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Galatea 2.2: A Novel Paperback – January 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I knew it wouldn't be the same as The Gold Bug Variations. That novel had a *sine qua none* aspect of perfection that I doubted could be matched even by its author. What I had not expected was a meditation on that book--a reflection or introspection of his career as a novelist to date. The main character in Galatea 2.2 is a man named Richard Powers, a man who has written three novels and is just finishing his fourth as the book opens. The novels have the same titles and subjects as those of the author of this book, but can we assume that the protagonist and the author are the same? (One branch of literary theory says that no author is the same between books. That as soon as any single work is finished, that author is unattainable--dead, so to speak, to the world. I was surreptitiously referring to this above.) Why is it an issue? Because the Powers displayed herein is so flawed that you don't want to believe it is the same person. Yes, I still have that silly illusion that authors can somehow be better than the rest of us, to be above spite and greed and depression. But one has only to look at oneself to see the problem with that belief.Read more ›
Both stories are beautiful. They warn you in advance they are going to break your heart, but they proceed to do so with such an honest approach to human inadequacy and regret that although the end is filled with sentiment, it has earned the right to that sentiment. There was not a character in the book I did not love.
In the science fiction storyline, Powers uses a highly novel approach to the genre: actually writing about science and scientists. The story of discovery proceeds incrementally through several tweaks and re-implementations of the developing artificial intelligence. It is one of the few novels I have read that adequately captures the feeling of doing research in a highly speculative field, but does so without becoming tedious. Similarly, the scientists Powers works with have fully developed lives outside their research. One gets the feeling that these are real people that you would like to know yourself, people with lives that the book only scratches the surface of.
The autobiography is also well-conducted, being about himself without being self-indulgent. From the beginning of his relationship with C., Powers simply expresses regret over his inability to be the person C. needed him to be at any given time until the assymetry of their relationship hollows it out and kills it.Read more ›
Mr. Powers has a talent for writing about arcana and making the subjects accessible. Unlike many reviewers, my knowledge of the pursuit of Artificial Intelligence is strictly that of an amateur. I found that Mr. Powers brought credibility to a theme that has been little more than bad Science Fiction in the hands of other Authors. He included all the tech-talk, but he used language in its most basic forms to first make the project appear possible, to bringing the true enormity of what will be required before anything akin to sentience can be achieved/created.
The written words, when he collected them into novel form, also became the deciding factor in his initial carbon-based personal relationship. When silicon took the place of carbon the importance of language was increased exponentially. Neither relationship was fruitful.
One reviewer queried that when we finished the book did the experience stop or is it continuing even now. If you have never read this Author, what I write might suggest I have a form of dementia.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read this book several times over the years since it was first released. While the information science in it hasn't necessarily aged well, the writing is fluid, immersive,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by t6star
It is difficult to merge science and literary fiction but Powers always tries hardPublished 4 months ago by David Faris
Gobbledygook! Didn't bother to finish. Too many other books that are worth reading to warrant spending time on this loser.Published 9 months ago by Jane A. Rubey
A fascinating exploration of artificial intelligence and what it means to be conscious.Published 10 months ago by Abby
I picked up GALATEA 2.2 because the book's summary promised a melding of neuro-science and literature in a self-aware computer. What was actually between the covers? Read morePublished 18 months ago by Lori Parker
Overly intellectualized. Would rather read an actual research tract on embodied cognition and a novel about real people with real emotions and relations.Published 19 months ago by Harobed
Power explores the facets of artificial intelligence and its limitations, The peculiarities of self and biology along with a smidgen of hope for the human race.Published 21 months ago by Kirk Rogers Jr.