Categories
Excerpts

Understand a novelette by Ted Chiang (Full Excerpt)

Ted Chiang writes…

The initial impulse to write “Understand” arose from an offhand remark made by my roommate in college; he was reading Sartre’s Nausea at the time, whose protagonist finds only meaninglessness in everything he sees. But what would it be like, my roommate wondered, to find meaning and order in everything you saw? To me that suggested a kind of heightened perception, which in turn suggested superintelligence. I started thinking about the point at which quantitative improvements — better memory, faster pattern recognition — turn into a qualitative difference, a fundamentally different mode of cognition.

Something else I wondered about was the possibility of truly understanding how our minds works. Some people are certain that it’s impossible for us to understand our minds, offering analogies like “you can’t see your face with your own eyes.” I never found that persuasive. It may turn out that we can’t, in fact, understand our minds (for certain values of “understand” and “mind”), but it’ll take an argument much more persuasive than that to convince me.

Categories
Dean Koontz

Frankenstein: Lost Souls * Dean Koontz

SOMEONE NEW IS PLAYING GOD

THIS IS BOOK 4

The Frankenstein story updated to the 21st century by the great American storyteller Dean Koontz. In a powerful reworking of one of the classic stories of all time, Dr Frankenstein lives on, seemingly indestructible, more malignant than ever. Frankenstein’s first monster, Deucalion, has spent two hundred years trying to put an end to his creator. Now he learns that a new Frankenstein clone, Victor Helios, is out there again, somewhere.

Terrifyingly, with each incarnation the sinister doctor draws closer to the possibility of succeeding in his ambition to create a new human race – which he will control. He has found an enigmatic backer and is working in a secret location. Together with the two ex-cops who helped him destroy the previous Victor, Deucalion is drawn to the small Montana town where Victor’s grotesque new creations are taking shape.

Victor’s New Race is spectacularly different, a product of cutting-edge technology and stem-cell circuits, and when things go wrong, they go wrong in very unexpected ways.

Frankenstein is unleashing a new menace on the world, whether or not he can control it. It may be too late, even if Deucalion can bring him down.