Blindsight is the novel to read if you’re looking for a fast-paced, science-focussed/ hard (but totally accessible) sf novel. This is a great novel to give to someone who is interested in tech but poo-poos the idea of sf. They’ll love it.
♣ Sidenote ♣
What is hard sf? I hate terms that aren’t immediately understandable so I generally don’t distinguish between hard sf and sf. If a book focuses on magic, mystery or relationships rather than the science, I usually tag it as “space opera.” To be included in the sf category it must focus on science, technology & the scientific method. I must track down the definition from the encyclopaedia of sf….
There are many reasons this book has been nominated for best novel awards (Hugo 2007) and won plaudits. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to finally read it, but here are my top 3 reasons this is one of my favourite sf books of 2010:
- The most awesome first contact storyline – a great mix of scientists, soldiers and vampires set out to make contact with a species that doesn’t necessary want to meet with us
- A crazily imaginative and realistic future – the details behind how vampires could be resurrected from the gene pool and used by governments is frighteningly
- Some kick-ass mind f**ks like the Chinese room – what’s that you ask? Read it and find out. (Or read about the thought experiment on Wikipedia.)
“A brilliant piece of work, one that will delight fans of hard science fiction, but will also demonstrate to literary fans that contemporary science fiction is dynamic and fascinating literature that demands to be read.” —The Edmonton Journal
“Watts explores the nature of consciousness in this stimulating hard SF novel, which combines riveting action with a fascinating alien environment. Watts puts a terrifying and original spin on the familiar alien contact story.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
- Read the novel online under the Creative Commons attribution-non commercial-share alike licence.
- Like it on Facebook.
- Read Peter’s excellent and casual blog on science, writing, writing festivals and more.
- Read an excerpt of Blindsight
- Get nerdy on the Blindsight website- watch a presentation on the biological