Reviews for Unfettered Journey, by Gary F. Bengier

bract4813mypacksnet's review

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Unfettered Journey is set in the future, after the Climate Wars. It’s the story of a scientist, Joe, who works for the AI Ministry and specializes in artificial intelligence, specifically looking at creating robot consciousness. He hits a wall in his research and decides to take a sabbatical at Lone Mountain College, a small California college. Rather than the former caste system, a system of “levels” exist, and people cannot marry outside of their level. At the college, Joe is unwittingly drawn into an anti-level movement.

The world is as richly imagined as the Bladerunner movie. Robots hover everywhere and provide all services humans need. Personal Intelligent Physical Assistants (Pipabots) are assigned to each person and take care of the mundane issues humans face daily. People, due to the shortage of actual jobs (caused by the proliferation of robots), work only 12 hours a week. They have a corneal connection call the NEST, which functions as a computer screen and brings up “the latest fashions from Chicago. A rising-star painter from Atlanta.” The leading story, though, is about a “woman tragically killed in Texas, the seventh accidental death this year.”

There are long passage of philosophical discussion, and I was torn by these. I enjoyed reading about ideas I hadn’t thought about since studying philosophy in college. On the other hand, I skimmed some of them, feeling they slowed down the pacing of the novel.

Overall a book that kept me reading and the story was fascinating.