WHEN YOU’RE A BRAIN WITHOUT A BODY, CAN YOU STILL BE CALLED HUMAN?
Marc Gregorio wakes up paralyzed. He can’t feel his own body. Accident? Stroke? Did someone slip him an overdose of Botox? The answer, he discovers, is much, much worse. He’s only a copy of Marc, a digital brain without a body, burdened with all Marc’s human memories, but without access to human sensual pleasures. Now he has to find a reason to keep on, um, “living.”
Adam the Mindclone meets the real Marc Gregorio–and his new girlfriend Molly Schaeffer. Adam loves her, too. But how does a digital entity experience love? He can’t even experience pizza. His one compensation: a powerful digital brain. At Molly’s urging, he applies it to unearthing terrorist plots, schoolyard mayhem, congressional malfeasance and Wall Street chicanery. However, his good deeds gain the attention of a power-mad military contractor who will stop at nothing—theft, kidnapping and worse—to control the technology. Without a body, how will Adam save himself – and the world – from a terrible fate?
Mindclone, 94,000 words, is a book of ideas that explores looming advances in cognitive computing and neural networks, and what it means to be human even if you don’t have a body. There’s adventure, humor, frustrated romance, human and digital foibles, and as an extra added bonus, the defeat of death itself.
You can buy the book at this site: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BJWOHDE/
Here’s what some readers have said:
With Mindclone, author David T. Wolf has taken us on a wild joyride to the critical moments before the singularity described by Ray Kurzweil.
David playfully explores exponentially evolving artificial intelligence and neural science trends, including the now theoretical concept of uploading entire human minds, emotions and memories into computers. However, the author artfully dodges excessive technical jargon. His narrative flows easily and naturally. The story unfolds logically, and can be understood by any reader without degrees in physics, chemistry and electrical engineering. The story is a fast-paced leap into the future, is always urgent, and at times evokes fears for the protagonist and the other good folks.
Much science fiction in recent decades has been very dystopian, claiming that future technologies are causing a hell on earth, then ending by quickly retreating to the present with the message that our current world is the best of all possible habitats. This novel is definitely not dystopian. In this wonderful book, David engineers a positive vision of exploding IQ’s and calm introspection, while all evil in this tale flows from one human, a meat-brained vulture capitalist, in cahoots with the military industrial complex. This evil-doer corrupts politicians and bureaucrats, and turns them into craven amoral sycophants who help swell his ill gotten billions and protect his unchecked power. –Robotobia, from an Amazon review
5.0 out of 5 stars Ridley Scott, are you listening? Mindclone is a love story between Marc Gregorio, a science writer of some note; Molly Schaeffer, an accomplished cellist; and Adam, Marc’s brain-uploaded double, a computerized virtual person. Marc was not expecting anything surprising when he dropped in on a lab funded by Memento Amor, an interactive mortuary. What Marc suspected would be a naïve project used sophisticated scanners to copy him into the firm’s first success, and more than anyone bargained for. Certainly more than Marc expected for the article he was writing. As could be foreseen, such a scientific feat would attract some rather unscrupulous characters: in this case, nefarious people with connections in high places. This means that Mindclone is also a science-fiction story and a suspense story.
–Kalifer Deil, science fiction author
Written in a serious but jocular vein, it has satirical jibes at advertising, the military-industrial complex, predatory capitalism, and the NSA, all tucked in a semi-plausible s-f adventure about artificial intelligence, plus a love triangle involving a science journalist, his (accidental) mental cyber-twin, and the lady cellist they both pine for. The story speeds up in Part 4, becoming a thriller with several surprise twists, including — this isn’t a spoiler — a throwback to Isaac Asimov.
As a longtime Robert Heinlein (and Asimov) fan, I’m happy to see a book worthy of comparison to them — and better yet, unlike that inveterate militarist Heinlein, Wolf has some anti-military wisdom, such as: (p.23), “’If there’s any government spending that needs to be curtailed, it’s military. Maybe if the Department of Defense focused on defense, we’d be a little more careful about committing to endless land wars.’” — besides other gems I won’t give away. Published several months before the Snowden leaks, and the Ukraine incursions, the book also manages to have prescient takes on both the NSA, and Russian designs on Ukraine. –Gene Keyes, science fiction author
What a great read! Believable, well-developed characters in an ingenious blend of neuroscience, electronic technology, romance, psychology, and big business with a touch of theology and music. And the possibility of the mind living on after the body dies leaves open so many avenues for thought (and future novels). What would this mean for the future of humanity, of religious belief, of the practicality of travel to the stars, and so on? Mr. Wolf, get to work! –Melvyn Schwartz, computer scientist
I love this book! The writing is skillful and empathic, the pace swift, the characters thoroughly engaging, and the story gripping in the extreme. Without slowing the relentless roll out of his inventive, masterful, white-knuckle plot, the author deftly explores a rich array of fascinating themes both eternal and timely, including the nature and value of humanness, consciousness, happiness, friendship, love, sensuality, music, altruism and much more.
Not knowing anything about the author ahead of time, I went through a period of mild panic upon first opening the book. By plunging the reader into the complete disorientation of a mind utterly adrift, newly disconnected from its body and lost in cyberspace, the very first chapter spiked me with fear that the whole novel would leave me lost, with nothing to grip, nothing to moor to. But I was soon reassured–and soon thereafter delighted. In fact, I became so engrossed I could not stop reading. I love it when this happens.
As this vividly imagined, ingenious novel builds to a wonderful series of surprising climaxes, the reader is treated to a celebration of true worldly riches–the stuff that makes life worth living: things both cerebral and visceral, insights, epiphanies, mysteries, big questions, gut-felt sensuality, and a load of intrigue and fun.
–Bill McGinnis, author of Whitewater, a thriller
LINKS TO OTHER VENDORS:
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/nupacuk