Thursday, May 13, 2010

Daemon - Book Review

by Daniel Suarez
Signet Books 2010
Authors website

In this modern 21st century, we frequently forget how much of our lives are tied up in computers and how much of our lives are not really as private as we like to think. Since the internet explosion in the 1990s, our individual privacy has been eroded down to almost nothing.

Thats why there is a few areas in which I choose to keep my privacy and my family's privacy. I like to keep my privacy in my movements around town, my location, in my communications and with my fake names. I value my privacy a lot.

That's why in this blog my son's name has not once been mentioned. I have to keep his privacy too. This is also why I use false names online in my blogs and on Facebook. I choose not to own a cell phone with GPS. If anyone wishes to contact us, they can leave a message on the (landline phone) answerering machine - we will get the message - eventually.

My spouse and I dont have a modern car with any GPS tracking system in it. In fact our car is older than the internet. I dont drive in Canada. I can drive - I just havent gotten around to getting a Canadian drivers license yet. Besides, whats the point of driving in heavy traffic and having to pay huge parking fees, when there is perfectly good and cheap public transit available. I use the public transit to go anywhere and everywhere - when I am not walking, that is.

As you can tell, I really do value my privacy. Anyway, back to the book.

Technology controls almost everything in our modern-day world, from remote entry on our cars to access to our homes, from the flight controls of our airplanes to the movements of the entire world economy. Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

Matthew Sobol was a legendary computer game designer - the architect behind half-a-dozen popular online games. His premature death depressed both gamers and his company's stock price. But Sobol's fans aren't the only ones to note his passing. When his obituary is posted online, a previously dormant daemon activates, initiating a chain of events intended to unravel the fabric of our hyper-efficient, interconnected world. With Sobol's secrets buried along with him, and as new layers of his daemon are unleashed at every turn, it's up to an unlikely alliance to decipher his intricate plans and wrest the world from the grasp of a nameless, faceless enemy - or learn to live in a society in which we are no longer in control....

There is a sequel to this book - called Freedom - out now.

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