Nexus (Anglais) MP3 CD – Livre audio, 9 décembre 2014
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MP3 CD, Livre audio
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Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
"Good. Scary good."
"Provocative... A double-edged vision of the post-human."
- The Wall Street Journal
"A lightning bolt of a novel, with a sense of awe missing from a lot of current fiction."
- Ars Technica
"Starred Review. Naam turns in a stellar performance in his debut SF novel... What matters here is the remarkable scope and narrative power of the story."
"A superbly plotted high-tension technothriller ... full of delicious, thoughtful moral ambiguity ... a hell of a read."
- Cory Doctorow
"A gripping piece of near future speculation... all the grit and pace of the Bourne films."
- Alastair Reynolds, author of Revelation Space
"A sharp, chilling look at our likely future."
- Charles Stross, author of Singularity Sky and Halting State
"The most brilliant hard SF thriller I've read in years. Reminds me of Michael Crichton at his best."
- Brenda Cooper, author of The Creative Fire
"A rich cast of characters...the action scenes are crisp, the glimpses of future tech and culture are mesmerizing."
- Publishers Weekly --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .
Présentation de l'éditeur
Mankind gets an upgrade
In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link humans together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.
When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage – for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.
From the halls of academe to the halls of power, from the headquarters of an elite US agency in Washington DC to a secret lab beneath a top university in Shanghai, from the underground parties of San Francisco to the illegal biotech markets of Bangkok, from an international neuroscience conference to a remote monastery in the mountains of Thailand – Nexus is a thrill ride through a future on the brink of explosion.
File Under: Science Fiction [Humanity 2.0 | Mind Matters | Hive | This Will Happen]
From the Trade Paperback edition. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .
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Parfait pour la plage, ou autour de la piscine, et le prix Kindle est tout à fait correct.
So the scene is now set. Young Kade and his chums have developed Nexus 5 which persists in the brain and allows permanent connection to other users in the locale while the aforementioned government heavies (the ERD) try to track them down and generally bust them. What ensues is a splendidly taut sci-fi conspiracy thriller and while not multi-threaded, the narrative is by no means linear with enough well developed characters to maintain plausibility while the pace generally bowls along at a cracking rate. There is a bit of a lull in the action mid-way during the conference in Bangkok but it is necessary for the introduction of a raft of new characters & motivations and to get them into position for the blistering finale.
Needless to say, I really enjoyed this book. Proper speculative near-future science fiction, well written by an author who has plainly put a great deal of thought into the background science but without feeling the need to show off or bore the reader with huge info-dumps. Excellent stuff and the sequel, Crux, is now on my wish list although I’ve got to wait until April 2015.Lire la suite ›
So the summary is: Interesting thoughts about what it means, if we could extend our brains with direct brain to brain communication. Too many unneeded combat descriptions, which really started to get boring after a while.
Very good science fiction !
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Although it is swallowed like a drug, Nexus is a nano-structure that creates an interface between the brain and computer software. It acts as a networking platform and an operating system. It creates the potential for one Nexus user to control another. Nexus is both a regulated drug and a prohibited technology. In short, it is illegal. Should it be?
Kaden Lane is one of a select group of people who, in addition to researching Nexus, is permanently infected with it. He thinks Nexus should be available to everyone, although he's worried that some users (and some governments) will abuse it. Samantha Cataranes works for a division of Homeland Security that responds to emerging risks. She views Nexus as a risk. She could lock up Kaden but she'd prefer to enlist his help for a more critical mission: determining whether the Chinese are using Nexus to create remote controlled assassins. If Kaden doesn't want to spend the rest of his life in prison, his task is to cozy up to Su-Yong Shu, suspected of being the primary architect of China's neurotech program. She is also suspected of being posthuman.
Kaden is a well-rounded, believable character. He isn't the only one. Samantha is Kaden's backup on the mission, a role that troubles her because she will need to use Nexus. The thought frightens her because she knows she enjoys Nexus despite her moral opposition to it, adding a layer of complexity to her character. Watson Cole, on the other hand, has no such qualms. Nexus gave him the gift of empathy. Once a battle-hardened marine, Cole is now a disciple of peace. Cole has a mission of his own: to make Nexus available to everyone, so they can experience the same transformation. While Cole's transformation occurs before the novel begins, Kaden and Samantha are continually questioning their beliefs, reevaluating their loyalties, evolving in response to new experiences and discoveries. They are fascinating characters.
Nexus gains intellectual heft from a contemporary philosophical debate that Ramez Naam projects into the future. Drugs and technology can be abused or they can be used responsibly. Should government prevent abuse by prohibiting the possession of anything new that might be abused, or should government tolerate a degree of abuse to promote individual freedom and societal advances? By developing and potentially releasing the means to develop posthuman life, is Kaden "threatening to make real humans obsolete," as Samantha argues, or is he empowering people with options they've never had before? This is the sort of debate that science fiction does so well -- anticipating ethical dilemmas of the future and, in so doing, shining a light on ethical dilemmas of the present.
