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Nexus (Nexus Trilogy #1)
     

Nexus (Nexus Trilogy #1)

4.7 40
by Ramez Naam
 

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Winner of the 2014 Prometheus Award

Mankind gets an upgrade

In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link humans together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.

When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s

Overview

Winner of the 2014 Prometheus Award

Mankind gets an upgrade

In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link humans together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.

When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage – for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.

From the halls of academe to the halls of power, from the headquarters of an elite US agency in Washington DC to a secret lab beneath a top university in Shanghai, from the underground parties of San Francisco to the illegal biotech markets of Bangkok, from an international neuroscience conference to a remote monastery in the mountains of Thailand – Nexus is a thrill ride through a future on the brink of explosion.

File Under: Science Fiction [Humanity 2.0 | Mind Matters | Hive | This Will Happen]

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The illegal drug Nexus—made of nanites in a liquid suspension—creates temporary telepathic and empathic abilities and is feared and revered. Naam's first dip into fiction covers much the same territory as his pop science debut, More than Human: a discussion of the pros and cons of technology that can "upgrade" people, and of posthumanism in general. A rich cast of characters serves to argue all angles of the debate, led by Kaden Lane, a sweet if frequently naïve everyman who is thrust into international spy games and black market warfare as he wrestles with the morality of open-sourcing his own permanent and programmable Nexus variant. While the philosophizing is sometimes painfully heavy, the action scenes are crisp, the glimpses of future tech and culture are mesmerizing, and Naam does an admirable job of giving the reader no easy answer for the problem he's posing. Agent: Lucienne Diver, the Knight Agency. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
An NPR Best Book of 2013

"Good. Scary good."
- Wired

"Provocative... A double-edged vision of the post-human."
- The Wall Street Journal

"A lightning bolt of a novel, with a sense of awe missing from a lot of current fiction."
- Ars Technica

"Starred Review. Naam turns in a stellar performance in his debut SF novel... What matters here is the remarkable scope and narrative power of the story."
- Booklist

"A superbly plotted high-tension technothriller ... full of delicious, thoughtful moral ambiguity ... a hell of a read."
- Cory Doctorow

"A gripping piece of near future speculation... all the grit and pace of the Bourne films."
- Alastair Reynolds, author of Revelation Space

"A sharp, chilling look at our likely future."
- Charles Stross, author of Singularity Sky and Halting State

"The most brilliant hard SF thriller I've read in years. Reminds me of Michael Crichton at his best."
- Brenda Cooper, author of The Creative Fire

"A rich cast of characters...the action scenes are crisp, the glimpses of future tech and culture are mesmerizing."
- Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780857662934
Publisher:
Watkins Media
Publication date:
12/18/2012
Series:
Nexus Arc Series , #1
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
460
Product dimensions:
5.46(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.25(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Good. Scary Good."
-Wired

"Provocative... A double-edged vision of the post-human."
-The Wall Street Journal
 

"A lightning bolt of a novel, with a sense of awe missing from a lot of current fiction." -Ars Technica
 
"Starred Review. Naam turns in a stellar performance in his debut SF novel... What matters here is the remarkable scope and narrative power of the story."
-Booklist

"A rich cast of characters...the action scenes are crisp, the glimpses of future tech and culture are mesmerizing."
Publishers Weekly 

“Naam displays a Michael Crichton-like ability to explain cutting-edge research via the medium of an airport techno-thriller.”
SFX Magazine 

"A superbly plotted high-tension technothriller ... full of delicious, thoughtful moral ambiguity ... a hell of a read." -Cory Doctorow

"A gripping piece of near future speculation... all the grit and pace of the Bourne films." -Alastair Reynolds, author of Revelation Space

"The most brilliant hard SF thriller I've read in years. Reminds me of Michael Crichton at his best." -Brenda Cooper, author of The Creative Fire

"Any old writer can take you on a roller coaster ride, but it takes a wizard like Ramez Naam to take you on the same ride while he builds the roller coaster a few feet in front of your plummeting car... you'll want to read it before everyone's talking about it."
John Barnes, author of the Timeline Wars and Daybreak series.

"An incredibly imaginative, action-packed intellectual romp! Ramez Naam has turned the notion of human liberty and freedom on its head by forcing the question: Technology permitting, should we be free to radically alter our physiological and mental states?"
- Dani Kollin, Prometheus award winning author of The Unincorporated Man

"The only serious successor to Michael Crichton working in the future history genre today." 
- Scott Harrison, author of Archangel
 
"If you are posthuman or transhuman this is an absolute must-read for you; and even mere mortals will love it." 
Philip Palmer, author of Version 43 and Hell Ship
 
"Ramez writes excellent action sequences, incorporating his technology well, and the lives at stake are more than just cardboard cutouts. No one in this story is 'as meets the eye'" 
- Timothy C. Ward

 "a fast, fun read which is both emotionally engaging and thought-provoking. You'll be mulling over the implications of Nexus — the book and the drug — long after you put the book down."
-Analee Newitz, io9.com 

Meet the Author

Ramez Naam is a professional technologist, and was involved in the development of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Outlook. He holds a seat on the advisory board of the Institute for Accelerating Change, is a member of the World Future Society, a Senior Associate of the Foresight Institute, and a fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. 

