Blindsight

Blindsight (2006, Tor Books)

Hardcover, 384 pages

English language

Published Oct. 3, 2006 by Tor Books.

ISBN:
9780765312181

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (17 reviews)

It's been two months since a myriad of alien objects clenched about the Earth, screaming as they burned. The heavens have been silent since - until a derelict space probe hears whispers from a distant comet. Something talks out there: but not to us. Who to send to meet the alien, when the alien doesn't want to meet? Send a linguist with multiple-personality disorder, and a biologist so spliced to machinery he can't feel his own flesh. Send a pacifist warrior, and a vampire recalled from the grave by the voodoo of paleogenetics. Send a man with half his mind gone since childhood. Send them to the edge of the solar system, praying you can trust such freaks and monsters with the fate of a world. You fear they may be more alien than the thing they've been sent to find - but you'd give anything for that to be …

2 editions

Too much like pre 1970s sci-fi

2 stars

This book has some interesting ideas, but I really struggled with following the storyline, but more, this felt like something from pre-1970s sci-fi, with all the white maleness that contained, and some of the 'slang', such as 'spaz' are just appalling. The book was published in 2006 and there is no excuse for including such offensive and abelist language. These things made it not a great read and I stopped half-way through.

Very mixed bag of a book

3 stars

First things first, some content warnings about the book: it contains a lot of violence, a narrator who uses ableist language and ideas repeatedly, and a sort of sensory-illusion body horror that I thought was one of the book's strong points but could be deeply disturbing for the wrong reader.

I want to like this book. It does a great job of imagining aliens who are very deeply alien and in unsettling ways. And at it's best it's a tautly narrated story of the terrifying encounter with them. It also plays some amusing games with vampire tropes, and poses interesting questions about what counts as life, sentience, intelligence, etc.

But I found some of the author's tics grating enough to really put me off. The voice is irritatingly macho-male, to the extent that it makes me, a cis man, want to yell at the author to shut up and cede …

Review of 'Blindsight' on Goodreads

2 stars

1) "I do remember Helen telling me (and telling me) how difficult it was to adjust. Like you had a whole new personality, she said, and why not? There's a reason they call it radical hemispherectomy: half the brain thrown out with yesterday's krill, the remaining half press-ganged into double duty. Think of all the rewiring that one lonely hemisphere must have struggled with as it tried to take up the slack. It turned out okay, obviously. The brain's a very flexible piece of meat; it took some doing, but it adapted. I adapted. Still. Think of all that must have been squeezed out, deformed, reshaped by the time the renovations were through. You could argue that I'm a different person than the one who used to occupy this body."2) "Once there were three tribes. The Optimists, whose patron saints were Drake and Sagan, believed in a universe crawling with …
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Subjects

  • Science Fiction And Fantasy
  • Fiction
  • Fiction - Science Fiction
  • Science Fiction - General
  • Fiction / Science Fiction / General
  • Life on other planets
  • Science Fiction