Nexus tackles other issues as well, including the acquiescence of scientists in the suppression of science (scientists who protest put their research grants at risk) and the tendency of American foreign policy to disrupt or destroy the lives of innocent foreigners. Other things I liked about Nexus: the imaginative surveillance technology; the eagerness (as always) of the government to become just as bad as the bad guys it condemns; the grounding of repressive legislation in fear that the government instills, and the willingness of Americans to surrender their rights in response to those fears; the layers of intrigue; the characters' ever-changing perspectives of right and wrong; the true and surprising nature of Su-Yong Shu; the incorporation of Buddhist philosophy; the use of a virally infected religious cult and a Waco-like incident to explain Samantha's background; the extrapolation of the "war on drugs" and "war on terror" to a "war on science"; the paradox that sharing minds might promote individuality rather than "groupthink"; the battle between the government, as it attempts to suppress information released virally, and net users who labor to defeat the government's efforts.
And then there's the writing. Neem writes clear prose that, if not particularly lush, is well suited to the kind of story he tells. Action scenes are vivid and more imaginative than most thriller writers manage. Once the background is established, the pace is furious. A touch of melodrama in the ending is easy for forgive, as is a needlessly preachy epilog.
Nexus is intense, exciting, and thought-provoking. It's also fun. If I could, I would give Nexus 4 1/2 stars.
What I didn't expect was how well Nexus would also integrate this transhuman narrative with aspects of Buddhism. Man, what a treat. I practice Theravadan Buddhism; Nexus spends an awful lot of time looking at these radical notions of consciousness through a Buddhist lens. Not only is it a perfect fit, it's a well-informed one. Naan has done his homework, and then some.
I won't get into spoilers here, but the idea of the Bodhisattva (a part of Mahayana buddhism)--an enlightened figure who puts off attaining Nirvana in order to stay in this world and help others find enlightenment--becomes a central part of the narrative. It's a view of the disruptive, messy, and terrifying future awaiting all of us that is infused with a beautiful and plausible kind of hope.
Also, this story reads like an action movie. There are few cultural artifacts that engage my delight both in Buddhism and in sheer kick-butt-ness. Nexus manages it somehow. Highly recommended.
Such ground-breaking discovery, of course, stir-ups a lot of trouble. Politicians say that Nexus is a threat to humanity, army describes it as security risk, criminals see it as source of easy earnings... Which side will Kade pick when neither choice is a good one?
Some people described Nexus as sci-fi spy thriller. I can not disagree with them, the label fits, there sure is a lot of action, chasing, fighting etc. But that is not my favorite aspect of this book. The best thing about Nexus is that Ramez Naam poses a lot of intriguing questions. This is a great novel to be read in a book club because there will certainly be a lot of good subjects for discussion:
Is government wiser than humanity? Whose place is to choose what we can and what we cannot use? If some invention that is made for good can also be used for bad purposes, is that reason enough to censor & block it - or should we always take the chance? What is the thing that makes us human - when will we stop being human and become something else?
Nexus by Ramez Naam reminds me of my favorite science fiction authors: Cory Doctorow with dystopia/government conspiracy theme, Michael Crichton with unexpected twists and action/adventure, Arthur C. Clarke because everything Ramez Naam described has a scientific background. There is a short article at the end of the book and also a separate non-fiction book More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement where theoretical background and scientific progress so far are explained in details. Ramez Naam predicts:
"The next few decades will be more full of wonders than even the greatest science fiction."
I agree and I cannot wait. :)
Altough there is no cliffhanger, the ending leaves us wondering - how will use of Nexus change humanity.
"Would they still be human at the end of this? Might they be something more?"
We will have to wait until September 2013 and Crux, the next book in Nexus series, to find out!
I recommend this book to fans of: science fiction with a lot of action, spy thrillers set in future, genetic engineering theme, dystopian novels about repression of human liberties.
Disclaimer: I was given a free ebook by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. This review is also posted on Goodreads and my blog.
There are a lot of good things about this book. There is lots of action and suspense, so it's a real page-turner. The book raises some really huge philosophical questions about emerging technologies and whether it is good to develop technologies that can be used for both good and evil, and scientists' moral responsibility for how their technology is used. Naam is a little heavy-handed in his treatment of these questions (characters sit around debating these things a lot), but they are important and difficult questions.
But there are also a lot of bad things that I found really distracting. My biggest problem was with Naam's writing. He's a terrible writer. The book is full or repeated phrases, to the point that you could literally reduce a paragraph to half its length just by taking out all of the repeated words. The book is sprinkled liberally with phrases like "Oh f---," and it's not clear whether its the narrator or the characters who are cursing. This cursing is like a laugh track in a sitcom - the narrator shouldn't have to tell me when to think "oh f---," but he does it over and over. The characters aren't particularly engaging and don't have much depth, but that's not surprising in a thriller.
This is one of those rare occasions when I think the movie, if it ever happens, will be much better than the book.