Nexus - Ramez Naam Brainycats 5 "B"s:
boobs: 1
blood: 4
bombs: 4
bondage: 0
blasphemy: 3

Mr. Naam has a clear vision of what is right and wrong and how humanity should organize itself in the future. He wrote a book called Nexus to tell us all about it.

Unlike most preachy books, I enjoyed this one. Firstly, I agree with most of the author's conclusions so I felt an affinity for the characters. Secondly, the author actually knows his way around information technology, so the plot developments and action around programming and networking actually make sense - a welcome change from most cyberpunk books. Finally, the book moves at fast pace and while there were massive gaps in the world building, I enjoyed the language and the story.

The characterization in this book is not the strongest part of the book, by a long shot. They're all straw men bent into arcs to illustrate different ideas and reactions to the nascent technology allowing direct mind to mind contact. The political realm of the near future is even more simplified; there are Bad Guys trying to Halt Progress, Bad Guys trying to Weaponize Progress and Good Guys eager for Progress To Happen. For a book that is clearly one person's wet dream of how the mechanics of transhumanism could come to be, ignoring the role of capital was a glaring omission that reduced this book from a well thought out treatise to a shrill tract.

But I liked it. I couldn't put it down. Early in the book I decided to ignore the proselytization and instead focus entirely on the story. The characters, while not well developed, each had unique voices and the writing tried very hard to show, rather than tell, how disruptive the new technologies can be. The book read like a movie, albeit a PG-13 movie (Graphic violence, some adult situations). A very pretty, interesting movie that I'd like to watch. I wouldn't put this book in the same trans/posthumanist caliber as [b:Accelerando|17863|Accelerando|Charles Stross||930555], but it was a fun, entertaining read with vivid imagery that actually deserves the Cyberpunk label.