Saturday, March 3, 2012
Cyberlife by W.H. Buxton
This book was sent me by the author. I'm grateful for the opportunity!
From the author:
"Cyberlife is the first book I've published. It is the first of a three book series (CyberSapien in 2012 and CyberSavior expected in 2013), all of which tell the story about how pervasive information systems have become, where they (and we) go as we become more "integrated", and what could happen if we suddenly become "disconnected". This is not a textbook on IT systems, but a fictional story about the relationship between people and information technology. The story line principally involves 4 "people": two physical and two virtual, and all living within the technological information saturation which manages their everyday lives, and ultimately what could happen as it evolves. All together, the Cyberlife series describe the growth of technology into who we are, what it could evolve into, and how, ultimately, it can come back to either save us or harm us.
Cyberlife, the first of the three books, takes place over the course of a week in the not too distant future where technology has permeated almost every aspect of our lives. By this time, because of the growing confusion and proliferation of complicated hand held devices, most companies had done away with the overhead cost of creating and managing these independent communication devices and put focus (and value) on the information and network itself. This of Cloud Computing on steroids, with your input/output device (Vertal: Virtual Life Form) being a holographic projection personally designed for you and talks to you like a normal person; a concierge to the "Knowledge Age". People are social creatures, and communication between everyone and everything is much easier when done in a proper cultural context, with all the complex technology hidden in the background. By 2069, when this episode takes place, even appliances have a gender and some interesting personalities. The story is, hopefully, slightly humorous, and may give an indication of what life could be like once Information Technology and the companies who develop it influence all the things we people do.
The plot of Cyberlife is relatively simple: Jim is sent, by his company, SciPop Inc., to work a Knowledge Management Project involving the acquisition of a small hiking services business owned by Laura Meyers. Laura, however, does not want to be technology driven and refuses to use a Vertal, or sell her company for the big money SciPop is offering. Unbelievable to Jim, and during the course of the week, Jim discovers what is really going on behind the hostile takeover between "Laura's Hikes" and SciPop. This revelation, along with the interactions between Jim,. Laura and all the things in the Cybersphere, lead to the results that follow, and pave the way for CyberSapien and CyberSavior."
I would like to start by saying WOW! What an imagination Buxton has! I am impressed.
Jim is our main character who was given a Vertal at age 18, as everyone is. The Vertal is pretty much a replica of himself but has a few different traits. The Vertal is more fit and dresses better than Jim does. He is also much more punctual.
I had a hard time getting into this book because of all the "big" words used. Some made up, some not. You can tell the author has quite the vocab! However, I was able to get through it and really start getting into the story line. The characters are fun and the details are just amazing. Like I said before, what an imagination! I know I would not have been able to come up with some of this stuff. Love it!
Though I loved the story line, I am not sure I am the right audience for Cyberlife. I would need it dumbed down a little bit. But I hate to say that because I really liked the characters and how they interact with each other. I love the Vertals and all of their quirks. I do want to read the next one!
It is not a quick easy read like I normally go for but sometimes you just have to get away from what the norm. This would be a great one to try out...if it wasn't for all of the bad language and little hints of sexual content.
I give CyberLife 3 1/2 stars.
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