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Blindsight

By Peter Watts

(40)

| Hardcover | 9780765312181

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Book Description

Two months since the stars fell....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 surveil Continue

Two months since the stars fell....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 synthesistan 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....

5 Reviews

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  • 1 person finds this helpful

    Peter Watts esplora in questo Blindsight alcuni dei temi classici della fantascienza: c'è un primo contatto con gli alieni, un Big Dumb Object, intelligenze artificiali, personalità multiple, etc.
    In aggiunta, la ciurma che compone la nave incaricata ...(continue)

    Peter Watts esplora in questo Blindsight alcuni dei temi classici della fantascienza: c'è un primo contatto con gli alieni, un Big Dumb Object, intelligenze artificiali, personalità multiple, etc.
    In aggiunta, la ciurma che compone la nave incaricata di indagare sulla comparsa di uno strano artefatto è composta, fra gli altri, da un vampiro (di cui in appendice viene fornita un'interessante possibile genesi "scientificamente plausibile"), mentre la storia viene narrata secondo il punto di vista di un autistico che ha "perso" completamente il dono dell'empatia.

    Molto interessante, una lettura consigliata.

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    Lbrt said on Oct 2, 2011 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    Hard going!

    Well I have to say I found this a real struggle. The story itself, and the ideas portrayed therein were certainly unique and thought provoking, dealing as they do with a tense and at times violent first contact scenario as seen through the eye's of ...(continue)

    Well I have to say I found this a real struggle. The story itself, and the ideas portrayed therein were certainly unique and thought provoking, dealing as they do with a tense and at times violent first contact scenario as seen through the eye's of the lead character. For me the main problem was Watt's writing style which I found hard going. Overall I can't say I enjoyed this novel, but I see others have rated it 4 & 5 stars... so, just me then! Maybe if you're prepared to plough through sometimes incomprehensible prose you might find a half decent story hiding in there somewhere.

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    Mark Lyden said on Jun 29, 2011 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    *** This comment contains spoilers! ***

    This novel will repeatedly challenge your point of view. Armed with mind links, prostheses and mechanical extensions, multiple personalities, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, self-regenerating spaceships and gene-resurrected vampires, the hu ...(continue)

    This novel will repeatedly challenge your point of view. Armed with mind links, prostheses and mechanical extensions, multiple personalities, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, self-regenerating spaceships and gene-resurrected vampires, the humans in the book often feel more alien and inscrutable than the mysterious structure they are sent to investigate - in particular because the main character and narrator is, himself, incapable of true empathy. On the other side is Rorschach, the mysterious living ship swimming in magnetic fields, whose drones are more powerful and intelligent than any human while, at the same time, completely lacking any sense of self.
    Reminding at the beginning of the man versus alien struggle of Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama, one slowly realizes that the real battle in Blindsight is between sentience and intelligence, the conscious and the unconscious, until -in a peculiar, unexpected twist- you understand that the real threat to the human race does not come from outside...

    This book presents a very powerful thesis -and several smaller- wrapped up as one of the most interesting sci-fi novels of the decade. It requires the reader to know its basic science and sci-fi tropes and, in particular, to pay attention to everything, because details are fundamental and skipping something will result in wrong conclusions - a theme that echoes the path of the main character, Siri Keeton, professional observer and 'chinese box'.
    That is not to say that I agree, completely or in part, with the underlying message of the novel: that is beyond the point. Sci-fi is at its finest when it provides new ideas and paradigms as well as good writing, and Blindsight is certainly a high example of that.

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    Ian Atrus said on Apr 28, 2011 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    Bel libro di hard -SF, su un primo contatto dove gli alieni sono finalmente ALIENI. E le cose sono difficili: l'astronave è claustrofobica e lavora al limite delle proprie possibilità, in un ambiente ostile, in una situazione dove i dubbi sono molto ...(continue)

    Bel libro di hard -SF, su un primo contatto dove gli alieni sono finalmente ALIENI. E le cose sono difficili: l'astronave è claustrofobica e lavora al limite delle proprie possibilità, in un ambiente ostile, in una situazione dove i dubbi sono molto di più delle certezze.
    Non farsi fuorviare dal fatto che il comandante sia un "vampiro": vampiri e fantasy non c'entrano nulla.
    Inoltre l'ebook in formato epub si scarica gratis e liberamente da Feedbooks.

