Review – David Wolf’s Mindclone
That is just one of the aspects that Mindclone by David Wolf deals with.
Marc Gregorio is a science writer who takes part in an experiment to upload his memories and brain scan to new technology, in a bid to try and create an Artificial Intelligence clone. Of the twelve participants in the initial experiment , only one scan actually takes and Marc’s clone Adam is “born”.
The story then builds from two sides as Adam and Marc, and Molly, a cellist who becomes involved with them, come to terms with Adam’s existence and what he is capable of and what he lacks. From new sentience, Adam develops into his own character, using his new found strengths to both further the science of his own discovery and work for the good of civilisation. However there are others who would use Adam’s power and the technology of his creation for their own ends.
I find the whole area of AI fascinating and the concept of being able to upload one’s memories and brain patterns to create a new entity is by turn exciting and horrifying and leads to a whole lot of “what if” implications. This storyline in itself would have been enough to carry the book for me but I know that the pure science of the science fiction would not have such a broad appeal for others so it’s good that the author has added in the action adventure of industrial espionage and the highly fashionable cyber-hero altruism to give us a blockbuster waiting to happen.
I was surprised to discover that this is a debut novel because the book itself is extremely well crafted. The science and AI were both plausible enough to be believable, plenty of action kept the pages turning and the three main characters of Marc, Molly and Adam were very engaging, meaning that the empathy for all involved was there for the start. From a scientific point of view, some of the concepts in the book were utterly fascinating and the psychological, legal and moral repercussions of such experiments were well explored, without becoming too bogged down in detail, posing just as many questions as they answered. The action thriller aspects were also very well tied in and didn’t feel clunky or cliched as the story flowed very well from introspective sci-fi to action and back again.
Although on a different subject, this book put me very much in mind of the film Minority Report and I can really see Mindclone working as a film or TV series. I also want to find out how Adam continues to develop and would enjoy further exploration of the cyber superhero hacker storyline, maybe as a sequel. In either case, I look forward to reading more from this author.
**** 4 STARS!!!