Book Review: Blindsight by Peter Watts

We live in an age where it is said that if you get an idea, 20 other people in the world get the same idea in the same moment. Well, this book might make you think otherwise. Blindsight is a treasury of unique ideas. A scifi writer should read it simply because it can offer so much inspiration. Not that one should copy it but to see how much more can be thought of. Everything from cold hard technology to the most basic cognition principles, this book questions and redoes it all. Except for romance. I don’t remember seeing any romance in this book.

One of the most intriguing topics Blindsight covers are the vampires. The way the western world is lately swamped with disgustingly romantic vampires (all thanks to a certain book series), Blindsight makes it feel very different. Again, one can see how much a worn out motiff such as vampires can be redone and put to good use.

Blindsight is heavy with scientific jargon. So heavy, in fact, that myself as an astronomy student had difficulty understanding it at times. Fans of hard scifi will definitely enjoy this, even if they have to constantly google new words.

The whole style of writing helps the reader get the feel of the synthetic atmosphere of the entire setting. One can actually feel the repressed organic humanity trying to seep out of the metal cage of a dying civilization. In the end, it takes a journey to the edge of the solar system to realize how fragile and precious is the tiny planet near the Sun. I feel that sometimes the plot could have been less confusing yet strangely one cannot put the book down until it is done. And then you can say: “Well, here was a book that I haven’t seen before.” It is literally, a journey to the unknown.

In Blindsight, humanity has been modified and tinkered with in such a severe way that it can hardly be called humanity any longer. Civilization is suppose to be about increasing the quality of life. After reading Blindsight, one cannot help but wonder where our world is heading.

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