Hugo Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer is back with Mindscan, a pulse-pounding, mind-expanding standalone novel, rich with his signature philosophical and ethical speculations, all grounded in cutting-edge science.
Jake Sullivan has cheated death: he's discarded his doomed biological body and copied his consciousness into an android form. The new Jake soon finds love, something that eluded him when he was encased in flesh: he falls for the android version of Karen, a woman rediscovering all the joys of life now that she's no longer constrained by a worn-out body either.
But suddenly Karen's son sues her, claiming that by uploading into an immortal body, she has done him out of his inheritance. Even worse, the original version of Jake, consigned to die on the far side of the moon, has taken hostages there, demanding the return of his rights of personhood. In the courtroom and on the lunar surface, the future of uploaded humanity hangs in the balance.
Mindscan is vintage Sawyer -- a feast for the mind and the heart.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
This tightly plotted hard SF stand-alone novel from Hugo and Nebula winner Sawyer (Hybrids, etc.) offers plenty of philosophical speculation on the ethics of bio-technology and the nature of consciousness, but few surprises. To evade a rare medical condition, Canadian Jake Sullivan, heir to the Sullivan Brewery fortune, contracts with Immortex to be Mindscanned, his consciousness copied and uploaded into an android body. At Immortex, Jake meets elderly children's book author Karen Bessarian, a fellow Mindscan, who wants to retain control of her copyrights as long as possible which may be centuries, since no one knows how long their manufactured bodies may live. Their originals (aka "shed skins") are taken to High Eden, a private "retirement village" on the far side of the moon, to live the rest of their lives in luxurious isolation. Strangely unprepared for the alienation he encounters as a Mindscan, Jake becomes Karen's lover. Then Karen's original dies and her son sues to inherit her estate. Meanwhile, Jake's original learns of a cure for his medical condition only to discover, after successful treatment, that he may not leave High Eden. The novel's near-future setting a socially liberal Canada that provides a haven from fundamentalist Christian controlled America may excite as much interest as the Mindscan concept.