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Nexus (The Nexus Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 500 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 1 of 3 in The Nexus Trilogy
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An NPR Best Book of 2013!
Shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award
Shortlisted for the Kitschies Award
"Alightning bolt of a novel, with a sense of awe missing from a lot of currentfiction."
"Starred Review. Naamturns in a stellar performance in his debut SF novel... What matters here isthe remarkable scope and narrative power of the story."
"A gripping pieceof near future speculation... all the grit and pace of the Bournefilms."
"The most brilliant hard SF thriller I've read in years. Reminds meof Michael Crichton at his best."
"A rich cast of characters...the action scenes are crisp, the glimpses offuture tech and culture are mesmerizing."
"Any old writer can take you on a roller coaster ride, but it takes awizard like Ramez Naam to take you on the same ride while he builds the rollercoaster a few feet in front of you."
"The only serious successor to Michael Crichton."
About the Author
His non-fiction book More Than Human won the H.G. Wells Award.
His novels has been nominated for the Kitscie Award for Best Debut, the Prometheus Award, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award. He is a 2014 nominee for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- File size : 1060 KB
- Print length : 500 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Axon Press (February 15, 2015)
- Publication date : February 15, 2015
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00TOZI7FM
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #82,121 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Today, more than half a century later, advances in artificial intelligence and neuroscience suggest the real possibility that Licklider's vision may be realized. The most prominent of latter-day visionaries in the field, Ray Kurzweil, famously predicts that computer intelligence will overtake humans' by 2045. He calls this event the singularity. Hawking, Gates, Musk, and others are alarmed by this possibility—which AI researchers almost universally appear to assume is inevitable. The skeptics fear that advanced artificial intelligences will not just surpass humans but supersede us, eventually leading to the extinction of the human race. By contrast, Kurzweil and his adherents insist that humans will gradually gain powerful new abilities by incorporating machine-based intelligence and enhanced sensory perception, advancing the human race into a bionic, transhuman future.
But will the transformation of humanity by artificial intelligence stop there? Is there a step far beyond into post-human abilities so far superior to those of human beings today that a new species will result? This is the premise of Ramez Naam's brilliant science fiction trilogy. In Nexus, the first of the three novels, Naam explores the circumstances in which the conflict between humans and post-humans emerges into the open. Although the book is unquestionably imaginative, it is far from fantasy. Naam is a computer scientist and is intimately familiar with contemporary neurological research into using computer interface technology to enhance human cognitive abilities.
Nexus is skillfully written and a page-turner. It's undoubtedly a work of fiction. However, as Naam writes in a postscript to the novel, "to the best of my abilities, the science described in the science fiction is fully accurate. While the idea of a technology like Nexus that allows people to communicate mind-to-mind may seem far-fetched, precursors of that technology are here today."
Naam is the author of an earlier, nonfiction book, More than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement. As Naam notes in his postscript, "That book goes in depth into brain computer interfaces and also into the genetic enhancements that might make humans stronger, faster, smarter, and longer lived than ever. As a bonus, it dives into the politics, economics, and morality of human enhancement—other topics that Nexus touches on."
But wait, it’s even better than...
...most Michael Crichton novels because the plot whips along without constantly getting bogged down with so much technobabble it makes you feel like an inferior human being.
...Neuromancer because Nexus is not so damn artsy that you think you should love it but don’t actually (secretly) understand what all the hype is about.
...The Matrix...well, okay, not better than the first Matrix movie, but Nexus is the start to a trilogy, and unless I’m sorely mistaken (dear Lord, I better not be) parts two and three cannot possibly be worse than Matrix two and three, so...NEXUS!
Or to put it in a more subdued fashion:
As a modern day science fiction teacher I am constantly on the look out for, (but rarely find) intelligent, hard science fiction novels that aren’t so damn dense. I love Alastair Reynolds/Peter Hamilton/Anne Leckie/Liu Cixin/Neal Asher/Peter Watts, but I can only read him/her once a year because his/her books are so big and meaty. And even worse, I can’t give any of these authors to my high school students to read because of their tiny attention spans. High schoolers who are testing out science fiction for the first time demand engaging and brisk reads. These entry level novels are all over the fantasy shelf, but are sorely lacking in the science fiction shelf (thank goodness The Martian came out last year). Fortunately, I can now add Nexus to my bookshelf of "Oh-you’re-new-to-reading-science-fiction-are-you?-Well-try-this-book-of-both-intelligence-and-awesomeness."
Nexus scratched an itch that I never thought was going to be scratched: hard(ish) science fiction that is both intelligent and flows like water. Ramaz Naam, you’ve done it right - keep writing!
Of Everything. Nicolelis’s experiments in the early 2000s were one inspiration for Naam’s Nexus technology. Please read all four books, not just to be inspired but to better prepare yourself for what could be a positive future for each of us and all of us—essential for survival of species and planet. So, this novel...everything the best “double-oh” movie ever had as far as action and scenery, but with incredibly fun-to-read deepest thoughts on neuroscience, individual and social psychology, culture, religion and, therefore, philosophy. Yeah. Really! Nexus is an adventure, education and path to greater consciousness, all in one novel. If only every educator and parent could have Naam’s gifts of knowledge, insight, ethics and storytelling. All the good stuff you’d want but without any bitter pill.
Top reviews from other countries
If you could touch the mind of others, what could you accomplish? A lover, a colleague, a friend, a relative. To experience raw concepts without the conversion to language as a medium. To relive memories shared of a life a generation ago. To feel and share the emotions another person is going through and be able to comfort them in the most intimate way possible, to let them know your true feelings in utter clarity.
Ramez Naam is a supporter for transhumanism, and this book ( this trilogy ) perfectly embodies that goal. The world in Nexus is set in approx 2040 where such technologies could exist that 'enhance the human condition'. This isn't just a fictional novel but a possible extrapolation given today's technological feats and engineering. The author even outlines several research studies and experiments, at the end of the book, which show how technology has already improved people's lives. Electrodes implanted in the brain to help a blind man see ( and even drive! ), Cochlear implants for those who are severely hard of hearing, or those whose cochlea hair cells are severely damaged, who can hear again! Even then, some of these preliminary research experiments were set in the early 2000's, and look how much technology has grown since then.
It feels real enough to be a possibility for our immediate future, containing well explained processes for the underlying technologies, including the world's response to these technologies and the 'fear' around their use ( Just look at general public response to ever increasing AIs ). It really leaves you wanting to read more, and gets you excited and also concerned for our future where nano-scale technology may, one day, enable us to directly interface technology with our neurons in our brains. It leaves you asking: What does it mean to be human?
I have to say I gave this first book, Nexus, a 5 star rating, as I was hooked from the start and it kept my attention right to the end. You really care about the main characters and want to see how successful they are and where they end up.
I was so caught up in the trilogy that I went straight from book to book. I was a bit disappointed there were only three but the ending is a good one and it does the trilogy justice.
I thoroughly recommend this first book and of course the other two, Crux and Apex.
Brought this for holiday reading but went straight on to get the rest of the series on Kindle.