Wake

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Wake

by Robert J Sawyer

Penguin Group Canada | April 14, 2009 | Hardcover

Wake is rated 4.3333 out of 5 by 3.

Caitlin Decter is a typical teen—smart, pretty, and wired ... but she's also blind. She undergoes an experimental procedure to regain her sight and the results are unexpected. She "sees" but not just the way we do—for her the world wide web is a riot of colours and shapes, its own dimension. While exploring it, she finds an "other" lurking there—and it finds her, seeing what she's seeing and learning as she learns. But that's not where it ends ...

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages, 9.35 × 6.65 × 1.25 in

Published: April 14, 2009

Publisher: Penguin Group Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670067415

ISBN - 13: 9780670067411

Found in: Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sawyer delivers another captivating book Robert J. Sawyer is my favorite science fiction author, hands down. He delivers a kind of science fiction I've always enjoyed - one that breaks past the science in to psychology, sociology or morality, but is still grounded in excellent characters with whom the reader can easily connect. In WAKE, we meet Caitlin, a young woman with a congenital blindness and a gift for mathematics. Her voice rings true, and when she is given a chance at sight via a new technology, she finds herself capable of "seeing" the internet. At the same time, other events conspire to bring a glimmer of consciousness to the net itself, and the two stories - Caitlin's sight, and the nascent entity's growth - parallel in a marvelously paced story that kept me going. As the first book in a trilogy, there's ground work being built, and I was definitely left satisfied with the individual novel, but looking forward to where the story will head in the next installment, WATCH. I should point out that I listened to the absolutely brilliant audio version of WAKE available through audible.com (I'm not sure if the audio version coming out at the end of March is the same production.) If you do listen to books, this one just bumped "Memoirs of a Geisha" from my #1 Listening Experience position.
Date published: 2010-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant! The last time I did a book review was in high school, and if I’m not mistaken, it was likely for THE CHRYSALIDS; which was a brilliant science fiction novel by the way! With that said, I am going to try to do justice to the latest book I’ve read: Robert J. Sawyer’s WAKE - the first in his WWW trilogy. Here is a blurb from Robert’s site about the book: “Caitlin Decter is young, pretty, feisty, a genius at math — and blind. Still, she can surf the net with the best of them, following its complex paths clearly in her mind. When a Japanese researcher develops a new signal-processing implant that might give her sight, she jumps at the chance, flying to Tokyo for the operation. But Caitlin’s brain long ago co-opted her primary visual cortex to help her navigate online. Once the implant is activated, instead of seeing reality, the landscape of the World Wide Web explodes into her consciousness, spreading out all around her in a riot of colors and shapes. While exploring this amazing realm, she discovers something — some other — lurking in the background. And it’s getting smarter …” In addition to Caitlin’s story are a couple of seemingly unrelated events in other parts of the world. In China an outbreak of the bird flu (H5N1) is handled by the Chinese government by culling the humans that are infected as well as shutting the country off from the rest of the outside word by cutting its internet and phone connections to hide their transgression. Elsewhere, in a research facility, a Bonobo/Chimpanzee hybrid that can use ASL (American Sign Language), produces art that defies what they are “supposed” to be capable of. Youtube videos and political strife follow. Thirdly, a growing intelligence on the world wide web begins to take form. It strains to come to terms with itself and its surroundings, yet it begins to evolve. And, like Annie Sullivan, reaching down into the depths of Helen Keller’s mind, Caitlin makes a connection with this web-based entity and strives to teach it. I consumed this book. Like with his Neanderthal Parallax novels, I completely empathize with these characters. They lift off the page and pull you along with them, particularly Caitlin. Her ability to “see” through people and her edgy humour are brilliantly achieved and you can’t help but admire her strength of character and resolve. The use of biological terms and technology are meshed throughout the story in a way that it isn’t dumped on you. (It should be noted that I have a biology and information technology background, so I felt like this book was written for me. But with that said, the way he reveals the information would easily engage anyone without this knowledge.) There are wonderful parallels and references to Helen Keller and her rise to awareness from the dark place in which she once lived as well as timely topics and subject matter that is deftly interwoven in the story. He engages in real world debates (i.e. the intelligence of apes and their ability to use sign language, the cross-breeding of species, the potential self-awareness of the internet, etc.) and employs throughout some some witty references and poignant gibes. It is obvious that Mr. Sawyer took his time to research well before writing this and it is no wonder he was won such honours as the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. This is a fantastic beginning to a much anticipated series. It ends well, but leaves you hungering for more. I very much look forward to what will come in the next novel and how Mr. Sawyer is going to engage me further in the coming books, WATCH and WONDER. Whether you are a science fiction aficionado or not, add this book to your Must Read list. It will not disappoint.
Date published: 2009-05-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from JUST kept a-wake for this book. As a long-time fan of Robert Sawyer it is difficult to write anything negative about his amazing stories but I found myself a bit....bored by the pace of this book. The story is fantastic and writen smartly but the pace of the book seemed to drag through out the story. A good intelligent read but not a book I was 'gripped' to. I would rate this a good read but not a great read.
Date published: 2009-05-07

– More About This Product –

Wake

by Robert J Sawyer

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages, 9.35 × 6.65 × 1.25 in

Published: April 14, 2009

Publisher: Penguin Group Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670067415

ISBN - 13: 9780670067411

From the Publisher

Caitlin Decter is a typical teen—smart, pretty, and wired ... but she's also blind. She undergoes an experimental procedure to regain her sight and the results are unexpected. She "sees" but not just the way we do—for her the world wide web is a riot of colours and shapes, its own dimension. While exploring it, she finds an "other" lurking there—and it finds her, seeing what she's seeing and learning as she learns. But that's not where it ends ...

About the Author

Robert J. Sawyer, who has been called "the dean of Canadian science fiction," has won all three of the world's top science fiction awards. He lives in Mississauga with fellow writer, Carolyn Clink.

Editorial Reviews

“Almost alone among Canadian writers, he tackles the most fundamental questions of who we are and where we might be going — while illuminating where we are now.”
—National Post

“Wildly thought-provoking….The thematic diversity—and profundity—makes [WAKE] one of Sawyer’s strongest works to date.”
—Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review

"Sawyer continues to push the boundaries with his stories of the future made credible. His erudition, eclecticism, and masterly storytelling make this trilogy opener a choice selection."
—Library Journal

“WAKE is, in the words of its heroine, made out of awesome."
—McNally Robinson Bookseller review

“Sawyer’s take on theories about the origin of consciousness, generated within the framework of an engaging story, is fascinating, and his approach to machine consciousness and the Internet is surprisingly fresh.”
—Booklist

"Emotionally satisfying and intellectually stimulating. Along with William Gibson's NEUROMANCER and Neal Stephenson's SNOW CRASH, WAKE presents a unique perspective on information technology. I eagerly await its sequels."
—SFFaudio

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