A Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author joins Ace with a stunning new science fiction epic.
Caitlin Decter is young, pretty, feisty, a genius at math, and blind. When she receives an implant to restore her sight, instead of seeing reality she perceives the landscape of the World Wide Web-where she makes contact with a mysterious consciousness existing only in cyberspace.
The wildly thought-provoking first installment of Sawyer's WWW trilogy, serialized in Analog in 2008 and 2009, explores the origins and emergence of consciousness. Blind teen Caitlin Decter gets an experimental signal-processing implant that inexplicably opens up her vision to the wondrous infrastructure of the World Wide Web. Inside the Web is a newborn "webmind," a globe-spanning self-contained consciousness that is just becoming aware of the outside world. Secondary plot threads about a highly intelligent hybrid primate and Chinese bloggers battling a repressive government extend the motif of expanding awareness. The thematic diversity and profundity makes this one of Sawyer's strongest works to date. Numerous dangling plot threads are an unnecessary pointer to the forthcoming books; readers will keep coming back for the ideas.
It's amazing …
… how quickly and easily this book ties together diverse and complex concepts into a fast, compelling read. It's the kind of book you really enjoy reading — and then really enjoy what it's given you to think about when you're finished. Well done!
Don't waste your time
If Robert Shaw has won all of these putative awards for writing science fiction, I fear for the health of the genre. I have read one and a half of his books - illegal alien (which was passable) and the first half of WWW:Wake. Fiction, regardless of the genre, should be rendered on a deep vellum of character and plot development. Reading Mr. Shaw's material makes one feel as if the story is presented on rice paper. His work presents an artificial lack of imagination and a superfluous treatment of all main characters, although his research into the subject matter is obvious and commendable. A huge disappointment.