Mindscan, by Robert Sawyer

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Mindscan, by Robert Sawyer

Postby Omphalos » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:49 pm

Here is another book with quite a bit of legal content in it. Below you will find two blurbs with links at the bottom of each. The graphic image in this one does not link to anything, so please look to the end of each blurb. The first is to the literary review at Omphalos Book Reviews while the second is to the legal content analysis over at The Law and Science Fiction Blawg. Hope you enjoy them both!

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Literary Review:

I have never been a very big fan of Robert J. Sawyer's work. I once got a book or two by him from the American SFBC, something(s) about intelligent dinosaurs I believe, and so I made my mind up early about him: Not my cup of tea. He seemed a bit too polite to me too, and when I later learned that he was Canadian, that fact seemed to fit perfectly into the picture that I had built up of him in my mind. I must also have picked up this one from the SFBC at that time, because it feels light and has no price tag in the dust jacket. Anyway this one is a bit different, and much better than the other I remember. It is essentially a court-room drama where the key issues are about what it means to be human and an examination of the nature of human consciousness. Sawyer certainly took his time getting going with this novel; the major themes did not really emerge until after the first act was done, and in my opinion Sawyer failed to make a cogent point about the true seat of human consciousness until the middle of the thing. Still, the legal issues and the courtroom drama were very well done, and in the end Sawyer had some interesting things to say about the theory of his subject, if not the actual science behind the technology he chose to use here. It was the best Sawyer piece I have ever read, but as I don't have too much experience with this author, that's not saying too much...Please click here to be taken to the complete review..


Legal Analysis:

Courtroom dramas have a valuable place in SF, I think. The courtroom allows the author an excellent opportunity to explore ideas and themes, and its use adds quite a bit of drama and a feeling of realism to SF works. Unfortunately we do not have too many of these kinds of stories. The only other one I can think of off hand is H. Beam Piper’s Little Fuzzy, which is currently sitting in my pile, though I am sure that there are a few others I have just forgotten. Robert J. Sawyer’s Mindscan is a courtroom drama also. In fact it’s a well researched and pretty well written legal drama, at least as it pertains to the actual legal aspects of the story. Look here LINK for a literary review of this story. I will state here that even though I did not like this book overall, I loved the legal aspects of it...Please click here to be taken to the complete review..
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Re: Mindscan, by Robert Sawyer

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:55 pm

I read and enjoyed the first 2 books of his "parrallel universe neandertals" trilogy, but I was a lot younger. When I finally got around to picking up a copy of the 3rd book at the store I leafed through it, then put it back down. He's pretty underwhelming. I wouln't say he sucks, because how can I say anyone sucks while KJA still lives... but he sure isn't great.
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Re: Mindscan, by Robert Sawyer

Postby SandChigger » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:36 pm

He's basically the Canadian KJA, no?

I almost got some of his books, but found out more about him first. (Don't know if it's still there, but I posted a thread on DN long ago asking if anyone knew anything about him. Didn't he also come up recently here or on Jacurutu?)
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Re: Mindscan, by Robert Sawyer

Postby Omphalos » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:40 pm

SandChigger wrote:He's basically the Canadian KJA.


They are buddies, aren't they? I get the feeling that Sawyer is capable of much more though. He's definitely not faking it; he's just not taking the time to do it right. Anderson is a total fucking faker who read enough space opera as a kid to muddle through. His Hugo winner is one of those cave-man books though. :snooty:
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