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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Nexus 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Molly_Nixon More than 1 year ago
Deliciously edgy. Hauntingly dark. A rip-roaring roller-coaster of a ride where no one is safe, and no one wins.  I'm not a traditional science fiction fan, but Naam's first novel held me spellbound from the first chapter, eliciting a flurry of ooohs, aahs, grimaces, tears, and sleepless hours along the way.  Naam is a lively story teller who creates a richly textured but gloriously flawed world that is dishearteningly similar to our own.  He gives life to a memorable cast of characters who are skittishly trying to navigate a world filled with moral ambiguity and uncertainty.  In a world where right and wrong are hazily grey, Naam leads the reader from the neon parties of San Francisco counterculture through the tropical, vibrant riot of Bangkok to placid mountain monasteries filled with saffron-robed monks.   Nexus is a gritty, steel-eyed gaze into a future where the definition of what it means to be human is beginning to blur.  When dewy-eyed grad student Kaden Lane is caught working with Nexus, an illegal nano-technology that allows neurons to communicate remotely, he is plunged into a world where human life is sacrificed for humanity and the stakes are higher than he ever imagined.  Samantha Cataranes, the government agent charged with keeping him both alive and in line, must battle not only muscled thugs but a past that she cannot escape.  Together they just might survive, but is the cost one that they can bear to pay?   Combining the international intrigue of Tom Clancy, the unnerving realism of Michael Crichton, and the tortured ethics of Orson Scott Card, Ramez Naam is a name to remember, and Nexus is a book you'll never forget.  
Think_Think More than 1 year ago
First of all, I would like to thank Netgalley and Angry Robot publishing company for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book in exchange for an honest review! Nexus was definitely a thriller! This book made me think. I love books like that. The message of the book was strong. Should we as humans be allowed to enhance ourselves? What would the government do to control the mere humans? How far will their "protection" go? "In space," she said, "no one can hear you dance." This line absolutely cracked me up. This book starts off light and has moments of fun. But, is actually a high octane mega trip with lots of action. The character of Sam (the narc) is a complete bad ass, made to fight. She has her reasons for becoming what she is, but should she be listening to her government superiors? Her inner battle is brutal and raw. But overall, it is a story of Kaden Lane and his fight to do what he thinks is right. You see, Kaden is the creator of Nexus 5 which is a drug that interlinks human brains to share information, thoughts, feelings. The "good" and the bad guys both want the Nexus 5 secret and will stop at nothing to obtain it. .. or destroy him. As you all know, I am a sucker for anything Albert Einstein. Well, at several points in the book, Kade reflects upon some of Einstein's thoughts. "The problems we currently face can't be solved at the level of thinking that created them." Of course, this made me fall in love with this book even more! There are also some highly important side characters that assist in moving the plot along greatly. Also, most of the book takes place in Thailand and Naam's world building is brilliant. I could see everything through his writing.  At the very end of the book, there is a section called Extras. It details Naam's own encounters with neuroscience and some of the advances he has seen in restoring sight, hearing and limb function through outside stimuli. The last paragraph of this section encompasses Naam's views: "To understand a thing is to gain the power to change it. We're surging in our understanding of our own makeup – our genes, our bodies, and especially our minds. The next few decades will be more full of wonders than even the greatest science fiction." – Ramez Naam There is so much more I could say about this book, but I know I would have spoilers and I really hate reviews with spoilers! So, I will end with this. If you had the opportunity to take a drug and be able to interlink your mind with other humans, would you do it?  5 stars to Nexus for being such a trip!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must-read hard sci-fi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very enjoyable read. The lead characters were compelling and believable. The futuristic technology and the attitudes towards it by the different points of view captures a lot of what is happening today. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt from the "old guard," and excitement about the potential possibilities from the other side. Add in governmental corruption, and it seems like it could really be true today (minus the cool nano bots and super-human physical capabilities)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bbratley1 More than 1 year ago
A very good read! It did start out a bit slow, I made myself stick with it and glad I did.
donnasreview More than 1 year ago
Started of slow then draws you in. Although it is a "mind" story )in a sense) I think the author could have got us more involved in a few of the characters. Would like a little more emotion. Other then that it is definitely a very good read and makes you think. I just got contacted about a second book so of course I will read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read a lot of books with similar themes and with varyingly successful techno thriller plots, so I wasn't expecting much. What I got was a book that made me think, grabbed me and wouldn't let me put it down. Solid, multi faceted characters groping with hard questions that will stick with you long after you put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great sci-fi read that is also highly plausible in today's society. Naam's novel reveals the conflicting levels of connection and disconnection in a world obsessed with technology and power. Both eerie and hopeful concurrently, Nexus will encourage the mind to think critically; an art that has been lacking in the recent decade. Well worth the journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Near perfection
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had me hook-line and sinker from the first few pages! Exceptionally intriguing, the thoughts this book brings to the forefront of our age of science. Looking forward to the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An extremely enjoyable book.  I was hooked very early on.  A great cast of thoughtful, interesting characters and an intellectually interesting and fun read.  If you enjoyed Neal Stephenson's Reamde then you will like Naam's Nexus.  Have already pre-ordered the sequel Crux.   
pcjeff More than 1 year ago
Just finished the book Nexus by Ramez Naam. The author has done an excellent job of creating three dimensional characters, none of which are all good or all bad. Plotting was tight and kept me reading into the late hours of the night. I can't wait for the second novel to be released later this month!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mretg1 More than 1 year ago
Very good read.  Technical, but not too technical, and thought provoking.  A view on the probable future that we face with our emerging technologies of genetics, nanotech, and computers.  Gives the viewpoint for both pro and con with leanings towards pro.  I believe it gives good reasons for the pro argument. The best part is the tech portions fit seamlessly with the fast-paced and interesting story.  It is not just a vehicle for espousing the authors viewpoints on certain technologies, but an action packed thriller also.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very well paced thriller. While it is very much for fans of cyberpunk, it does not simply take that as a backstory. Instead, Ramez has intelligently extrapolated an incredibly satisying and believable near future. Ramez's experience as an actual software developer and coder adds massive credibility and nuance throughout the novel. Highly reccomended read for fans of Cyberpunk or Michael Crichton
Anonymous More than 1 year ago