Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blindsight (book, 2008)

Links: Author's website (includes the full novel online), Wikipedia, Amazon, Google Books

Blindsight is a very provocative hard sci-fi novel by Peter Watts. On the surface it's about first contact with an alien species, but just beneath it's about the workings of the human mind. The novel asks two deep questions about the human mind — and about minds in general, the space containing minds that we could have had but don't — with the questions presented in the form of devil's advocate answers that undermine the traditional assumptions, removing the blinders so that the questions can be asked honestly. The novel's love affair with real-life neurological disorders might make for a challenging read, but I found it a rewarding one. Score: 4 stars out of 4.