retirement home on the moon to live out his remaining days. The "new" Jake faces all kinds of rejections from the people he knew, even his dog. He experiences new sensations like being able to see colors for the first time (he was color blind) and having too much idle time on his hands with no time to fill it since his biological self used it for sleeping, eating and other biological processes that Jake no longer needs to do. He meets and bonds with Karen, another mindscan who was 85 but has chosen a robot body that is about 30 while Jake was in his early 40's. The differences in their eras is what makes them so attractive to each other and they find that they have plenty to talk to each other even during "idle" time. When Karen's biological self dies, her son begins a court battle to claim his inheritance, claiming that the mindscan version of Karen has no rights because she is not really Karen. The court tension is amazing and great philosophical arguments are presented in a well scripted matter. To add another problem, Jake's biological self finds a cure for his ailment and then wants to regain his former life from his mindscanned version. Sawyer has outdone himself this time convincing me he is the best of the current Scifi writers out there today!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mindscan offers a fascinating premise: what if you could upload your memories and personality into an android - in essence, making a durable, exact copy of yourself - while your mortal self is left to live out his/her days essentially forgotten and discarded? Sawyer's novel raises intriguing questions about what it means to be human, and whether a flesh-and-blood body is really necessary to obtain the 'human' label. Unlike Mark Wakely's clever novel An Audience for Einstein - which has human consciousness transferred from one person to another after death, raising its own unique and troubling ethical questions- here you have the fascinating 'problem' of two sets of you. Which one is the real you, or are they both real? As you might expect, the question ends up in court, as the son of a wealthy woman who had herself transferred to an android before she died seeks what he believes to be his 'rightful' inheritance - by cheating death, his mother didn't play by the rules, or so he claims. On the other hand, is the android really his mother, with rights like any living, breathing person? Or is she just a machine now despite her consciousness? These unanswered questions make Mindscan a fascinating story, one that will leave you pondering the eternal question of what it means to be a human being. Recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best science fiction always results in self-reflection and consideration of both philosophy and the arc of mankind's future. Rob Sawyer's willingness to meet that challenge is what makes him one of today's finest SF writers. His characters are real--flawed, uncertain, and sometimes even selfish. You won't get the type of set-piece action sequences that authors like Crichton drop in to ease adaptation for the big screen, but what you do get is excellent elaboration of current scientific and technological research, solid explanations of philosophical viewpoints, great analogies, and characters you care about. The first half of the book is nothing short of splendid, weakening in plausibility in the second half only a bit. (It's not that the courtroom scenes aren't interesting and procedurally correct, it's just that everyone involved could have and realistically would have done more to protect their legal position going in to the situation, with the stakes being so high.) As a Sawyer fan and someone who has written about mankind's almost inevitable transition to a world where uploaded consciousness occurs (though it is fair to say that my view of that transition is much less optimistic than Sawyer's), I heartily recommend Mindscan. Donald J. Bingle, Author of Forced Conversion.
orangemonkey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mindscan is the latest from Mississauga author Robert J. Sawyer, and continues with his tradition of using cutting-edge science to deal with contemporary moral issues.Telling the story of a near-future where a process is discovered that can 'scan' a person's brain and download a perfect copy of it into an artificial body. The artificial body then takes over the person's life, and the 'shed skin' of the original person is sent off to a retirement community on the far side of the moon.As always, Sawyer writes a tale here that uses science to further its plot and resolve some of the central issues of the book; however, at the same time, he does it in a way that remains accessible to people who aren't fans of science fiction. Much in the same way that George R.R. Martin is said to "write fantasy for people who aren't fantasy fans", Sawyer writes for the mainstream reader as much as he does for the science fiction fan.
KarenHerndon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Didn't think I was going to like this at first but then got sucked into the very different story line. Will read more by this author. Would recommend it.
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Lincoln Brown More than 1 year ago
Stayed up all night reading!!!
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