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Hyperthought by M. M. Buckner

Hyperthought (2003)

by M. M. Buckner

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The year is 2125, and the earth’s surface is uninhabitable due to pollution. Corporations rule the world, people live underground, and worker rebellions are cropping up here and there. Jolie Sauvage, the novel’s narrator, makes a living as a surface tour guide, which requires extensive use of protective gear to guard against the deadly pollution. While conducting a tour, she meets and embarks on a relationship with handsome actor Jin. Through Jolie, Jin meets Dr. Merida, a neuroscientist who is working on an experimental surgery for hyperthought, a state that involves intense sensory perception. Jin is eager to have the surgery, but things don’t go exactly as planned.

The novel starts off with a bang, and seems promising. Then it gets bogged down in a tedious, largely uninteresting, and never-ending rescue scene that seems to occupy half the novel. Meanwhile, the reader never gets a good sense of what hyperthought is, or why it might be important, useful, dangerous, etc. Further, in many ways we are supposed to believe that Jolie is a strong, independent woman, but she frequently enters a ditzy state and repeatedly blames her behavior on her female hormones. Weird. So, overall, this was a disappointment. ( )
  DorsVenabili | Jun 5, 2012 |
I borrowed this 2005 e-book from the Downloadlibrary.com. An interesting read, but the plot was a bit scattered.

Jolie is a guide who specialises in tours on the dangerous surface of an Earth now toxic with continuous dangerous weather. When Jin, the son of one of the owners of a Big Three corporation, takes her tour, she is fascinated by him. He so badly wants to do the 'right thing', but can't see how he can *know* for sure what that is. To this end, he goes with Dr. Merida, a neurologist who promises that she can enhance his brain to the point of omniscience. Jolie is sure this is too dangerous, but Jin won't listen to reason. When Jolie gets an ambiguous message from Jin, ending with "wish you were here", she is convinced he needs rescuing.

Most of the characters seemed a bit scatterbrained, but I guess that just makes them more real!
  AwesomeAud | Jun 22, 2011 |
Sometimes I wonder why is that if something is that if I find out that fashionable my first reaction is turning away. Intellectually I know that popular items and ideas can also have plenty of value, but emotionally I am turned off for them. I am often more interested in the obscure as if scarcity in itself would be of value. I know that the answer to my reactions is buried somewhere in my personal background and the circumstances of how my taste in music, literature, fashion and even ideology developed. In communist Hungary underground culture was more alive and relevant than the public one. At least for me.

When I was reading M. M. Buckner's Hyperthought I had mixed reactions for the above reasons. On one hand I utterly enjoyed the fast paced science fiction and the ideas it explored. On the other hand I had a negative gut reaction to some of the themes it explored. Pollution, global warming corporations overtaking the roles and functions of nations... these are all valid and important concern but in recent years they became popular memes in science fiction novels. Extrapolating these trends is a common pastime nowadays for authors.

I am aware that it is essential to point out the dangers and consequences of where we might heading and sci-fi is a perfect medium for that. Furthermore Buckner did a good job of item, because he painted a believable scenario and filled it with action and characters who are beyond the black and white superhero/villain dichotomy. Nevertheless it took some effort for me to fully accept that it is OK to write about popular themes. If you're OK with it too, than read the novel, because it has originality beyond the commonalities with other books.
1 vote break | Nov 7, 2010 |
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Hyperthought recounts the adventures of a young man who trusts an unscrupulous doctor to enhance his brain function, and of a young woman who tries to save him. The year is 2125, and the Earth has undergone drastic climate change due to global warming. People crowd in sealed underground habitats to avoid the stormy, toxic surface. Feisty little Jolie Sauvage leads extreme surface adventure tours for rich executives. Jolie's friend, Dr. Judith Merida, is peddling a new cosmetic neurosurgery, which she claims will wake the brain's latent, unconscious senses. Jolie makes a disasterous mistake when she introduces Dr. Merida to one of her wealthy tour group clients, Jin Sura, an arrogant but troubled young man with a terrible desire for knowledge.… (more)

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