Thursday, June 17, 2010

WWW:Wake, by Robert Sawyer

A few days, ago, I finished WWW: Wake, a Hugo-nominated novel for 2010. The novel is the first in a trilogy about the awakening of the world-wide web. I use the old-fashioned terminology purposely--this novel is reasonably well executed, but reads like yesterday's news all the way through. Really, we've seen this before. And nowhere better than Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.

The plot is suitably ordinary--a young girl, blind from birth, gets a chance to try a treatment to correct the "coding error" between her eyes and her brain. Instead of seeing the normal world, she sees a visualization of the Web. And detects something else out there.

Sawyer is a veteran writer, and the execution kept me reading and entertained. But it has a flavor of someone's grandpa explaining new technology. Cute, sort of. It is flawed in other ways--there is a subplot on a smart chimp that never ties back in this novel. It's obviously intended for the sequel. Just a little sad that this sort of ordinary effort makes it onto a list of bests of the year.

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