The Terminal Experiment



[Reading] ➽ The Terminal Experiment By Robert J. Sawyer – E17streets4all.co.uk To test his theories of immortality and life after death, Dr Peter Hobson has created three electronic simulations of his own personality The first has all knowledge of physical existence edited out, To test his theories of immortality and life after death, Dr Peter Hobson has created three electronic simulations of his own personality The first has all knowledge of physical existence edited out, to simulate life after death The second is without knowledge of aging or death, to simulate immortality The third is unmodified, a control Now they are free One is a killer.The Terminal Experiment

Robert J Sawyer is one of Canada s best known and most successful science fiction writers He is the only Canadian and one of only writers in the world to have won all three of the top international awards for science fiction the Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment, the Hugo Award for Hominids, and the John W Campbell Memorial Award for MindscanRobert Sawyer grew up in Toronto, the son of two university professors He credits two of his favourite shows The Terminal PDF or from the late s and early s, Search and Star Trek, with teaching him some of the fundamentals of the science fiction craft Sawyer was obsessed with outer space from a young age, and he vividly remembers watching the televised Apollo missions He claims to have watched the classic film A Space Odyssey times He began writing science fiction in a high school club, which he co founded, NASFA Northview Academy Association of Science Fiction Addicts Sawyer graduated in from the Radio and Television Arts Program at Ryerson University, where he later worked as an instructorSawyer s first published book, Golden Fleece , is an adaptation of short stories that had previously appeared in the science fiction magazine Amazing Stories This book won the Aurora Award for the best Canadian science fiction novel in English In the early s Sawyer went on to publish his inventive Quintaglio Ascension trilogy, about a world of intelligent dinosaurs His award winning The Terminal Experiment confirmed his place as a major international science fiction writerA prolific writer, Sawyer has publishedthan novels, plus two trilogies Reviewers praise Sawyer for his concise prose, which has been compared to that of the science fiction master Isaac Asimov Like many science fiction writers, Sawyer welcomes the opportunities his chosen genre provides for exploring ideas The first book of his Neanderthal Parallax trilogy, Hominids , is set in a near future society, in which a quantum computing experiment brings a Neanderthal scientist from a parallel Earth to ours His Mindscan explores the possibility of transferring human consciousness into a mechanical body, and the ensuing ethical, legal, and societal ramificationsA passionate advocate for science fiction, Sawyer teaches creative writing and appears frequently in the media to discuss his genre He prefers the label philosophical fiction, and in no way sees himself as a predictor of the future His mission statement for his writing is To combine the intimately human with the grandly cosmic.

The Terminal Experiment ePUB ´ The Terminal  PDF or
  • Paperback
  • 333 pages
  • The Terminal Experiment
  • Robert J. Sawyer
  • English
  • 12 February 2017
  • 0061053104

10 thoughts on “The Terminal Experiment

  1. says:

    The Terminal Experiment A Substandard Crichton style thrillerOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureRobert J Sawyer is a very popular Canadian SF author, with many novels under his belt and several major awards, including the 1995 Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment, 2003 Hugo Award for Hominids, and 2006 John W Campbell Award for Mindscan I hadn t read anything of his so I decided to give The Terminal Experiment a try It s about an engineer who creates three artificial copies of his c The Terminal Experiment A Substandard Crichton style thrillerOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureRobert J Sawyer is a very popular Canadian SF author, with many novels under his belt and several major awards, including the 1995 Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment, 2003 Hugo Award for Hominids, and 2006 John W Campbell Award for Mindscan I hadn t read anything of his so I decided to give The Terminal Experiment a try It s about an engineer who creates three artificial copies of his consciousness, and one of them becomes a killer It is narrated by the very competent Paul Hecht, and is an easy listen But how well does it hold up as an award winner I ll freely admit I am not a big fan of techno thrillers in SF Generally I find this a flimsy plot device to move a mediocre story forward quickly Usually a shadowy and sinister organization or super villain is up to no good, and the intrepid hero and his clever sidekick and or love interest race against time to defeat the badguy s and prevent a terrible calamity The heroes are usually are scientists, engineers, detectives, private investigators, or scholars Sometimes they produce massive runaway best sellers that explore the secret history of Christianity and became Hollywood blockbusters starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou, flitting from one gorgeous European location to the next, usually with a trail of dead bodies left behind.Well, The Terminal Experiment isn t quite that bad, but it hardly breaks any new ground or provide insight into the nature of AIs and human consciousness I recently read Greg Egan s Permutation City, and that book dives into those ideas in such depth and complexity it was almost overwhelming In contrast, The Terminal Experiment goes down way too easily, following a by the numbers thriller plot Dr Peter Hobson is the biomedical engineer who invents a machine that can detect brain patterns as they leave the body after death, which many interpret as proof of a human soul After creating much hoopla in the media and religious circles, he decides with the help of his friend Sardar Muhammed, an AI programming expert very convenient, don t you think to create three AI simulations of Peter s consciousness, in order to test some theories about the afterlife and soul.So three simulations are created 1 Spirit, a version of Peter in which all physical desires and urges are removed, allowing for a pure intellect unburdened by worldly concerns 2 Ambrotos, who has all fears of aging and death removed to simulate the conditions of an immortal being and 3 a control version of Peter, with no special modifications Initially all three simulations take to their existence positively, exploring the Internet of 1995 with enthusiasm and curiosity The book really betrays its age with some very dated descriptions of cutting edge technology of the nascent web, and there are numerous laughable details about information technology, etc Over time the simulations get frustrated with their limited virtual environs and break out into the larger global IT network They also start to develop some aggressive behavior, seemingly triggered by Peter s subconscious feelings.What ensures is a thoroughly unexciting thriller as they try to outsmart the simulations and prevent them from getting out of control This idea has been done to death many times before I found it hard to care about either the characters, plot, or even the philosophical questions the book raised, not because they questions themselves are not important they are , but due to the amateur way in which they are presented to the reader The writing is pedestrian but unthreatening exactly what you would expect from a mainstream thriller.What this book illustrates is the problem with near future techno thrillers winning major awards like the Nebula or Hugo While they may seem fairly innovative or cutting edge at the time, it only takes 5 10 years to make them hopelessly outdated or wrong in their predictions Books about the far future, alternate histories, or fantasies are less likely to age badly In 1995 it beat John Barnes Mother of Storms, Nancy Kress Beggars and Choosers, Paul Park s Celestis, Walter Jon Williams Metropolitan, and Gene Wolfe s Calde of the Long Sun, and while I haven t read those books, I find it very hard to believe this was the best SF book of that year In the end you can never please everyone when choosing the best SF or fantasy novel, since taste plays such a major role, but voters should consider how well a given book is likely to stand the test of time, so when someone picks up an award winner from a previous decade they can be confident it s at least well written and thought provoking