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    Rouge2507 said on Oct 30, 2010 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    *** This comment contains spoilers! ***

    Blindsight, by Peter Watts

    http://blog.yam.com/spidey/article/23241437

    Peter Watts這部作品的故事其實很簡單,就是一支特殊的調查隊與不明外星生命進行接觸的故事。主角群是一支後人類味十足的團隊:一隻可以同時看穿所有觀點角度的吸血鬼、一個有四重人格的溝通專家、一個五感知覺集中在手部的生物學家、一個忠誠度有問題的軍事專家,操縱著一支機械部隊、及只剩一半腦子,可以透過觀察表象反映出內在的觀察者主角。他們面對的是一艘極先進的外星文明派來的人工智慧船艦。

    W ...(continue)

    http://blog.yam.com/spidey/article/23241437

    Peter Watts這部作品的故事其實很簡單,就是一支特殊的調查隊與不明外星生命進行接觸的故事。主角群是一支後人類味十足的團隊:一隻可以同時看穿所有觀點角度的吸血鬼、一個有四重人格的溝通專家、一個五感知覺集中在手部的生物學家、一個忠誠度有問題的軍事專家,操縱著一支機械部隊、及只剩一半腦子,可以透過觀察表象反映出內在的觀察者主角。他們面對的是一艘極先進的外星文明派來的人工智慧船艦。

    Watts在這部作品中一如他先前的Rifter's Trilogy一樣,硬是硬起來把所有的設定,包括吸血鬼在內,乃至於劇情中的事件,從接近行星到實際接觸,用相當深入及複雜的邏輯與科學下去描繪。幾乎書中每個看得到的技術、或人物互動的推演等,幾乎全都是發表過在科學期刊的研究,或者以嚴謹的方向延伸出去的推想。在這部作品中看不到傳送整件物體的傳送設備,但看得到透過量子傳送在太空船上合成的反物質燃料,外星生物不會隱形,但會利用人類視覺認知上的盲點令人無法察覺。

    這些描繪不只是是作品中的技術及生物設定而已,Watts還進一步透過各種認知及神經科學舖陳了故事的發展,並進而針對種種議題進行討論。在Watts的專業知識和文筆下,人類的大腦有如一台複雜的電腦,由各種元件組成,這些元件可以升級、可以拆裝,也會出錯、也能被駭入。在這近乎唯物的前提之下,究竟什麼是人性?道德的觀感從何而來?什麼是「我」?什麼是意識?人是否有「自由意識」等問題便從這些科學發現引出討論。

    當然相對來說,為了呈現這些一般人較不知道的觀念,書中便得有大量對話做為解說,而且有時因為緊扣著內容,故不能輕易掃過,因為我本身有相關專長,所以較不能評斷,不過書前面一些航太相關的科技讀起來還算有看懂,所以雖然本書很硬,但只要心平氣和、專心一意,讀起來不會太難。

    作者官網
    http://www.rifters.com

    線上免費閱讀
    http://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm

    補充之背景設定
    http://www.rifters.com/blindsight/BS_main.htm

    完整版作者書末註解及參閱文獻(PDF)
    http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts/PeterWatts_Blindsigh…

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    Yenchin said on Aug 20, 2009 | Add your feedback

Book Details

  • Rating:
    (40)
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  • English Books
  • Hardcover 384 Pages
  • ISBN-10: 0765312182
  • ISBN-13: 9780765312181
  • Publisher: Tor Books
  • Publish date: 2006-10-03
  • Dimensions: 193 mm x 967 mm x 1,289 mm
  • Also available as: Paperback , Others
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