Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Just finished "Apex", by Ramez Naam (@ramez). This is the 3rd book in the "Nexus" series, the 1st 2 books of which I blogged about here. It is a real page turner - I read the > 600 pages in a couple of days. It continues the story of the 2 new cybernetic singularity technologies of the 1st 2 novels: the nanotech-based wetware that lets you run apps, including a group mind app, and otherwise reprogram your brain; and the scientist uploaded into a quantum computer who becomes a (threatening) superintelligence.

The book has all the positive attributes of the 1st 2: breakneck pacing, tons of action and explosions, great computer geek authenticity, lots of memorable characters. The message of social justice, civil rights, and equality for all is even stronger, yay! I also liked how much of the story involved China and India - realistic for 25 years from now.

The conclusion of this installment of the series is such that I think that he is done with the series. It definitely is uplifting in its attitude, and I strongly recommend it. Interesting that in an appendix on the tech, he doubts that this tech will be available by 2040, which is when the novels are set. I think I concur.

1 odd thought I had reading this final novel: I kept wondering, why didn't he leave the uploaded intelligence out of this series, and put that in a separate series? The 2 memes are both very strong, I think there could have been plenty done with just the wetware meme, perhaps even a more thorough exploration of the meme, and, somehow, the uploaded intelligence meme muddied the waters? Ha ha, I'll have to ask him to refactor it into 2 series! I bet with modern tech it wouldn't take that long.

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