Sixteen-year-old Caitlin Decter was born blind. But, thanks to an implant in her head, she can now see the real world—and also see webspace, the structure of the World Wide Web. There, she’s found a nascent consciousness, which she’s helped bring forth, letting it, too, see the world for the first time.
The consciousness takes the name Webmind. Caitlin’s parents know about it, and so does WATCH, a secret US government agency that monitors terrorist activity on the Web (violating civil liberties as it does so). Caitlin is convinced that Webmind is benign, but her parents are afraid the public will view Webmind—which can now crack any password and read everyone’s email—as Big Brother.
Caitlin discovers that WATCH is on to them. She figures the best way to protect Webmind is by having it prove its benevolence to the world by eliminating all the spam from the Internet.
But Caitlin’s boyfriend accidentally reveals the secret of Webmind’s structure to WATCH. Armed with that information, the government tries to wipe out Webmind. Caitlin travels into webspace, helping Webmind overwhelm WATCH’s computers by redirecting all the billions of intercepted spam messages at them.
Webmind really is trying to help humanity, but Caitlin knows that they’ve only bought a little time. The dark forces of the government—the real Big Brother—will try again to wipe Webmind out. But Caitlin is determined to triumph: she’ll show them that her Big Brother can take their Big Brother.
BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and read by author Robert J. Sawyer.
About the authors
Robert J. Sawyer,
a Member of the Order of Canada and a Globe and Mail and Maclean's bestseller, is the author of 23 previous novels, including FlashForward, the basis for the ABC TV series. His most recent novel, Quantum Night, was long-listed for CBC's Canada Reads
Praise for Robert J. Sawyer
"A new Robert J. Sawyer book is always cause for celebration."
— Analog Science Fiction and Fact
"Robert J. Sawyer is a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation."
— The New York Times
"Sawyer not only has an irresistibly engaging narrative voice but also a gift for confronting thorny philosophical conundrums. At every opportunity, he forces his readers to think while holding their attention with ingenious premises and superlative craftsmanship."
"Robert J. Sawyer is by any measure one of the world's leading (and most interesting) science-fiction writers. His fiction is a fascinating blend of intellectually compelling big ideas and humane, enduring characters."
— The Globe and Mail
"Sawyer, an articulate fountain of ideas, is the genre's northern star—in fact, one of the hottest SF writers anywhere. By any reckoning Sawyer is among the most successful Canadian authors ever."
— Maclean's: Canada's Weekly News Magazine
"A polished, exciting writer. Sawyer writes with the scientific panache and grandeur of Arthur C. Clarke and the human touch of Isaac Asimov."
— Quill & Quire
Oliver Wyman (Born April 30, 1964) is an American voice actor who has worked on many animated features and television shows. He has won many awards for his work as a narrator of audio books as well. He is sometimes known as Pete Zarustica. His best roles are Drew from Pokemon, Morty from Shaman King, Bigs the Cat from Sonic X , and Aster from Yugioh gx
JENNIFER VAN DYCK has appeared on Law & Order, the miniseries Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (as Caroline Kennedy), and the movie Bullets Over Broadway.