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Thursday, October 06, 2011 by Robert J. Sawyer

www:watch follows www:wake, which I recently reviewed.

Tiny review of Wake:  Caitlin Decter, a sixteen-year-old blind girl, receives an implant that gives her sight in one eye, and also, inexplicably, enables her to see the world wide web.  She senses something else in the web, a consciousness; at the same time, this emerging consciousness finds a connection with Caitlin.  Caitlin, learning to accommodate herself to a sighted world (for example, she must learn the alphabet and to read visually, rather than using Braille), begins first inadvertently, and then deliberately, nurturing the consciousness that she calls Webmind.

The emerging consciousness of Webmind comes to the attention of the U.S. government, and understandably, the powers that be are concerned about a consciousness that can handle the information that Webmind can--for many reasons.

In a technological world, Webmind can access just about anything.  His opponents feel that if a consciousness that expands exponentially is allowed to continue, it will become smarter than any human.  The President and his security advisers realize the potential for terrorism and corruption and fear the possibility that Webmind could enslave mankind.

The decision is made to shut Webmind down before this possibility can occur.  However, terminating Webmind proves difficult, and the first attempt fails.  Webmind and Caitlin (and his other friends) must come up with a defense before the next attempt manages to succeed.

Although this trilogy is for a YA audience, the study of human nature, the information about mathematics, physics, language, and cyber technology is abundant and engrossing.

This is not a trilogy than should be read out of order.  The emergence of Webmind in www.wake, the characters, and initial plot lines are necessary for www:watch to be appropriately enjoyed.

I'm definitely a fan of this series.

In Sawyer's 1999 novel Flash Forward, he predicted the naming of this year's Nobel Laureate.  Not terribly surprising, I guess, since he is so knowledgeable about  the world of physics, but interesting.  Here is a link to his recent blog post.

Other reviews:  Bookish, The Guilded Earlobe, Rhapsody in Books,

Fiction.  Science Fiction/Futuristic/YA.  2010.  368 pages.


  1. I really must read these books. I actually hadn't got around to even seeing if the library has them.

  2. I think you'd like these, Kelly!