by Robert J. Sawyer
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Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer is back with Mindscan, a pulse-pounding, mind-expanding standalone novel, rich with his signature philosophical and ethical speculations, all grounded in cutting-edge science.

Jake Sullivan has cheated death: he's discarded his doomed biological body and copied his consciousness into an android form. The new Jake soon finds love, something that eluded him when he was encased in flesh: he falls for the android version of Karen, a woman rediscovering all the joys of life now that she's no longer constrained by a worn-out body either.

But suddenly Karen's son sues her, claiming that by uploading into an immortal body, she has done him out of his inheritance. Even worse, the original version of Jake, consigned to die on the far side of the moon, has taken hostages there, demanding the return of his rights of personhood. In the courtroom and on the lunar surface, the future of uploaded humanity hangs in the balance.

Mindscan is vintage Sawyer — a feast for the mind and the heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765311078
Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Publication date: 04/01/2005
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.16(d)

About the Author

Robert J. Sawyer is the Hugo Award-winning author of Hominids, the Nebula Award-winning author of The Terminal Experiment, and the Aurora Award-winning author of FlashForward, basis for the ABC TV series. He is also the author of the WWW series—Wake, Watch and Wonder—and many other books. He was born in Ottawa and lives in Toronto.

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Mindscan 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had a great premise, but I found the offered view of the future a bit depressing and the conclusion disappointing. Mr. Sawyer's research and detail are great, as always, but they weren't enough this time. Worst of all, the aithor's political views and opinion of US society clouded the story for me. In many ways, it came across as preachy. In my opinion, not his best work.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
Sawyer puts a little bit of everything into this book from robotics, to brain studies, to psychology to philosophy with a little bit of high drama and excellent courtroom cross-examination. He studies the question "what makes a person"? and takes it way beyond what Asimov presented in the Millenium Man story. Jake Sullivan, a man with an illness that will eventually kill him decides to opt for a process called Mindscan where a copy of his mind will be uploaded to a robot brain and will live on as Jake on Earth why Jake goes to a pleasant retirement home on the moon to live out his remaining days. The "new" Jake faces all kinds of rejections from the people he knew, even his dog. He experiences new sensations like being able to see colors for the first time (he was color blind) and having too much idle time on his hands with no time to fill it since his biological self used it for sleeping, eating and other biological processes that Jake no longer needs to do. He meets and bonds with Karen, another mindscan who was 85 but has chosen a robot body that is about 30 while Jake was in his early 40's. The differences in their eras is what makes them so attractive to each other and they find that they have plenty to talk to each other even during "idle" time. When Karen's biological self dies, her son begins a court battle to claim his inheritance, claiming that the mindscan version of Karen has no rights because she is not really Karen. The court tension is amazing and great philosophical arguments are presented in a well scripted matter. To add another problem, Jake's biological self finds a cure for his ailment and then wants to regain his former life from his mindscanned version. Sawyer has outdone himself this time convincing me he is the best of the current Scifi writers out there today!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mindscan offers a fascinating premise: what if you could upload your memories and personality into an android - in essence, making a durable, exact copy of yourself - while your mortal self is left to live out his/her days essentially forgotten and discarded? Sawyer's novel raises intriguing questions about what it means to be human, and whether a flesh-and-blood body is really necessary to obtain the 'human' label. Unlike Mark Wakely's clever novel An Audience for Einstein - which has human consciousness transferred from one person to another after death, raising its own unique and troubling ethical questions- here you have the fascinating 'problem' of two sets of you. Which one is the real you, or are they both real? As you might expect, the question ends up in court, as the son of a wealthy woman who had herself transferred to an android before she died seeks what he believes to be his 'rightful' inheritance - by cheating death, his mother didn't play by the rules, or so he claims. On the other hand, is the android really his mother, with rights like any living, breathing person? Or is she just a machine now despite her consciousness? These unanswered questions make Mindscan a fascinating story, one that will leave you pondering the eternal question of what it means to be a human being. Recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best science fiction always results in self-reflection and consideration of both philosophy and the arc of mankind's future. Rob Sawyer's willingness to meet that challenge is what makes him one of today's finest SF writers. His characters are real--flawed, uncertain, and sometimes even selfish. You won't get the type of set-piece action sequences that authors like Crichton drop in to ease adaptation for the big screen, but what you do get is excellent elaboration of current scientific and technological research, solid explanations of philosophical viewpoints, great analogies, and characters you care about. The first half of the book is nothing short of splendid, weakening in plausibility in the second half only a bit. (It's not that the courtroom scenes aren't interesting and procedurally correct, it's just that everyone involved could have and realistically would have done more to protect their legal position going in to the situation, with the stakes being so high.) As a Sawyer fan and someone who has written about mankind's almost inevitable transition to a world where uploaded consciousness occurs (though it is fair to say that my view of that transition is much less optimistic than Sawyer's), I heartily recommend Mindscan. Donald J. Bingle, Author of Forced Conversion.
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Lincoln Brown More than 1 year ago
Stayed up all night reading!!!
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