Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Blindsight by Peter Watts

Blindsight (edition 2008)

by Peter Watts

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,466845,094 (3.93)84
Authors:Peter Watts
Info:Tor Books (2008), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:ebook, Your library

Work details

Blindsight by Peter Watts (Author)

Recently added bymbvinstrup, mind-gloaming, private library, jcds3365, bloodrizer, ronhenry, lorannen, brikis98, Belanar
  1. 51
    Solaris by Stanisław Lem (deTerrence)
  2. 30
    Eifelheim by Michael Flynn (Waldheri)
    Waldheri: Similar because it also is full of philosophical and scientific concepts, and also has a first-contact theme.
  3. 11
    Foreigner by C. J. Cherryh (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Two books that push the boundaries on our understanding of what constitutes alien cultures and intelligences.
  4. 00
    A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Excellent hard sci-fi which contains concepts which will challenge your mind.
  5. 00
    Starfish by Peter Watts (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Classic bleak sci-fi.
  6. 01
    The Best of Edmond Hamilton by Edmond Hamilton (jen.e.moore)
    jen.e.moore: Slightly misanthropic stories about how humanity is not necessarily the apex of creation.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 84 mentions

English (81)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
Rather hard scifi (considering it's a novel about first contact featuring vampires in space, um) that - as good scifi should - asks difficult questions about humanity, consciousness and emotion.

I found this interesting and thought-provoking rather than enjoyable, but am struggling to write a review that doesn't turn into one of several essays. Good brain food; don't expect much in the way of sustenance for the heart. ( )
  imyril | Nov 22, 2015 |
Some great ideas (maybe too many for one book) and is both overwritten (such strident and angry language) and underwritten (the mostly unpleasant characters all speak in the same voice, despite the nominal distinction made between them in descriptions; their voices feel indistinguishable from the voice of the narration; it also feels like it may just be the voice of the author).

It's clear Watts has many axes to grind, both in the field of biology and regarding human nature, and I kind of wish he put as much effort into developing the characters and story as he did in over-emphasizing points in every other sentence with italics.

As it is, he's just taken a slightly above-average first contact story and turned the rhetoric dial up to 11. I almost gave up on it 50 pages in.

What it reminded me of most was one of those dystopic William Barton/Michael Capobianco novels from 20 years ago where a cast of unpleasant individuals end up in a tough science fictional situation and turn on each other. But without the unpleasant sex of the Barton/Capobianco books.

3 stars for ideas, no stars for being shouted at for 300-plus pages. ( )
  ronhenry | Nov 17, 2015 |
This messed with my mind. The plot's okay, the characters are okay, but the main selling point here is the weirdness, and this book has plenty. It will make you think, and then it will make you think about thinking. ( )
  semjaza | Nov 7, 2015 |
I read this online on my iPad which was a mistake. Everytime I had to quit, I would lose my place - I should have gone for one of the download options.

The story itself was rather interesting with some unusual aliens and some unusual people from Earth who go to check out the aliens before they get too deep into the solar system. The author is exploring questions about consciousness, sentience, and what makes a person human. Are any of the crew actually human? Why is the leader a vampire? And more. Cautiously recommended.
  hailelib | Aug 8, 2015 |
"Blindsight" is an idea book. Nearly all of its science- the science that really matters- is biology, with a special emphasis on neurology. This is unusual for a book set in space, where plasma cannons, self-replicating attack nanoswarms, or the like are more typically the technological focus. Blindsight is also unusual in having powerful computers/AI in the setting that essentially make no difference to the plot. (This is no Vernor Vinge space story, as much as it may superficially resemble one!) It is a book about humans, aliens, and what lies in between.

While "Blindsight" has many good ideas, it has one Big Idea on which the book is founded. You don't recognize the nature of this idea, as well as the beautiful aptness of the book's title, until quite late into the work. The idea is powerful and presents a scary possible view of the cosmos that I hadn't heard before.

Unfortunately, I think the book's fundamentals like plot and character development aren't up to the level of the book's science or philosophical ideas. This is most apparent after the Big Idea comes out, when the book wraps up rather abruptly, with a muddied view of events, and without exploring some of the consequences of and challenges to the Big Idea. I feel like Watts' writing could use greater clarity- sometimes obscurity in writing is needed to help the reader discover ideas or to keep the aliens mysterious, but Watts over-uses obscuring language and writing from limited points of view, so that even things that have no literary purpose to be unclear can be so.

Still, I recommend it, particularly for fans of neuroscience and hard SF, as well as for folks who like first contact stories. This book blows the last first contact story I read, The Mote in God's Eye, out of the water. ( )
  jrissman | May 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Watts, PeterAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pringle, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shimada, YoichiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Try to touch the past. Try to deal with the past. It's not real. It's just a dream.
- Ted Bundy
For Lisa
If we're not in pain, we're not alive.
First words
It didn't start out here.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary
Sentient contact?

Conscious thought avails you not

Scramblers are coming


Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765319640, Paperback)

The Hugo Award–nominated novel by “a hard science fiction writer through and through and one of the very best alive.” The Globe and Mail
Two months have past since a myriad of alien objects clenched about the Earth, screaming as they burned. The heavens have been silent since—until a derelict space probe hears whispers from a distant comet. Something talks out there: but not to us. Who should we send to meet the alien, when the alien doesn’t want to meet?
Send a linguist with multiple-personality disorder and a biologist so spliced with machinery that he can’t feel his own flesh. Send a pacifist warrior and a vampire recalled from the grave by the voodoo of paleogenetics. Send a man with half his mind gone since childhood. Send them to the edge of the solar system, praying you can trust such freaks and monsters with the fate of a world. You fear they may be more alien than the thing they’ve been sent to find—but you’d give anything for that to be true, if you knew what was waiting for them. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:37 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

It's been two months since a myriad of alien objects clenched around the Earth, screaming as they burned. The heavens have been silent since. That is until a derelict space probe hears whispers from a distant comet.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
108 wanted4 free
2 pay
3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.93)
1 4
1.5 1
2 32
2.5 10
3 78
3.5 37
4 149
4.5 39
5 137


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,875,209 books! | Top bar: Always visible