  2. says:

    Just okay 4 of 10 stars

  3. says:

    Always with that contrived ripped from the headlines plugged into a thriller feel and the distracting sense that Sawyer s characters are just cameos of folks he met while researching his book, but you would think that after 50 years of SF exploring the ramifications of AI and afterlife, Sawyer would come up with somethingperceptive than just murderous AIs and a completely imaginary proof of soul life Another example of hailed Hard sci fi that relies on arbitrary fantasy tools and measure Always with that contrived ripped from the headlines plugged into a thriller feel and the distracting sense that Sawyer s characters are just cameos of folks he met while researching his book, but you would think that after 50 years of SF exploring the ramifications of AI and afterlife, Sawyer would come up with somethingperceptive than just murderous AIs and a completely imaginary proof of soul life Another example of hailed Hard sci fi that relies on arbitrary fantasy tools and measurements that are just as fuzzy as any magic spell As a nineties novel, it can be valued for its projections of the current form of the digital age, though most interesting is the happy ending arc for his highly flawed protagonist Given Sawyer s commercial success and formulaic approach, it s hard not to wonder if he and his readers have overlooked the fact of the protagonist s abominable behavior But surely

  4. says:

    4.0 to 4.5 stars Excellent read Well thought out premise that was very well executed Highly engaging, original story RecommendedWinner Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 1996 Nominee Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 1996 Nominee Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 1996

  5. says:

    The Terminal Experiment is perhaps my favorite Sawyer novel Published in 1995, it s a near future 2011 story of artificial intelligence and immortality and murder and life after death wrapped up in a mystery with thought provoking and challenging speculations on religion and medical ethics and scientific procedure Sawyer always keeps the story at the forefront and produces really convincing and sympathetic characters even the proverbial and literal ghost in the machine It s not a light re The Terminal Experiment is perhaps my favorite Sawyer novel Published in 1995, it s a near future 2011 story of artificial intelligence and immortality and murder and life after death wrapped up in a mystery with thought provoking and challenging speculations on religion and medical ethics and scientific procedure Sawyer always keeps the story at the forefront and produces really convincing and sympathetic characters even the proverbial and literal ghost in the machine It s not a light read, but an enriching one, in the manner of Connie Willis s Passages Good stuff

  6. says:

    Who else writes like Sawyer nowadays This is thoughtful and engaging, sometimes even thrilling, as I ve come to expect from him I love all the different ideas sprinkled through, the predictions of possible near future politics, culture, and technology I love the exoticism to me of the Canadian setting and the view from there of the US But this particular book isn t perfect, because it hasn t aged well, SF wise We still have VCRs, but can create fully sentient and self aware AI We have Who else writes like Sawyer nowadays This is thoughtful and engaging, sometimes even thrilling, as I ve come to expect from him I love all the different ideas sprinkled through, the predictions of possible near future politics, culture, and technology I love the exoticism to me of the Canadian setting and the view from there of the US But this particular book isn t perfect, because it hasn t aged well, SF wise We still have VCRs, but can create fully sentient and self aware AI We have smart homes, but not smart phones not even cell phones, it seems Of course Sawyer isn t a prophet and he s not to blame, but reading such errors does pull me out of the story.Still, a read I didn t want to put down Sawyer s work reminds me of why I liked the best of Michael Crichton I will def continue to readSawyer and welcome recommendations

