Winner of the 2014 Prometheus Award
Mankind gets an upgrade
In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link humans together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.
When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage – for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.
From the halls of academe to the halls of power, from the headquarters of an elite US agency in Washington DC to a secret lab beneath a top university in Shanghai, from the underground parties of San Francisco to the illegal biotech markets of Bangkok, from an international neuroscience conference to a remote monastery in the mountains of Thailand – Nexus is a thrill ride through a future on the brink of explosion.
File Under: Science Fiction [ Humanity 2.0 | Mind Matters | Hive | This Will Happen ]
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Table of Contents
"Naam, an expert in new technologies and author of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement (2005), turns in a stellar performance with his debut sf novel. Nexus is a nanotechnology that allows human minds to link up...Naam has set himself a difficult challenge here: he’s telling a story in which much of the action and dialogue takes place inside the characters’ minds. But he succeeds admirably: one scene, in particular, in which a character races to make changes to the Nexus system by reprogramming it inside his own head, is nail-bitingly tense, when it could easily have come off as preposterous...What matters here is the remarkable scope of the story and its narrative power.
— David Pitt, Booklist Starred Review
“Provocative… a double-edged vision of the post-human.”
-Tom Shippey, The Wall Street Journal
"Nexus is a lightning bolt of a novel, with a focus on action and plotting that will remind readers of some of the best novels from the late Michael Crichton. At its heart, Naam’s optimism for a better future for humanity gives Nexus a sense of awe missing from a lot of current fiction. The current literary landscape focuses on zombie infestations, dystopian futures, natural disasters, etc. but the demise of the human condition is nowhere to be found here. Naam carefully reveals the perils of a technological future where we can connect into other people’s minds. In his fictional world, the future remains bright, a place where humanity goes beyond its full potential."
-Cesar Torres, Ars Technica
"Nexus is good. Scary good."
-James Floyd Kelly, Wired.com
"The illegal drug Nexus—made of nanites in a liquid suspension—creates temporary telepathic and empathic abilities and is feared and revered. Naam's first dip into fiction covers much the same territory as his pop science debut, More than Human: a discussion of the pros and cons of technology that can "upgrade" people, and of posthumanism in general. A rich cast of characters serves to argue all angles of the debate, led by Kaden Lane, a sweet if frequently naïve everyman who is thrust into international spy games and black market warfare as he wrestles with the morality of open-sourcing his own permanent and programmable Nexus variant. While the philosophizing is sometimes painfully heavy, the action scenes are crisp, the glimpses of future tech and culture are mesmerizing, and Naam does an admirable job of giving the reader no easy answer for the problem he's posing."
- Publisher’s Weekly
"As a story told from the intersection of theoretical neuroscience and contemporary geopolitical issues, Nexus is a fascinating study into how technology might inform human evolution."
- Adam Shaftoe, The Page of Reviews
"a thrilling near-future science fiction tale of human modification and enhancement."
- Aoife, Footnotes
"Ramez writes excellent action sequences, incorporating his technology well, and the lives at stake are more than just cardboard cutouts. No one in this story is 'as meets the eye'"
- Tim Ward
"Ramez Naam's debut novel Nexus is a superbly plotted high-tension technothriller about a War-on-Drugs-style crackdown on brain/computer interfaces ... full of delicious, thoughtful moral ambiguity ... excellent spycraft, kick-ass action sc
enes, and a chilling look at a future cold war over technology and ideology, making a hell of a read."
- Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
“Naam displays a Michael Crichton-like ability to explain cutting-edge research via the medium of an airport techno-thriller.”
- SFX Magazine
"nonstop action and minute to minute plot twists...the perfect blend of The Matrix and War Games."
-WTF Are You Reading?
"The best thing about Nexus is that Ramez Naam poses a lot of intriguing questions. This is a great novel to be read in a book club because there will certainly be a lot of good subjects for discussion"
- Dragana, Bookworm Dreams
Nexus is a story everyone should read. As a cautionary tale, it will likely be considered in league with Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World in the years to come.
“This is an action movie in book form. It’s Demolition Man, Replicant, Eagle Eye, Time Cop and all of those action Sci-Fi films we love to watch with a few beers, snacks and friends.”
-Ninja Ross, Trash Mutant
"Start to finish Nexus is a thrill ride taking our main character Kade into one unforgettable scene after another."
-Liam, The Troubled Scribe
"Nexus is an extremely strong, intriguing and interesting fiction debut."
-Paul Weimer, SF Signal
"Highly recommended, particularly for students of science, sci-fi fans, fans of thrillers and espionage fiction, and anyone looking to learn a thing or two about the brain, Buddhism, or human nature."
-Amira K. The Z-Axis
An NPR Best Book of 2013
"Good. Scary good."
"Provocative... A double-edged vision of the post-human."
- The Wall Street Journal
"A lightning bolt of a novel, with a sense of awe missing from a lot of current fiction."
- Ars Technica
"Starred Review. Naam turns in a stellar performance in his debut SF novel... What matters here is the remarkable scope and narrative power of the story."
"A superbly plotted high-tension technothriller ... full of delicious, thoughtful moral ambiguity ... a hell of a read."
- Cory Doctorow
"A gripping piece of near future speculation... all the grit and pace of the Bourne films."
- Alastair Reynolds, author of Revelation Space
"A sharp, chilling look at our likely future."
- Charles Stross, author of Singularity Sky and Halting State
"The most brilliant hard SF thriller I've read in years. Reminds me of Michael Crichton at his best."
- Brenda Cooper, author of The Creative Fire
"A rich cast of characters...the action scenes are crisp, the glimpses of future tech and culture are mesmerizing."
- Publishers Weekly