Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The Downloaded

The Downloaded by Robert J. Sawyer
5/7/24; 192 pages
Shadowpaw Press

The Downloaded by Robert J. Sawyer is a so-so light science fiction novel set in 2059 featuring cryogenic freezing and quantum computers.

"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 plot and, sadly, the writing are just okay in The Downloaded, and, honestly it was disappointing. Science fiction is a genre I generally enjoy, but what I really like is hard science fiction with all the facts and details concerning the real science supporting the story line. That is absent here, perhaps because it is a very short book. What is present is another lecture wrapped around a short story. The light plot and tedious lecture series insured I would lose interest quickly.

Yet again I need to caution an author to keep their personal political/social views on contemporary topics to themselves as it diminishes and dates the novel. There were multiple examples of this lecturing on several different topics, including numerous times those who didn't mask or vaccinate for COVID were demonized. I'm reading fiction for entertainment and escapism. If I want a lecture on social topics, I'll select the nonfiction books and topics. Thanks to Shadowpaw Press for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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