Cover Image: The Transfer Problem

The Transfer Problem

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Member Reviews

Very, very interesting and satisfying read. Four stars (my rating scale is shown at the end of this review.) Note: I received a free copy of this in exchange for a review. I believe my reviews are nonetheless unbiased.

The title is quite well-chosen, as the author is exploring the well-used theme in science fiction books of the lossless transfer of the consciousness of an organic creature into a digital form. While the idea is not new, the creatures involved are unique, and the author explores both the methodology, as well as the implications, more effectively than many other treatments.

And he does so in the context of an excellent thriller. There are good guys, bad guys, good bad guys, bad good guys, and unexpected others that contribute to a global catastrophe the characters strive to handle. This makes the book enjoyable to those who don't want to dive deeply into the details of the Transfer Problem, yet leaves some interesting meat for those that do.

Also, nicely, the book resolves the story AND sets up a sequel. I'm starting to get very irritated at authors that don't actually end one story at the end of a long read, but set up the next book ... that I must now wait months / years to read, during which time I'll have forgotten the first book. This one tells a complete story, but then at the very end opens the door to ideas of what might come next - without leaving you hanging.

Good book, good effort. I recommend it.

My rating rules are as follows:
- Five stars is when you read a book to the end, put it down, take a deep breath, pick it up and start reading it all over again - or you would if you weren't so anxious to read the next book in a multi-book series. Or, it's simply good enough that it merits a - rare - five-star rating.
- Four stars is when you tell yourself : ”This is good, this is well-written, this is full of interesting ideas/characters/plot points, I like it - and I know I will never read it again." But you search out the author's other books.
- Three stars is when you read it to the end, put it down, move on, and proceed to forget all about it - and the author - in the next instant.
- Two stars when it's so bad that it makes you cringe, or sigh, and want to write a review, but you can't remember the name of the book or dislike it so much that you don't.
- One star when you can't read past chapter 3, even as penance for your sins.
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This is an exciting fast paced thriller. The science fiction revolves around artificial or not so artificial intelligence and is explained in an intelligent and mostly comprehensible way - it sparked my interest and I made the effort to understand it even though it meant rereading a few passages. The story is very clever, well plotted and very readable although it keeps you on your toes. It is important to note the chapter headings as the timeline zigzags around. I loved Ethan as the reluctant  hero, he comes across as the innocent with his dry wit and slightly naive persona, but is he though? I enjoyed the way that his relationships with Anna and his brother Robert were revealed and developed throughout and the interactions between them were spiced with humour and wit. The plot is very credible, eerily so, financial fraud and the country going to pot but with enough action and gadgets to keep it in the fantasy world.
I loved it.
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"Well I gather it's all a bit British. Army on the streets, but rather apologetic, spending most of their time accepting cups of tea from concerned homeowners".

The premise of the transfer problem is fascinating - if we transfer someones consciousness, how can we prove that the technology with the consciousness is fully the same as the person it came from? 

The book covers a great amount of sci-fi, ai based considerations following the chaotic actions of Anna, a Russian-Japanese computer science genius.

I loved the premise but for unknown reasons, this specific book didn't click so well with me. 

Thank you NetGalley for the Arc.
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Rollover (1981) meets Transcendence (2014) When an experimental AI triggers a global financial meltdown, a lightly autistic mathematician has to find out what his crazy Russian girlfriend and sociopathic hacker brother are really up to...and how he can untangle the mess they've created before civilization collapse.

Full review available 4/1/22
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There’s so many things about this one that I loved. The one thing I loved the most is seeing characters that approach the concept of transferring your conscience into a machine in a more realistic, human way. I enjoyed the humour touches in this book, they work perfectly and make the characters relatable and likable. The story uses the transferring of a conscience into a machine in a refreshing way and it's told in a way that gets your attention from page one. Truly a unique and enjoyable read.
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A good mix of tech and sci-fi, along with a little humor. I don't think this will be considered a book for generating deep thinking, just decent entertainment. I stayed mostly engaged, and liked the premise. 

Thanks very much for the free ARC for review!!
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Great premise, but I was disappointed in this book. I found the writing to be overly verbose and pretentious, the characters shallow and dialog too over the top. The transfer problem itself is interesting, but the plot and delivery here didn’t do it for me.
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I thought we were heading into James Bond territory when the book initially started off. It was certainly an unpredictable and effective way to get the reader’s attention. A very clever, and I have to say cute idea, to have the teddy bear involved.
Algorithms are taking over the world in one way or another. So, it is no stretch of the imagination to see how they can be put to questionable use in The Transfer Problem. 
There are intelligent and intriguing ideas put forward here, so the author has obviously got a firm grasp on his material. It is fascinating to see the technology at work, even if some of it is way over my head. 
I have always been fascinated with algorithms and the use that they are put to. Hannah Fry and Cathy O'Neil books were real eye-openers for me.
There is a lot of tense action, with some misdirection and twists along the way. The Transfer Problem is quite thought-provoking in a scary way. Especially when you realise it that may not be beyond the realms of possibility, that it could this technology might just be around the corner.
Thank you. NetGalley and Deixis Press, for the ARC.
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