Genesis, by Bernard Beckett, is definately a book that makes you think - but in a good way. The plot takes on what it means to be human, and how we are different from the machines. If you are interested in philosophy, or in futuristic novels, this is a must-read. The book centers on Anaximander's interview for admittance into the prestigious Academy. For her topic, she has chosen the life of Adam Forde, one of the Republic's greatest historical figures. Adam never exactly followed the rules and because of that ended up being used in a possibly-deadly Artificial Intelligence experiment. He is forced to spend his days with Art, a robot with an orangutan's face who is a very advanced example of AI. Art loves to argue about how human he is, until Adam gets frustrated because he fails to completely prove that Art can't think.
As the book goes on, Anaximander gives us more of the history behind Adam Forde's life and we see Adam's relationship to Art become something he can tolerate. When they come up with a daring plan, the course of it changes history. The book ended in a way I had not forseen and somewhat chillingly, yet was almost satisfying. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes an intellectual challenge and enjoys hearing about why things are the way they are. Happy reading!
Review by Stacy L., Williamsport, PA