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Blindsight [NOOK Book]

Overview

Two months since sixty-five thousand alien objects clenched around the Earth like a luminous fist, screaming to the heavens as the atmosphere burned them to ash. Two months since that moment of brief, bright surveillance by agents unknown.

Two months of silence, while a world holds its breath.

Now some half-derelict space probe, sparking fitfully past Neptune's orbit, hears...
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Blindsight

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Overview

Two months since sixty-five thousand alien objects clenched around the Earth like a luminous fist, screaming to the heavens as the atmosphere burned them to ash. Two months since that moment of brief, bright surveillance by agents unknown.

Two months of silence, while a world holds its breath.

Now some half-derelict space probe, sparking fitfully past Neptune's orbit, hears a whisper from the edge of the solar system: a faint signal sweeping the cosmos like a lighthouse beam. Whatever's out there isn't talking to us. It's talking to some distant star, perhaps. Or perhaps to something closer, something en route.

So who do you send to force introductions on an intelligence with motives unknown, maybe unknowable? Who do you send to meet the alien when the alien doesn't want to meet?

You send a linguist with multiple personalities, her brain surgically partitioned into separate, sentient processing cores. You send a biologist so radically interfaced with machinery that he sees x-rays and tastes ultrasound, so compromised by grafts and splices he no longer feels his own flesh. You send a pacifist warrior in the faint hope she won't be needed, and the fainter one she'll do any good if she is. You send a monster to command them all, an extinct hominid predator once called vampire, recalled from the grave with the voodoo of recombinant genetics and the blood of sociopaths. And you send a synthesist—an informational topologist with half his mind gone—as an interface between here and there, a conduit through which the Dead Center might hope to understand the Bleeding Edge.

You send them all to the edge of interstellar space, praying you can trust such freaks and retrofits with the fate of a world. You fear they may be more alien than the thing they've been sent to find.

But you'd give anything for that to be true, if you only knew what was waiting for them...
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012180414
  • Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/6/2011
  • Series: Sunrise Master Works , #2
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 144,059
  • File size: 467 KB

Meet the Author

Peter Watts' first novel Starfish (2000) introduced Lenie Clarke, a deep-ocean power-station worker physically altered for underwater living and the main character in the sequels: Maelstrom (2001), βehemoth: β-Max (2004) and βehemoth: Seppuku (2005). The last two volumes comprise one novel, published split in two for commercial considerations. Starfish, Maelstrom and βehemoth comprise a trilogy usually referred to as "Rifters" after the modified humans designed to work in deep-ocean environments.

His latest book, Blindsight, was released in October 2006 and was nominated for a Hugo Award. The novel has been described by Charles Stross thus: "Imagine a neurobiology-obsessed version of Greg Egan writing a first contact with aliens story from the point of view of a zombie posthuman crewman aboard a starship captained by a vampire, with not dying as the boobie prize." Watts is currently writing two novels: Sunflowers and State of Grace, a "sidequel" about what happened on Earth during Blindsight.[
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This is a deep science fiction thriller

    As the twenty-first century nears its ending, Fireflies light up the sky. Scientists realize this strange phenomenon is sending signals back to something just outside the edge of our solar system. To learn more and to make first contact, the earth sends the spaceship Theseus captained by an AI, but the leader of the quest is genetically engineered vampire Jukka Sarasti. The chosen motley crew consists of biologist Isaac Szpindel, who has more machine parts than human parts and acts accordingly more machine than human, the Gang of Four,, a multiple personality disorder linguist disorder Major Amanda Bates, a soldier who hates war and Siri Keeton, whose half of a brain enables him to predict one hundred per cent accurately almost instantly what others will do in different situations though he has no idea why people do what they do.-------------- The team makes it to the rim of the solar system where they are met by an English speaking species on board some sort of odd vessel dubbed Rorschach. They cannot determine whether the newcomers are hostile so team leader Sarasti arranges to abduct two of them to study them close-up, but neither has a brain yet are capable of processing information leading to the earth crew to debate whether these are living intelligence as they fail to even recognize the basic I think therefore I am.------------- This is a deep science fiction thriller that uses first contact to turn Descartes statement upside down into a question of what is intelligent life. The cast is solid especially the two abducted aliens Stretch and Clench, who will lead readers to ponder existence just like the earth characters do. The story line contains much more complexities than described above so the audience who prefer ET to go home may want to pass on BLINDSIGHT however those fans who prefer deep thought provoking philosophical entreaties will want to read Peter Watts strong tale.------- Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2011

    Deserved a Hugo

    The science in Peter Watts' science fiction is really good. You actually find yourself learning stuff while he alternately entertains and horrifies you. "Blindsight" explores the premise that self-awareness is not just unnecessary for intelligence; it actively gets in the way of rapid problem solving. As original a story as you will find anywhere, and brilliantly written. I can't recommend it enough.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    Edgy science fiction

    How far will the author guide you down the rabbit hole? I will never tell.

    I found this story to be refreshing and a break from standard science fiction. The scene that the author paints when the characters awaken from space travel by itself is worth the read alone. This is not a fluff work and will keep your mind on the edge of a razor. Is it science fiction, thriller, horror, tragedy, or fantasy? It has all the elements.

    I recomend this for higher thinker readers that can appreciate and enjoy going beyond the surface of Flatland.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2010

    A Mess

    Incomprehensible perfectly describes this book. Is it Science Fiction or is it fantasy. It does justice to neither. The characters are not fleshed out enough to care about them in any meaningful way. The plot is confusing at best. Don't waste your time or money.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    a unique work of fiction i enjoyed greatly

    this is not your typical work of science fiction and i mean that in a good way. watts has a unique style of writing and if you are patient you will find yourself quickly addicted and wanting more. a great read no doubt.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Save yourself.

    The science is interesting. The characters are intriqueing. The author tries to write from the perspective of someone that's different mentally. However, the story is almost incomprehensible. The author has promise, but wait for something better in the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    amazingly awesome book

    Read it twice, the first time you won't pick up everything.

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  • Posted February 22, 2012

    Like a scientifically sound Philip K. Dick-ian meditation on consciousness

    One of the best hard SF books of the last decade and most original first-contact stories you're likely to encounter. You've never met aliens like these before. It many ways, it's a mediation on consciousness and different ways of perceiving reality, using a post-human crew on a first-contact mission as a way of delving into these issues. It can be a bit of a hard read, but it's more than worth it. And it's got one of the most original, biologically sound (scientifically) vampires you'll ever meet in fiction. I've read it twice now and it was even better the second time.

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    Posted January 15, 2010

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    Posted October 17, 2011

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    Posted December 7, 2010

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