Friday, March 18, 2016

Mindclone by David T. Wolf

What if you had your brain scanned and your entire persona was uploaded to a digital version of yourself?

Your mindclone would have all your memories and desires- including a desire for the girl you just met--but no physical body to act on them.  This is a serious bummer.

Mindclone is a novel of ideas--about the science and technology, the social impact, and what it means to be human whether or not you have a body.  There's humor, adventure, frustrated romance, human and digital foibles, and as an extra dded bonus, the defeat of death itself.  (taken from the back of the book)

I have a lot of thoughts on this book, but first and foremost is that David Wolf and Brandon Zenner need to hook up and collaborate on a book.  That would be phenomenal!!

I'm a bit of a science nerd.  Shhh!  It's one of my best kept secrets!  This book was right up my alley!  Now, you don't have to be a science junkie to comprehend the basics of what they're doing here.  The main character is actually a science writer who specializes in writing things in a manner so that even those with little scientific knowledge can understand what's going on.  The entire book is written this way.  If you don't know anything about science, don't worry!  It won't bog you down and you should still easily understand what they're talking about.

I'd really love to know how many years it took Wolf to put this book together.  It's so well-prepared!  Just when you think they've reached as far as they can, Wolf pushes it even further.  That's difficult to explain without posting spoilers, but if you read it, you'll understand.

The most fascinating part of the book for me came in to play when we get into the specifics of the brain.  I'm all about brain mapping!  The thing is, as humans, our brains protect us.  Trauma?  Let's put a little shield up around that sucker!  But what happens when that same brain is transferred over to a new entity and doesn't have that same shield?  All of a sudden, we have two people with the same memories and thought processes, except that one has the ability to understand his entire past and the other doesn't.  It's absolutely fascinating and stunning in the way it's portrayed here.

The characters are believable and most are likable.  Of course, we have to have a few villains and they're painted brilliantly.  Though this book at first glance is about the science of creating a new sort of artificial intelligence, it's actually much deeper than that.  It's about comprehending the human mind in all its beauty.  We travel through traumas and uncertainties and love and regret.  It's written well and has a brisk pace.  I had a terrible time putting it down when reality called me.

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