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DAEMON Paperback – December 29, 2009
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“Daemon does for surfing the web what Jaws did for swimming in the ocean...both entertaining and credible...an impressive debut novel.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“A chilling yet entirely plausible story of technology gone awry.”—St. Petersburg Times
“Fiendishly clever...an almost perfect guilty-pleasure novel.”—The Dallas Morning News
“A riveting debut.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This thrill-a-nanosecond novel is certainly faithful to the techno-traditions of Michael Crichton and should delight not only readers of the 'science gone awry' genre, but general adventure readers as well.”—Booklist
“Suarez's not-just-for-gamers debut is a stunner.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Greatest. Technothriller. Period. Suarez presents a fascinating account of autonomous logic-based terrorism, incorporating current and anticipated technologies to create a credible and quite clever story.”—William O'Brien, Former Director of Cybersecurity and Communications Policy, The White House
“Daemon is the real deal—a scary look at what can go wrong as we depend increasingly on computer networks.”—Craig Newmark, Founder Craigslist
About the Author
Daniel Suarez is the New York Times bestselling author of Daemon, Freedom™, Kill Decision, Influx, and Change Agent. A former systems consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, his high-tech and sci-fi thrillers focus on technology-driven change. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
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This book reads like a darker, more grounded "Ready Player One", soaked in the modern era rather than the eighties. It asks a lot if the reader, first and foremost to care that bits are agency in our society but also to contemplate the morality of automated decisioning and the abdication of control we often take for granted.
All summed, the story has its cliches and hickups but they are more a comforting spoon of sugar to help swallow the fact that Daemon is, in many ways an allegorical tale of the world we are building. This book is not for you. It is about you. It is about a plausible direction the world we are building could go.
More importantly, it is fun.
I stuck with the book for quite a while, and then one day I realized I hadn't opened it for longer than a month... that's when I realized I wasn't going to finish it.
The book isn't a piece of political philosophy, but it's informed by a lot of current threads and thinking about the increasing influence and power of a few large corporations and what we can and maybe should do about it.
It's not a piece of speculative science writing, but the technologies it describes are not completely unreasonable given the state of the art today, and Mr. Suarez's writing is clearly well informed from a technology perspective. None of the "now I'll just crack the encryption" or "Now I'll upload a virus" BS that so often infects other novels that have a technological bent.
Fair criticisms: Not perfect as a novel, some characters are better drawn than others or abandoned partway, the grasp of technology is deeper than the grasp of the inner workings of government, and it's true that the beginning is generally stronger and more solid than the middle/end; but as soon as I finished it I immediately purchased the sequel (the ending here is something of a cliffhanger) and promptly plowed right through it.
Overall intelligently written and in tune with the zeitgeist of the post-9/11 area. Lots and lots of fun, and in the end that's why I read fiction.