Tina S Beier
Interfaces (Book Review)
Hard Sci-Fi, Psychological
4 / 5
I received this as an ebook in exchange for a fair review, as part of Breakeven Books tour of this novel!
Interfaces is a contemplative and complex hard sci-fi that raises interesting questions about the future of our world.
The story follows a small group of characters as they grapple with the discovery of “dual connection” within a virtual space.
The novel has the tagline: “A psy-fi thriller about the future of the mind” but I would instead consider it more of an extrapolation into how emerging technologies could impact society. In truth, I didn’t find much “thriller” about it, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the novel.
While it takes a little bit to adapt to the structure, I did very much enjoy it. It doesn’t read like a typical book, in that it’s clear the characters are standing in for concepts or approaches. They do have personality, but the story is less about their journey than the concepts that are being presented. What is the concept? In this vision of the future, people have what are called “converters” installed behind their ears. This allows their consciousness to connect to all the other devices they use. In a sense, their minds become part of the machine and the machine part of their mind while they are connected. The issue or dilemma of the story is when the characters discover a way to link two consciousnesses together. This is just ONE aspect of this story though. There are far more complex speculative ideas brought in, but this is one that permeates most of the novel. There is a very large infodump at the start, which usually would annoy me, but in this book it worked because you really do have to understand the concept to follow the plot. Regarding the plot, this is where the novel fell flat to me. The second half of the novel follows another character, which I found a little bit jarring and confusing; I wasn’t entirely sure why his perspective was required. And, as I mentioned before, the characters aren’t really people, in a sense. They are vehicles for transmitting these ideas. I wish they had been fleshed out further. The world-building is quite interesting though - society is organized in a different way than now. There is a focus on policing, which I wished had more of an in-depth overview, as I wasn’t really sure how they related to the government at times.
The prose is a bit lofty and uses language that I found engaging but might put off some people as it’s very technical and at times relies on jargon. And while the technological aspects of the story were very futuristic but not ridiculously so, some of the social aspects could have used more focus. Also, they kept talking about a “man-made” womb, but this phallocentric phrasing was very much at odds with the gender-neutral society that was posited. In truth, it was distracting.
Overall, I found this short little novel to be an interesting extrapolation into the nature of consciousness and technology. I’m giving it a 4 / 5 Stars.
I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Greg Egan or very tech-heavy novels that focus on AI or the future of cloud computing.
Interfaces Book Tour Schedule
CC - July 11th
YOUTUBE - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtpgPTkSZxaKJo0pz41fkyQ
Josh - July 12th
BLOG / INSTAGRAM - https://thewriterpilot.net/
Tina - July 13th
INSTAGRAM, BLOG, YOUTUBE
Rachel - July 14th
YOUTUBE - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRWFDxPpqx2n7ZWvSttCW3Q/
Evander - July 15th
@achilleanchaos - https://evan-aedan.wixsite.com/achilleanchaos
Kira (TheBookBella) - July 16th
YOUTUBE - Kira the Bookbella
LizzieIsElf - July 17th
YOUTUBE - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiMLViKMWK74snP_j-7kxmQ
BLOG - https://breakevenbooks.com
P. Anilak has a background in copy-writing and blogging with a focus on topics about the connection between technology, mind and society. The author is a Ph.D. and has many years of experience in a global tech-corporate environment.
In the not-too-distant future, humans allow their minds to be synaptically connected to omnipresent quantum computers through converters that encode signals to match neural communications. While working on human-machine interaction, Professor Kin Poto suspects that quantum computer viruses can be transferred to humans. An audacious experiment finds the professor astonished and bewildered about the profound, unchartered behavior of the human mind. Circumstances of this new-found reality represent an entirely new environment for human consciousness and provokes it to operate differently, unfolding further evolutionary potential.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58062498-interfaces