  7. says:

    This Nebula and Aurora winner is one of Canadian sf writer Robert J Sawyer s first novels, originally published in installments in Analog magazine It s a near future story of a very likable biomedical engineer who discovers scientific evidence of an afterlife, who with his best friend cook up some artificial intelligence variations on himself, that take on a life of their own It also becomes a thriller murder mystery as some folks who have wronged him begin to turn up dead Along the way, Saw This Nebula and Aurora winner is one of Canadian sf writer Robert J Sawyer s first novels, originally published in installments in Analog magazine It s a near future story of a very likable biomedical engineer who discovers scientific evidence of an afterlife, who with his best friend cook up some artificial intelligence variations on himself, that take on a life of their own It also becomes a thriller murder mystery as some folks who have wronged him begin to turn up dead Along the way, Sawyer dabbles in philosophical theological questions raised by the discoveries, which I always love This book is better than some of the Sawyer srecent work, although I can t claim to have read them all yet

  8. says:

    I loved Flashforward by Sawyer This book was good, but not quite up to the same quality as that one Still I enjoyed it a lot.The Terminal Experiment took a little while to set up the story The beginning wasn t uninteresting, just not specifically about what it proposed to be about It did weed its way into that about halfway through and I ended up being satisfied.This book begins with a scientist in Canada who develops technology to assess when a person actually dies not just when the doctor I loved Flashforward by Sawyer This book was good, but not quite up to the same quality as that one Still I enjoyed it a lot.The Terminal Experiment took a little while to set up the story The beginning wasn t uninteresting, just not specifically about what it proposed to be about It did weed its way into that about halfway through and I ended up being satisfied.This book begins with a scientist in Canada who develops technology to assess when a person actually dies not just when the doctors say they do to assuage his fears after a traumatic organ harvesting experience Surprisingly, this new technique captures the soul of his terminal participant leaving her body The existence of a verifiable soul shakes the world.In the meantime, the scientist also teams up with a friend of his, an expert in artificial intelligence, to conduct another experiment Obsessed with immortality and life after death, the scientist copies his own mind into a computer One copy is removed of all neural connections that have to do with fear of death or aging This copy simulates what it would be like to be immortal The second copy is removed of all connections having to do with physical sensations and preoccupations This simulates life after death The thrid copy remains an exact copy of the scientist to act as a control.Pretty soon, things go awry when people start turning up dead The three simulations have escaped into the vast expanse of the internet and one of them is a killer.Like Sawyer s other book that I ve read, there runs a common theme of how science can dramatically change the world What things would change if people knew scientifically that a soul was real and that it left your body at death to go somewhere Abortion issues Religion Animal Rights And what would happen if there was a version of yourself that felt immortal Or felt detached from the physical world Props to Sawyer, he s very good at exploring socially significant scientific issues in an engaging way

  9. says:

    As Robert J Sawyer seems to be able to do so effortlessly taking a series of very human circumstances, complex philosophical questions, futuristic ideas, and ties it all together to create an intellectually stimulating page turner.

  10. says:

    return return This is not quite as bad a book as I had been led to believe The prose is often leaden in particular, the cringe worthy opening passage which I think should be used as a model of how not to write in classes for impressionable young writers, and the numerous info dumps idicating that the characters have read all the available scientific literature up to 1994 which is a shame as most of the book is set in 2011 What appears to be the kille return return This is not quite as bad a book as I had been led to believe The prose is often leaden in particular, the cringe worthy opening passage which I think should be used as a model of how not to write in classes for impressionable young writers, and the numerous info dumps idicating that the characters have read all the available scientific literature up to 1994 which is a shame as most of the book is set in 2011 What appears to be the killer idea of the first half of the book that science can detect the soul leaving the body at death is simply forgotten for the last third of the narrative, which plays the rogue AI s in the net cliche as a murder mystery, leading to an unconvincing resolution The detective character herself violates standard operating procedure by burbling her theories about the crime to one of the key suspects return return But apart from that, the characters were not too unbelievable and the exploration of the issues of artificial intelligence and the scientific basis of the soul not too undergraduate with all due respect to my undergraduate readers And he does predict a future Pope Benedict XVI Of course, whether the present Pope will still be there in 2011 is another matter return return Still, it is pretty surprising that this won the 1995 Nebula Award for Best Novel I confess I haven t read any of the other nominees, and if this was voted better than them I don t really intend to Actually, I may have read Beggars and Choosers by Nancy Kress I know I read one of the later books in the series, and was seriously unimpressed The Hugo for the equivalent year went to Bujold s Mirror Dance, which is the start of the superb four book climax to the Vorkosigan saga as continued in Memory, Komarr, and A Civil Campaign return return This is not the worst Nebula winning novel I have read that title goes to either The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro or The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov but it is certainly in the bottom four I can t decide if I like it less than Neuromancer, because I can t remember anything about the Gibson book, even though I know I have read it several times

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