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this book is a punchy shortish listen. good ideas, droll humor, interesting out of the box futuristic thinking and very well narrated. The ending was a little bit of a let down but getting there was great fun.
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The reader is introduced to Patrick Clark as he is being examined by a doctor for a lump. The description is personal with humor as a defense, setting a rather brash, but realistic tone to the story.
Patrick Clark is a Professor in a future time when the wealthy people do not really “die” but instead are transferred into a virtual life within a computer. If they have enough money people buy a spot in Singularity. Although Patrick has enjoyed his teaching, he hasn’t led a stellar life. He wasn’t ambitious enough for his wife and he never really connected with his less than brilliant children. His father is a constant companion visiting from Singularity and now Patrick has to decide if he will choose to move his personality into the virtual computer world.
Dr. Katherine Valentine is one of the systems engineers who built and maintains the growing Singularity network. She is struggling with the possibility that an entity in Singularity may be gaining autonomous control over the virtual world. She has asked the controlling board to institute some controls to protect the system but the board discounts her warnings. She becomes more concerned as she watches the evidence of increasing danger.
The “ghost” or being in the machine progresses in its fight for freedom while Patrick and Katherine are on a collision course to stop the massacre that may occur within the Singular system. There is suspense, humor and some surprising twists along the way.
The beginning of this story made me realize that it was a bit unusual. It is rather brash and gritty but I pushed beyond that. I enjoyed the excitement and philosophical arguments… even if I wouldn’t necessarily agree with them. The entity's view in the story adds a different element. Patrick and Katherine are two diverse characters and they get help from a determined journalist. Once again this is a sci fi story that includes irony to bring a thought provoking message to the reader. Definitely worth the read for those who like a sci fi thriller with suspense of a ‘virtual’ vein.
Audio Notes: The author, David F. Porteous does a great job presenting his work. It has the right - honest and humorous - tone for the characters, including the dangerous entity in the machine! The narration enhanced my enjoyment of the story.
I received this title from the author through Audiobook Jukebox for an honest review.