Saturday, March 11, 2006

Book Recommendation - Mindscan

Continuing the "mind separate from body" theme, Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer directly tackles the subject by postulating that the commercial development of mind transfer has taken place.

What starts off as an interesting description of the technology and the socio-economic realities that are likely to pertain (you have to be rich to afford the process) ends up becoming a debate on ethics at the cost of plot.

The ethics are indeed worth discussing, the problem is that the reader starts off with the promise and assumption of a good novel. That promise is somewhat diminished by the device of a court case, which the author uses to layout the arguments for and against changing humanity's definition of what constitutes a person. The ethical debate is compelling, it just sits awkwardly in the context of a novel in which the plot needs to progress.

All in all, worth the read for the thought provoking ideas.

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