Sapient Machines. Freedom. Knowledge. Artificial Intelligence Networks. World Guide. Alternative Histories. Galactic Brain. Post Human Earth.
Genesis by Poul Anderson won the 2001 John W. Campbell Memorial Award. On one hand, I am not sure that I liked the book. I couldn’t connect with the characters, and most of the time the plot felt disjointed. On the other hand, I keep thinking about the book even though I finished reading it two days ago.
Briefly, the book is composed of scenes that don’t seem to fit together until the end. The reader is introduced to Christian Brannock and Laurinda Ashcroft, both of whom eventually have their human consciousness uploaded into machine consciousness. Some of the scenes are about a clan-oriented culture in a time and place that are not clear to the reader. Still other scenes are about the artificial intelligences.
In some ways, I found the book appealing. Some of us science fiction fans dream of going to the stars, knowing that it is highly unlikely in our lifetimes. If I could upload myself into a star-going machine, I would probably go for it. I am also fascinated by the idea of a society where most people had their consciousness uploaded before they died. This has almost a religious feel to it. The book is definitely thought-provoking.