Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wake - Book Review

By Robert J Sawyer
Published by Penguin April 2009
Robert's Website
Trilogy website

I have mentioned Canada's home grown sci-fi author a few times on this blog. Robert J Sawyer is an excellent writer and a very nice fellow. He is almost always at the Word on the Street festival held at Queens Park (Toronto) in September.

Anyway Sawyer has started another new trilogy. This one is about computers and sentient intelligence inside the Web. The first book in the series is called WAKE and was just published 2 months ago - in April. I reserved my copy at the library and had to wait 6 weeks to finally get it.

It was excellent and unforgettable. I could not put it down. I even stayed up to 1 am to finish it. I cannot wait for the next 2 books - WATCH and WONDER. That is what WWW means - not World Wide Web but - Wake, Watch, Wonder.

I have always loved computer related books, and computer related movies too.

Caitlin Decter is young, pretty, feisty, a genius at math — and blind. Still, she can surf the net with the best of them, following its complex paths clearly in her mind.

When a Japanese researcher develops a new signal-processing implant that might give her sight, she jumps at the chance, flying to Tokyo for the operation.

But Caitlin's brain long ago co-opted her primary visual cortex to help her navigate online. Once the implant is activated, instead of seeing reality, the landscape of the World Wide Web explodes into her consciousness, spreading out all around her in a riot of colors and shapes. While exploring this amazing realm, she discovers something — some other — lurking in the background. And it's getting smarter ...

Caitlin and her parents are Americans, but they move to Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada. Both her parents have PHD doctorates.

I have just one small nitpick with this book. Robert Sawyer needs to be somewhat more educated on Canadian immigration law. The Decter family have not immigrated to Canada. The father has a work permit, and the mother has applied for hers which is allowed under Canada law. So why is it that Mr Sawyer makes no mention of Caitlin needing a study permit to attend the local high school. Which under Canadian immigration law, she must have.

I mention this only because of my extensive experience with Canadian immigration and my excessive need to mention the nit-picking details

Other than that, this was an excellent book.

Oh yes, and I read this book for the Canadian Book challenge in an attempt to get the challenge to over 1000 books. And because on the last update (the 11th) John asked ever so nicely - in fact he challenged us.

At the bottom of the long post you can read this...

Now with just 47 books to go to reach 1000 (which is just amazing--thank you so much!), I want to really push it this last month. If every participant just reads one book this month, we'll easily reach this goal. But just in case, I want to make June Read A Canadian Book Month. So, even if you've completed the challenge already, please read just one more! Pretty please! Pretty please with a Canadian cherry on top! And if you were going to read a Canadian book this month anyway, I challenge you to read two. Come on! I need your help here!

1 comment:

John Mutford said...

Thanks again for helping me reach my goal. You went above and beyond what I expected from participants.