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WWW: Watch

A book by Robert J. Sawyer

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Excellent Second Novel in Robert J. Sawyer's Webmind Saga

  • Apr 18, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+4

WWW: Watch is the second novel of a trilogy about an artificial intelligence, or consciousness that emerges from the World Wide Web. 

In the previous novel , WWW: Wake, Catlin Decter, a brilliant 15 year old blind girl is given sight through experimental technology in the form of an implant that interprets visual signals correctly and allows her to see (in her left eye at least).  Through this device she discovers a presence in the Web that starts to gain greater and greater cognitive abilities, which grows as the second novel progresses.  She dubs it Webmind.

In Watch, we watch as Webmind not only develops cognitive abilities exponentially, but through the help of Catlin begins to develop its sense of ethics and, without being too maudlin, an understanding of “the meaning of life.”  This novel is primarily about this development, along with government agencies trying to figure out how to shut Webmind down, fearing it will become so powerful it will destroy mankind.

While I have greatly enjoyed these novels so far, and the second one is even better than the first, which is unusual for a middle novel of a trilogy, sometimes I find the interactions between the characters to be a bit unbelievable.  They seem scripted more for a Grade B movie than the way people really interact with each other.  And when the characters are mouthpieces for the author to pontificate a point of view on consciousness, ethics and other scientific theories, the interactions just don’t ring true, even though the characters are supposed to be geniuses at math and physics. 

And I wonder a bit about the lost thread about the Chinese hacker that appears in Wake.  I wonder if Sawyer had abandoned that tread, or if it will somehow reappear in the next novel.

This is a good and interesting trilogy so far and very much worth reading.

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September 06, 2010
Great review, cd. Robert J Sawyer is one of my favourite modern sci-fi authors and this series is certainly on my reading list.
September 06, 2010
Thanks!
 
April 30, 2010
This looks like a very interesting and different book! I'm not sure how much it is something I would enjoy, but I might consider it when I'm in the mood for a good sci-fi! Thanks for the write-up!
May 01, 2010
Thanks!
 
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More WWW: Watch reviews
Quick Tip by . June 04, 2010
This has to be a great book because the first one was really good.
Quick Tip by . April 18, 2010
Read WWW: Wake first.
About the reviewer
About this book

Wiki

Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer continues his "wildly though- provoking" science fiction saga of a sentient World Wide Web.

Webmind is an emerging consciousness that has befriended Caitlin Decter and grown eager to learn about her world. But Webmind has also come to the attention of WATCH-the secret government agency that monitors the Internet for any threat to the United States-and they're fully aware of Caitlin's involvement in its awakening.

WATCH is convinced that Webmind represents a risk to national security and wants it purged from cyberspace. But Caitlin believes in Webmind's capacity for compassion-and she will do anything and everything necessary to protect her friend.
view wiki

Details

ISBN-10: 0441018181
ISBN-13: 978-0441018185
Author: Robert J. Sawyer
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Ace Hardcover
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