The Downloaded

The new novel by Canada’s top Science Fiction writer In 2059 two very different groups have their minds uploaded into a quantum computer in Waterloo, Ontario. One group consists of astronauts preparing for Earth’s first interstellar voyage. The other? Convicted murderers, serving their sentences in a virtual-reality prison. But when disaster strikes, the astronauts and the prisoners must download back into physical reality and find a way to work together to save Earth from destruction. The Downloaded debuted in a six-month exclusive window as an Audible Original narrated by Academy Award-winner Brendan Fraser promoted by national TV and radio ad campaigns. This print edition is coming out immediately after Audible’s exclusivity ends and is being supported by a six-city cross-Canada author book tour.

The Downloaded by Robert J. Sawyer

It bothered me that this was an audible Original before it was available to read. Sawyer obviously wrote the words before people could perform them and, in an ironic twist as a blind person, I don’t actually like audiobooks so that kinda got under my skin. Not a problem with the book, just its release.

Also, to spin the ironymetre further, I read this at a time after a particularly strong set of Coronal Mass Ejections have set the night skies ablaze, and given how many times they’re referenced in this story I had a bit of a kick out of that.

Good story otherwise, as is typical with one of the grandmasters of science fiction. The interview style worked well, although nobody’s quite done it like Sylvain Newvel yet. Some nice throwbacks to Asimov, too. Worth the read, but not the hype.

Published by Sean Randall

I am an avid reader, technologist and disability advocate living in the middle of England with my wife, daughter and pets.

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