If you know anything about role playing games, you might be aware of the game Shadowrun. It is a cyberpunk game in which players are encouraged to play the role of characters such as cyber built samurais, deckers (hackers) and even riggers. Riggers are the people who control drones and vehicles, often remotely. A bit like the drone operators of the modern day but more illegally! I’ve wanted to play a rigger and this book really got my mind a racing!
Would you freeze your brain in the hope that future generations might be able to heal and bring you back to life? Well, that is how the story starts. Bob, after selling some of his company, has enough ‘spare’ cash to invest in some cryogenics. He does actually get brought back, but in rather a transhuman form. Now existing as a ‘computer mind’ he gets chosen to be blasted off into space to seek new planets.
I really enjoyed the first part of the book. As he developed himself as a computer persona, the author does a great job or balancing the human and computer personalities. You just start to think of Bob as a human when he is ‘turned off’ and you are instantly reminded of his electronic nature.
Blasted off into space on his mission, Bob starts to develop both his own persona and virtual environment. There are frequent references to computer talk, but this is completely accessible by the reader and explanations are provided in ‘lay terms’ if, and when, needed.
As Bob starts to replicate himself, the new ‘Bobs’ are different enough to emphasise with. You definitely start to have your favourites – I really like the dry humour of Homer! I don’t want to spoil the story too much, but when some don’t make it, I definitely felt as if we were saying good bye to a real character rather than a computer program.
If I have one negative about the book, it would be that I couldn’t figure out where the author was going. Yes, the end points of the individual story/plotlines were clearly identifiable, but I kept listening thinking, when will this end. I suppose I was expecting some great climax to the story but felt that there was none.
Overall, the story was enjoyable and I kept engaged with the smaller storylines. The author switches from each of these situations, so there are suitable places to stop and re-engage at a different time. The narrator is very good, and the different voices for the different Bobs are fantastic. If you enjoy books with a sci-fi element then this is definitely a book for you, especially if you like space as well.