The Blurb on Other People’s Words – WWW and More

October 11, 2011 at 2:36 am (Reviews, writing)

I’m not a regular reader of science fiction, preferring more fantastical forms of speculative fiction, but when it comes to Robert J. Sawyer I make an exception (as well as a few other favourites, like Ray Bradbury, for example). This trilogy did not disappoint, offering some very humane insight upon the possibilities of technology and how it could impact the way we look at things.

WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer

An awakening in more ways than one, Caitlin Decter, a blind teenaged girl with scientist parents is given the opportunity to see via a new technology. That technology has an unexpected impact on the Internet itself, and Webmind is born. They both must come to terms with a world that is new for them, and that presents unexpected While I really enjoyed most of this introduction to the trilogy as far as the human elements are concerned, and Mr. Sawyer writes a very convincing PoV for an adolescent girl, it did have one of the things that tend to put me off sci-fi, which is the lengthy, somewhat lecture-like detailed explanation of the science behind the story. A true sci-fi fan would appreciate the research and thought that went into the story, but on a personal level, I would have preferred a much shorter and more integrated explanation. Other than that, the rest of the story was terrific and captivating.

WWW: Watch by Robert J. Sawyer

Now that Webmind has begun to interact with the rest of the world, and Caitlin is discovering what it means to be a sighted teenager, they are both discovering that there are many things out there of which they should be wary. The government begins watching them, aware that Webmind could have significant influence and power, with great repercussions if he chose to abuse that power. I liked this even better than the first book, preferring the focus on the social ramifications of Caitlin’s vision technology and Webmind. I also really enjoyed the political intrigue and the romantic interaction between Caitlin and her socially awkward boyfriend. This was Mr. Sawyer at his best, typical with his writing once he is well-entrenched in the middle of one of his strong stories.

WWW: Wonder by Robert J. Sawyer

The last in the trilogy, this book brought up the idea of just how much government interference is too much, especially when considering public safety and well-being. Both Caitlin and Webmind strike out against forces that would restrict them, seeking allies, finding their strengths, and exploring their sense of selves, all the while maintaining their symbiotic friendship. While it treaded into some politically sensitive areas more than once, I appreciated the reasonably objective approach Mr. Sawyer used, and his characterization and complex storyline kept the story fresh and interesting. While I thought a couple of the plot elements were a little over the top as the tale concluded, I felt this was a satisfying ending to the trilogy. Another winner from Mr. Sawyer.


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