Nexus, Ramez Naam, Angry Robot, ISBN 978085762934, 466 pgs, $14.99

Birds, Pigs and the mediator (Asi Cohen) posed...

Birds, Pigs and the mediator (Asi Cohen) posed for a photo shortly before talks broke down. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the very near future someone has figured out how to load application software into the human brain. As part of this process new drugs are coming on the scene–drugs like Nexus, which open up the mind, enabling multiple users who have taken the drug, to link together in mind to mind contact. It’s a new science and governments as well as organizations are reacting to it very differently. The US has banned it and it vigorously tracking down users while at the same time trying to figure out how best to use it for their own advantages. Many scientists are excited by the prospects both in terms of unleashing potential but also in terms of being able to use this new ability to heal minds and cure mental traumas. And, of course, there are a few who see unlimited potential in this process for mind control, weaponization, and evil. Kade, as a young scientist, sees only potential and fun. As one of the developers of a process to use Nexus as an interface for alternative neural programming, Kade and his research team have big plans for the future. But, the US government has different plans and when Kade and most of his team are busted during one of their ‘test’ parties, Kade is forced to agree to doing some behind the scenes intelligence gathering at an upcoming conference. The US wants information about some of the international players and they see Kade as the perfect opportunity to leverage their way in. For Kade it is more about getting his friends out of trouble and, truth be told, a bit of excitement at being able to communicate with some of the leaders in the new field of neural access. But the international arena is a bit broader than anyone imagines and research has gone deeper and wider than anyone imagined. So, Kade finds himself on a fast track of desperation as he tries to keep himself alive, the US satisfied and his curiosity in check.

This is an interesting book with an interesting premise.  The idea that there will be a computer (read smart phone) brain interface and that applications will be loaded directly to your mind is probably not as far off as you might think, or hope.  Imagine the trouble you have now with applications on your smart phone and then imagine these problems in your own head.  Conversely, imagine the richness of this connection as
Angry Birds is able to use the full processing power of your brain to bring the game to the next level.  It’s a whole new level of fun, frolic and psychosis as developers, researchers, implementers and advertisers all vie to new ways to get into your head.

This is Naam’s first book of fiction although it is not his first book, which was a non-fiction effort on, you guessed it, biological enhancement.  Still this is a well written book, fun with an interesting premise and a very thought provoking concept that should keep you thinking well beyond the ending.  There’s action and tight escapes along with just enough expository science to keep you in the know.  The characters are engaging and motivated through different vehicles and pasts so it all works in one cohesive whole.  I enjoyed it pretty much cover to cover and I think there’s enough talent here to make me want to see the next book, assuming there is a next book, from this author.

Recommended for the concept and the way Naam plays with the future as well as for the entertainment value.  And, if you’d like to get a copy for yourself, there is no better place to go than here: Nexus

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About damnaliens
Writer, reviewer, home provider to the Damnaliens

One Response to Nexus, Ramez Naam, Angry Robot, ISBN 978085762934, 466 pgs, $14.99

  1. Pingback: Nexus – Ramez Naam Review | Reflections

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