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WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer
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WWW: Wake (edition 2009)

by Robert J. Sawyer

Series: WWW (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7565812,276 (3.72)51
Member:hnau
Title:WWW: Wake
Authors:Robert J. Sawyer
Info:New York : Ace Books, 2009.
Collections:Your library, Paper, 2012 (inactive)
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Science Fiction, Zaunpfahl, @WR11, * Julian Jaynes, / WWW, #1

Work details

WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer

  1. 00
    Investment Counselor by Orson Scott Card (cattwing)
    cattwing: Wake, with its exploration of internet consciousness, reminded me very much of Orson Card's Ender's game series, in which he deals with the same subject and creates a similar character who I really enjoyed. This short story, "investment counselor" is where we first meet "jane," the internet being, but I would recommend reading his entire series - it was quite enjoyable.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
This book was fresh and different. I do not read science fiction and if I were asked to describe the genre, I'd probably think of something involving space travel but that has all changed now. This is definitely the kind of science fiction I'd like to read more of - fiction about science with great characters written for the non-science fiction reader. Good stuff! ( )
  kellifrobinson | Nov 25, 2014 |
It's quite interesting. However it's not a "whole" novel. Not a single one of the plot lines in the book were concluded. I'm going to read the second instalment in this trilogy because I liked the first one, I do however think that it should be called "part 1" because it's not a whole book. ( )
  josescott | Sep 20, 2014 |
I've had this book on my "to-read" list for a long time, since it was nominated for a Hugo. I read the excerpt about a blind teenage girl in high school who liked math and web surfing. I thought "this is an awesome character. I'd like to read about her." But the opening chapter did not lead to the story I thought it would be.

The story I thought it would be was about this cool blind, math girl and about her personal life and how she copes being smart and disabled and boys and socializing. In fact, there's almost nothing of that and plenty of math essays and Crichton-esque infodumps. I'm sure they'd be fascinating, if I was into math. But I'm not. The main thread is about an operation to get her sight back, but a backfire lets her "see" the World Wide Web, although most of the text is her trying to interpret what she sees. And that's when the story stays on track.

There are four or five other narratives going on at the same time, none of which connect to the main plot and none of which wrap up by the end of the book. One is about the Chinese government shutting down the Internet. Another is about a Chinese dissident. Still another is about a chimpanzee at a zoo that can paint portraits. And still another is this entity coming into existence who only speaks in existential dialogue as he tries to figure out his "self" and "the other", except you don't know that it's an emerging AI until the end of the book. And by the end of the book, all of these threads are still hanging in space.

There's nothing at stake for her. She gets the operation, it doesn't work at first, but then it does. There are no consequences -- if it doesn't work, nothing changes. The few parts that are about her personal life are so cliche they could have come out of Dawson's Creek. There's the hot guy at school who asks her to prom, gets too touchy-feely, and there's tears, but she forgets about him a page later. Then, as if throwing the audience a bone, she "confronts" him at the end by insulting his hockey team. Collectively, that's as far as you get for her human side and it takes about ten pages.

I wanted to know about how she gets along with others, but instead I'm reading about her eye implant and math equations. There's no real goal. The plot proceeds upon a long continuous line with no hills or valleys. It reads like a very long prologue to something (it's the first part of a trilogy, I guess). Maybe if you read a lot of Robert J. Sawyer, you'd like it. But what it says on the tin is not what I got when I opened the can. ( )
  theWallflower | Mar 14, 2014 |
Interesting science fiction that suffers a bit from being too obviously the start of a trilogy. Hopefully the dangling plot threads will be eventually tied up. ( )
  CBrachyrhynchos | Feb 4, 2014 |
I don’t remember how I first came across this one, but the basic idea is that the Internet becomes self-aware. It was an idea I have toyed with from time to time but never figured out how to turn it into a story. Sawyer did.

It’s mostly told through the POV of a blind teenage girl who gets an experimental implant to grant her sight, but there are also some other characters scattered around the globe playing their own parts. While the girl’s operation is at first deemed a failure, time changes that. I don’t want to say too much about that, because it’s a spoiler worth preserving, though I will say I was initially annoyed by what she sees via her implant. Still, I recognized it was required by the plot, but I was glad to see it go.

We also see some of the story told from the POV of the emerging sentience of the internet. While generally told in small snippets, I found that part very interesting. Over the book, it goes from a barely aware sentience to a fully self-aware, communicative mind. That in itself was an interesting journey.

So, overall I enjoyed it, with only minor points of nit-picking. It’s clearly the first in a trilogy, so I look forward to seeing where the rest of this goes. ( )
  DanThompson | Apr 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert J. Sawyerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frangie, RitaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
What a blind person needs
is not a teacher
but another self.

—Helen Keller
Dedication
For

Pat Forde

Great Writer
Great Friend
First words
Not Darkness, for that implies an understanding of light.
Quotations
"Please", she thought. "Let there be light."

She pressed the key.

And there was light.
Before had been better.
And then, and then, and then —

It was —

The gold mine.

The mother lode.
—and he firmly shook Kuroda's hand.
Hey, how do you find Canadian in a crowded room? Start stepping on people's feet and wait for someone to apologize to you.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441016790, Hardcover)

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 more and more intelligent with each passing day.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:36 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Although Caitlin Decter is blind, she can effortlessly surf the Internet by following its complex paths clearly in her mind. When she receives an implant to restore her sight, instead of seeing reality, the landscape of the World Wide Web explodes into her consciousness.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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