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Acts of the Apostles (Mind Over Matter Series) Paperback – November 17, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Mind Over Matter Series
  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Rosalita Associates; 1st edition (November 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 192975213X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929752133
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

An ontological thriller-sensuously technical, technically sensuous, Acts of the Apostles lyrically, hypnotically pretends to be an investigation of Gulf War Syndrome, but its real subject is Kaczynski's Postulate: that technology and freedom cannot be reconciled. God, two-pass compilers, SCUD warheads and the convergence of biological and digital technology are grist for Sundman's mill, and what a mechanical marvel his mill is. -- Betcham Review Services, 10/99

About the Author

John Sundman, recipient of the STC Award of Distinguished Technical Communication and Brazil's Rei do Lixo medal, has been a truck driver, chair of Sun Microsytem's Software Development Architecture Team, and construction laborer on an internet billionaire's high-tech island Xanadu. He states for the record that this book was written by him, not an Artificial Intelligence construct. Nor was it purloined from the back seat of an illegally parked car. There is no truth to the rumor that he is a retired New York City Police detective.

More About the Author

John (F.X, Compton, Damien) Sundman grew up on a small farm in New Jersey, attended Xavier (Jesuit, military) High School on 16th Street Manhattan, got a degree in anthropology from Hamilton College, did a two year rural development stint in Peace Corps, then: Purdue grad school agricultural economics, 25 years or so high tech hardware software Boston area & Silicon Valley, drop out Martha's Vineyard, truck driver, warehouseman, construction worker, working class hero, poverty & embarrassment. Wrote technoparanoid novel, metafictiony geekoid novella, dystopian illustrated phantasmagoria; back in and out of high tech; firefighter; husband, father of 3, essayist for Salon.com; food pantry worker.

My website is http://www.wetmachine.com

Customer Reviews

I love Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, and John LeCarre's books.
C.L. Phillips
The technical details of the threat and the social aspects of the conspiracy are also totally plausible and make it really rather creepy.
Cortlandt Winters
It's well written, nicely paced, and you really care about the characters.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book a great deal. To me, the story flowed much better than recent efforts by some of my other favorite technothriller authors. If this is really the author's first effort, the book certainly doesn't read like it.
I enjoyed the character development the most. The protagonist is a wonderfully fallible Everyman. Some of the other characters are recognizably based on real players in the computer industry. Some of those players will probably recognize themselves, and more than a few oversensitive Silicon Valley noses may be left a bit out of joint. The primary bad guy is a brutal pastiche of the least pleasant traits of the CEOs of several major Silicon Valley heavy-hitter firms, with an extra dollop of attitude, and a couple tabs of the brown acid left over from Woodstock folded in just for spice!
Bottom line: I liked it, and I finished it in two sittings. It feels like what might have resulted if Tom Clancy had decided to write "Soul of a New Machine", but base it in a somewhat maleveolent parallel universe. You don't have to have worked in the high-tech industry or be a conspiracy theory addict to get into this one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Jurek on January 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Acts of the Apostles is the fin de siecle techno-thriller novel. It is an incredible read. In it a nightmare of nanotechnology and genetic manipulation of uncomfortable believability unfolds before us, the equal if not better of any work by any seasoned big name writer in this genre. As a first novel, its craftsmanship is quite beyond accounting. Author John F. X. Sundman has written a magnificent work of literature, and has simultaneously made a bold ethical statement about the inexorable but blind quest of science, the technological hubris that feeds off of it, and freedom of the individual mind that is threatened by it.
On the technical side, it is every bit as software and hardware aware as Soul of a New Machine, as fascinating as any computer techno-thriller written by anyone to date, but with a literary punch and authority that out shines most mystery or legal genres and much that passes for literary mainstream. Sundman cannot be dismissed as either a shallow techno-geek or an ivory tower aesthete, because as this novel demonstrates, the range of his intellect and sensibilities has it all covered.
Dramatic and finely tuned, this witty and insider-savvy roman a'clef narrative cuts a devastating swath through high tech industry, from silicon valley to the East Coast, sparing no one from Bill Gates on down. Acts is nothing less than a work of genius. The range of insights and arcane technical knowledge that pervade and inform the high-stakes international plot are balanced by a command of culture from Sunnyvale to Basel. Sundman's facile command of human relationships blows away once and for all the image of the technophile as a two-dimensional drone bounded by a finite memory-map of gadgetry.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Mccarthy on May 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is four kinds of good. First, it is a good fictional illustration (and anticipation) of the nanotechnology fears that Bill Joy was writing about in his famous Wired article, "Why the future doesn't need us." The plot? Gulf War Syndrome is the result of some nanotechnology experimentation on soldiers during that conflict... [Author Sundman and Joy also share a history of employment by Sun.] Second, and more importantly, it is a pretty good first novel in the international conspiracy suspense action thriller genre (not easy to do), although we might further class it a geek action suspense thriller, since its protagonist is a programmer. Third, it is somewhat of a roman a clef, which provides extra entertainment as you compare its fictional world with the real world. And fourth, it is a very intelligent satire as well, reminiscent of the Terry Southern of Dr. Strangelove. Sundman understands that technology and science are not the bad guys, it is the drive of international and worldwide control of markets (read people) that is just too tempting for the occasional powerful plutocratic megalomaniac. The hero, Nick Aubry, is a man of our time: "Once upon a time Nick thought he knew what mattered to him. He would have said the meaning of his live came from taking part in the redefinition of human nature..." Elsewhere a sympathetic scientific character, Dieter, muses: "With this technology all things would become mutable: oil spill would become fish food, smog would become clean air, the cystic fibrosis gene would become sound. Imagine: the dying child lies on the hospital bed, a simple injection into his blood, and lo, behold the child arise and walk..." Everyone is optimistic and positive.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ed watkins on April 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Mr. Sundman has written a provocative yet humorus view of a future where the cybercrats and DNA researchers have gone too far. The book should appeal to any reader who has misgivings about technology as the "New Savior" There is plenty of wit to balance the the tale of a new "Big Brother" headed our way; one who thinks nothing of murdering thousands of people to achieve the "New Age."
While the plot may at first glance seem a little far out, one only needs to see Bill Gate's new commercial, (I am a nice guy, here to help everyone) to realize that the new Computer Age may not be totally benign. As Nick, Bartlett and Paul discover, there are dark forces about.
Mr. Sundman makes good use of current political and medical events, the gulf War, AIDS, DNA research to create a feeling that his novel is closer to fact than fiction. His insights into high-tech companies is obviously basd on first-hand knowledge. That makes the book that much scarier.
I recommned you turn off your computer and read this book. You may not be in a hurry to log back on once you have finished Acts of the Apostles
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