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Echopraxia Hardcover – August 26, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A paranoid tale that would make Philip K. Dick proud, told in a literary style that should seduce readers who don't typically enjoy science fiction. (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

PETER WATTS is the Hugo nominated author of Blindsight and has been called "a hard science fiction writer through and through and one of the very best alive" by The Globe and Mail and whose work the New York Times called "seriously paranoid."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (August 26, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076532802X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765328021
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 100 REVIEWER on August 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Echopraxia takes place after Blindsight. Transhuman Bicamerals (hive-minded faith-based scientists who speak in tongues), engineered versions of zombies, and not-quite-human but controlled and confined vampires are among the many background characters. Don't grind your teeth -- this is not another dumb zombie/vampire novel.

The central character is baseline human Dan Brüks, a biologist and tenured professor who resists all the wiring and implants that most people take for granted. As Exchopraxia begins, Brüks is in the desert where he finds Bicamerals threatened by a not-so-controlled-or-confined vampire and her zombie helpers. Soon the Bicams and the vampire join forces (more or less) because they appear to have a common but unidentified enemy. An attack from an unknown source sends Brüks and the Bicams and the vampire and a baseline military officer and some other characters scrambling to a spaceship that is itself chased and attacked by the unknown enemy. Figuring out who (or what) is engineering the high tech attacks is one of the plot's three mysteries. The second involves a mysterious something -- the "Angels of the Asteroids" is the roughly translated name bestowed by the Bicams -- and its association with Icarus, a space station that acts as a conduit of unlimited solar energy. The third involves the abrupt disappearance of the Theseus, a spaceship that investigated mystery number two, on which the military officer's son was serving.

Peter Watts has a better than average prose style. I like the way he renders dialog in a character for whom language is too slow to keep pace with thought. Characters have carefully designed personalities.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Han Jie on August 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Though far from what one thinks of as typical hard sf, Peter Watts’ 2006 Blindsight was one of the genre’s most cutting edge stories knowledge-wise. The larger societal mindset still trying to catch up to the implications of modern neuroscience, Watts used fresh data to fictionally present many of the roots of human behavior brain research is uncovering. The follow-up novel eight years in the making, 2014’s Echopraxia is, at least, worth the wait. Though lacking a similarly engaging main premise, Watts’ continues with an agenda of hyper-determinism, producing a harsh, challenging look at the mind and its potentials.

Wikipedia defines ‘echophenomena’ as “’automatic imitative actions without explicit awareness,’ or pathological repetitions of external stimuli or activities, actions, sounds, or phrases, indicative of an underlying disorder.” Echopraxia is the ‘action’ portion of the definition. Beyond mere hammer-to-the-knee, it refers to the deep, sub-conscious motivations of human behavior, differing worldviews, and the manner in which people respond to the exigencies of life. These are the areas Watts expands the idea in Echopraxia. From religion to existentialism, the limits of science to pure fear, a broad array of topics are confronted by one man taken on a trip he wished he could have avoided.

Echopraxia is the story of Daniel Brueks, a biologist working in the Oregon wilderness to exterminate species with corrupt DNA. The monastery in the desert below, with its pet tornado, is his entertainment. But when attacked by an unseen, inhuman entity, it proves his only refuge.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Matthew S. Cavnar on August 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read Blindsight after it was recommended to me via Amazon -- I ripped through it in a day or so. This book is the sequel to that one. Think of it this way: If 2001 featured a crew of genetically modified/brain mutilated/optimized astronauts led by a vampire, yet was still depicted with stately, icy elegance -- then you'd have Blindsight. This book is Blindsight's 2010 if there was an ideal world whose movies/books were written like this -- this would be the sequels that world produced. Don't hesitate. Read Blindsight, then read this. Get them both together. Just get them. Some of the best science fiction of the 2000s, in the running as the best.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Seruko on August 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A fitting conclusion to blind sight, although somewhat more philosophical than the usual hard edged scifi.
Worth purchasing for the Citations Alone.
If you are a fan of the very hardest sci-fi you ought to have already purchased this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jason Ahmed on September 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Peter Watts' writing, his ideas and his concepts, are simply mind-blowing. The only negative things I can say about Echopraxia (as well as the also masterful prior novel, BlindSight) are that I now find it hard to even suspend belief for an instant when attempting to enjoy more traditional "science"-fiction novels or movies. Peter Watts has literally turned my views on the nature of the near future, as well as alien intelligence, inside out.

Echopraxia is absolutely masterful speculative fiction, rigorous, unafraid to truly challenge the reader. It gets into your brain, and then slowly starts to push and press outwards. There should be more writers like this.
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