Watermind

Watermind

3.4 5
by M. M. Buckner
     
 

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From storm drains, illegal dumps, and flooded landfills, all of North America’s most advanced technology flows down the Mississippi River—microchips, nano-devices, pharmaceuticals, genetically modified seed—and lodges in the Louisiana delta. Out of this mire emerges a self-organized neural net, drifting in the water: the Watermind. It can

Overview

From storm drains, illegal dumps, and flooded landfills, all of North America’s most advanced technology flows down the Mississippi River—microchips, nano-devices, pharmaceuticals, genetically modified seed—and lodges in the Louisiana delta. Out of this mire emerges a self-organized neural net, drifting in the water: the Watermind. It can freeze, boil, condense, and move—seemingly at will.

CJ Reilly is a brilliant, sexy, self-destructive dropout working on a crew cleaning up a pollution spill in Devil’s Swamp near Baton Rouge, when she and her new lover, Max, discover the mysterious Watermind. Reilly’s more interested in investigating it than containing it, but when it kills someone and escapes into the Mississippi, corporations, governments, protesters, the Coast Guard, and a really wacky underground journalist get involved. And there’s no longer any question that it must be destroyed before it reaches the ocean.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Watermind:

“An exciting novel of technological and scientific detection and combat.”

—Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine

“A bold idea. Well-drawn characters. A gripping tale. A first-class novel.”

—Ben Bova

“The action comes crisp and smart in this fast-moving novel, rich in ideas. I liked it a lot.”

—Gregory Benford

“Part techno-thriller, part speculative science, and all quality.”

—Mike Resnick

Publishers Weekly

Buckner (War Surf) theorizes a brand-new intelligence emerging from electronic trash in this cautionary near-future tale. When troubled MIT grad school dropout CJ Reilly encounters bizarre ice covering steamy Louisiana's polluted Devil's Pond, she has visions of saving the world after she analyzes a sample and discovers its power to purify water. Then the mysterious substance responds to music and begins to move, and Reilly becomes convinced of its sentience. When it kills a man, scientist Roman Sacony, whose company owns the pond, is determined to utterly destroy the emerging life form, while CJ insists on trying to save it. Despite the suspense and nonstop action, unlikable characters make it hard to root for anyone, and the scientifically sound ending is narratively unsatisfying. The story succeeds best when it traverses Louisiana's geography, and only indifferently when it traverses the human heart. (Nov.)

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Library Journal

Among the toxic and chemical wastes that regularly spew into the rivers, lakes, storm drains, and flooded landfills are the rejects of the country's cybertechnology: microchips, pharmaceuticals, nano-techs, and biochemical material. Gathering in the Mississippi Delta, these bastard spawns of biotech research gradually develop an intelligence, becoming the Watermind. When MIT dropout C.J. Reilly and her lover, Max, stumble upon the entity, at first they find it sympathetic and intriguing. Then it begins to kill, and they realize the danger it poses to the world. Part B-movie horror, part Philip K. Dick dystopic adventure, this sf adventure/suspense by the author of the award-winning War Surf belongs in larger sf collections.


—Jackie Cassada

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765320247
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
11/11/2008
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

M.M. Buckner’s third novel, War Surf won the 2005 Philip K. Dick Award for best novel of the year. Her first novel, Hyperthought was nominated for the 2003 Philip K. Dick Award and won the SESFA Award. She resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Watermind 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
tomsmama2 More than 1 year ago
Great premise but pretty flat. Gratuitous sex scenes that really have no bearing on the plot. Listened to the book as an audio book and really wished I could speed listen. Kept hoping it would get better but it didn't.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
T-RadSR More than 1 year ago
Very imaginative. The novel starts out great but really doesn't come to any climax. The ending was very weak. Maybe this is just the set up for a sequel or watermind series. I 'd like to know what happens next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although her future seemed bright, CJ Reilly dropped out of MIT graduate school. She heads south with hopes of cleansing her disturbed mind. In sweltering but polluted Devil¿s Pond, Louisiana she finds a strange phenomena that should not be there: ice. After testing a sample, CJ believes she has found a magical elixir to save the water supply the ice purifies water. ------------- However, the ice turns even more mysterious when she observes it react to music and display locomotion skills. When the ice kills scientist Roman Saxony, CJ reconsiders her belief she will be a world hero. Instead she needs to destroy the metamorphosing ice that has ¿waded¿ into the Mississippi before it destroys the world.------------- An engaging cautionary science fiction warning people to watch how they dispose of their discards (in this case electronic, but easily extrapolates to drugs in the water systems and nuclear energy byproduct waste, etc). In some ways the ice seems like the Blob however unlike both of the films that stars heroes, none of the humans especially CJ is heroic as everyone seems to have their own agenda. Fans will enjoy touring Louisiana with the WATERMIND host.----------- Harriet Klausner