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Autonomy Paperback – April 10, 2013
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"Thumbs up! Very entertaining. The ideas that he proposes are absolutely fascinating ... and the Base-60 system, it's fascinating!" -Joey's Culture Corner, TrekWest5 Solid craftsmanship ... engaging ... worth the time. I found myself eager to find out what happens next." -SF Signal "Fast Paced ... some of the best sci-fi I've ever read!" -nmatrix5, reddit.com "Compelling story ... a skillful writer ... I was immediately entranced." -Goeff Lehr, blogspot.com
About the Author
Jean-Michel Smith pursued degrees in Physics and Engineering before choosing Computer Science and graduating with a BS degree from the University of Illinois, College of Engineering. He completed the coursework for his masters degree at Illinois State University and embarked on his career as a systems engineer and enterprise architect. His published works include S3: The Smith Sexagesimal System, Using Base-60 to Increase Arithmetic Intelligence, which can be used as an appendix and companion to Autonomy, his first novel.
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The term mind transfer also refers to a hypothetical transfer of a mind from one biological brain to another. It is a common theme in science fiction.
The begining of the book starts off with the technology--the ability to upload your mind into a computer--having just been secretly invented and is now being tested. There is almost no mention on how this is done, and is the only speed bumb worth mentioning, but does not detract from the story. The book goes on to discribe that the development of technology in the future has been stiffled to the point that it rarely happens at all, because patent laws twenty years old prevent anyone else from developing something better, and the effort to make new machine would require millions if not billions of dollars to buy the rights for the components needed to create the final product. It's something we see happening today. In the book, anyone caught creating this illegal technology is put in jail. thus, those that are in power do not have to suffer world-changing technologies.
It is through this method that the author manages to convey, without actually saying it, that although the average technological savy student in a university can design and build a better TV than the best of what's available in your local store, the law prevents them from doing so, and is the reason why they are able to build a machine that can transfer a human mind into a computer. The reson nobody mentions "how it is done" is otherwise explained away by keeping their activities secrete from the authorities.
While in the computer as a virtual human being, people experiance a thirty to one speed up, because electricity is so much faster than chemical brains. in a single day, a person experiences a month of personal time. Free to think and do as they like in this ultimate escape from a reality filled with oppresive laws and secrete police, a community is quickly forged from the people who help build and develop the computers that make it possible, eventually bringing in their relatives and friends. They then go on to advance and build their technology free of restrictions. as they advance their technology, they advance their minds as well, becoming smarter, developing as both as people and as a community as the story moves on.
Eventually the government finds out and tries to stop them, and much drama is experienced in a battle of wit verses brawn.
I highly recomend that you buy this book!
If you liked the books: Assemblers of Infinity, Warp Speed or Quantum Connection by Travis S. Taylor, Lived Free or Die by John Ringo, The Probability Broach by L. Neil Smith, Seven of Nine from Star Treck, Mind Transfer, The Modular Mans, The Silicom Man,--buy this book.
You'll be glad you did.
At first, Autonomy reads like a novel of rather fascinating ideas. Fans of Richard K. Morgan and Phillip Stross will see some conflicts and themes they are familiar with treated in new ways, as well as some ideas that to this reviewer were genuinely novel. Around the midpoint the story shifts to more of a thriller, as the plot focuses around the efforts of agents of the world's authorities to find and stop the Community living in the Virtual, and the Community's attempts to escape.
While the writing in this novel isn't as polished as more well-known authors in the genre, it holds up pretty well for a first effort. The author clearly has a point of view on intellectual property, which is reflected in the setting and some polemics delivered through his characters. Fortunately, this direct messaging only comes through once or twice and isn't enough to distract from the overall story -- the reader doesn't have to deal with Terry Goodkind-style speechifying every other page. Characterization is hit and miss -- the antagonists of the book are reminiscent of stock characters of the genre, while the best characterizations and character arcs are reserved for the story's heroes. The plot does keep you hooked and the writing is solid enough to provide some truly entertaining passages and turns of phrase. The ending of the novel feels a bit abrupt, but there is room for a sequel and I found the story entertaining enough that I hope the author chooses to revisit his characters and the world he's created in the future.
It was quite a ride, and it had a cast of interesting characters! :D
Once I hit 66% in the book I just plowed through the rest these last two days, it was captivating! :D
I feel like it was a bit unrealistic in some ways, as far as the way things went down, and some insights or lack thereof on the characters' parts seemed a little contrived or much.
But it wasn't that big of a deal, it actually makes a lot of sense, and it was interesting to read about! :D
Definitely one of the better books I've read in a while, and very inspiring too.
Highly recommended! :D \(^ u ^)
I enjoyed the story a great deal. Once you buy into the possibility of the virtual world that Mr. Smith describes (and I found that easy to do), it's an entertaining read that I would recommend to any sci-fi fans, especially sci-fi fans with an IT background and/or a deep-seated fear that the powers that be would not be as welcoming of the brave new world such as Autonomy describes as you'd hope they would!