Followup on Nexus

Posted by : atcampbell | On : May 6, 2014

Nexus by Ramez Naam  (followup)

Comments by a reader who was unable to participate in the discussion

I did not get a copy of Nexus until after the discussion. I am about 3/4 through it.  I like Nexus a lot for two reasons. First, Naam does a creditable job of presenting both the good and bad sides of his tech. The human vs. posthuman is an SF idea that goes all the way back to Slan. In the past we have seen stories that supported the poor posthuman fighting against human prejudice and stories supporting the poor human fighting against posthuman prejudice.  But there have been very few that show that each is just as likely as the other.  Naam does have the protagonist take a stand on what the best use of the tech would be and explains why he takes that stand. Much of the novel indicates a broader knowledge of science fiction and the world than many first-time techy authors appear to have. Second, Nexus is a thriller and I like thrillers.

I just discovered that Naam discusses the tech in the back of the book. I am looking forward to what he has to say there. Naam shows great promise as a fiction writer and Nexus shows the marks of a first novel much less than most first novels. Apparently he has had a lot of good readers and knows what to do with their critique. I like the fact that Naam is a fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology as well as having a strong tech background. My hearing is not good, but I don’t think anyone at the meeting spoke of the SF lineage of this book and the fact that Naam tries to show several sides of the the posthuman question. So, I include my thoughts on those in case they are not already represented in the comments on the book.

–Shirley Crossland