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Destination Void by Frank Herbert
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Destination Void (original 1966; edition 1978)

by Frank Herbert

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1,0981713,084 (3.22)19
The starship Earthling, filled with thousands of hibernating colonists en route to a new world at Tau Ceti, is stranded beyond the solar system when the ship's three organic mental cores-disembodied human brains that control the vessel's functions-go insane. The emergency skeleton crew sees only one chance for survival: build an artificial consciousness in the Earthling's primary computer that can guide them to their destination-and hope it doesn't destroy the human race.Don't miss Frank Herbert's classic novel that begins the epic Pandora Sequence.… (more)
Member:Jenney
Title:Destination Void
Authors:Frank Herbert
Info:Berkley (1978), Paperback
Collections:Your library
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Tags:SF

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Destination: Void by Frank Herbert (1966)

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Interesting in parts, but really has too much techno-speak. You need a PhD in Neuroscience, Philosophy and Computer Science to understand what they are saying. ( )
  GigaClon | Mar 21, 2020 |
(...)

So if I have to believe others – and I do – there is a certain technical merit in these kind of passages. The fact that Herbert himself even updated his work to the standards of the new day, indicates he was serious to a certain extent. So it’s not just all random non-nonsensical gobbledygook, not at all.

The paradox is that it reads as gobbledygook nonetheless, and while the book may have (had) some technical merit, ultimately it fails spectacularly, as no one has ever tried to use this book as a manual to try and design conscious AI, because in the end, Herbert too relies on handwavium – technical posturing notwithstanding.

(...)

That Herbert didn’t take a stab at true brain science can’t be held against him: while the first human EEG was already recorded in 1924, the much more precise MEG signals were first measured in 1968, and rudimentary CAT, PET and MRI scanning techniques only originated in the early 70ies.

All this does not mean the book is a total failure.

(...)

Full analysis on Weighing A Pig ( )
  bormgans | Jan 8, 2019 |
This book was frustrating. I felt like chunks of it were flying right over my head. There's a ton of dialog, which bogs it down and leaves a bit to be desired in terms of world building, as it were. There's precious little set up to help you understand what is going on with the characters, which makes the lofty concepts it's lobbing up that much more difficult to sort through. The jumping perspectives were confusing until you got used to it (it felt like a more frustrating third person Omniscient POV).

And yet. When I did feel like I was following the concepts lobbed at me, they were incredibly interesting and exciting. The way the story plays out in dialog makes it very unique, and lends a certain sense of immediacy, like you are there with it. The characters were interesting, each with their own agendas that frequently didn't mesh. I want to follow this universe more. The ending was incredibly intriguing. ( )
  themjrawr | Dec 1, 2017 |
Frank Herbert is author of one of the most outstanding science fiction works in history, Dune. Many people are unaware, however, that there were five sequels to Dune. The reason that most people are not familiar with these sequels is because they became so increasingly dense and philosophically difficult to read, that readership steadily declined as the series progressed. While Dune is not without its philosophical nuances, Herbert “jumped the shark” in the later installments.

Herbert also wrote The Dosadi Experiment which despite owning a graduate level degree and being quite widely read, I found to be so far over my head as to be virtually unreadable. Which brings us to this relatively short work, which I selected for its compact size and brevity, for consumption on a four day hunting trip.

There is enough underlying story and action to make this science fiction work readable, but barely. It follows a ship load of clones that are ostensibly making the four hundred year journey to Ceti Alpha. However, the official justification for the journey is really a ruse to hide the real mission; development of a “conscious” artificial intelligence at a safe distance from the inhabited universe, with built in “fail safes” in the event of disaster. This is the sixth such mission, the previous five having “disappeared”.

Herbert fleshes out the underlying story with page after page of not only philosophical musings over the moral and ethical components of such development, but actual biological and technical steps required to achieve the goal. Of course, I’m sure most of the big words and highly technical language is largely BS, or else such an artificial intelligence would be present. However, there is not one in 100,000 that could make heads or tails of this endless stream of blather. I have to wonder exactly what audience Herbert is actually writing for. Either Herbert is one of the most intelligent people to have ever lived, or he wanted us to consider him such. In any event, he would have been better served to write at the Dune level as opposed to the God Emperor of Dune level. ( )
  santhony | Jan 13, 2017 |
Another try at Herbert. Not as good. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frank Herbertprimary authorall editionscalculated
Craddock, AllanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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It was the fifth clone ship to go out from Moonbase on Project Consciousness and he leaned forward to watch it carefully as his duty demanded.
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The starship Earthling, filled with thousands of hibernating colonists en route to a new world at Tau Ceti, is stranded beyond the solar system when the ship's three organic mental cores-disembodied human brains that control the vessel's functions-go insane. The emergency skeleton crew sees only one chance for survival: build an artificial consciousness in the Earthling's primary computer that can guide them to their destination-and hope it doesn't destroy the human race.Don't miss Frank Herbert's classic novel that begins the epic Pandora Sequence.

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