Thursday, February 17, 2011

WWW: Watch by Robert J. Sawyer

WWW: Watch (WWW Trilogy)Sawyer has written an awful lot of very interesting science fiction over the years. WWW: Watch is the story of a young woman, Caitlin who makes contact with a consciousness born in the internet. She was born blind due to a rare syndrome, but has been part of an experimental procedure that has given her sight for the first time at age 16. The scientist, Dr. Kuroda, who performed this miracle lives in Japan, and she is in Canada, so the feed from the "eyepod" which gives her sight has been sent across the internet, giving her a unique perspective on the web, and she is the first to become aware of the entity they call "Webmind".

The entire novel is fairly well written, exploring the probable reactions of people to the existence of the first truly artificial and independent intelligence. Most of the governments are fearful of what Webmind might do, with the power of the internet, and the U.S. Government makes the decision to attack Webmind and shut it/him down.

I think this novel is targeted a bit more at young adults than his usual works. Caitlin is struggling with the usual problems that intelligent adolescents face, like peer pressure, popularity, romantic issues. Nothing philosophically challenging or enlightening here, but a pleasant little story of what if. The ending pretty much left me hanging, wondering what really happened, though.

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