Monday, October 16, 2006

The Ghost Brigades

I recently finished John Scalzi's The Ghost Brigades. I found his previous book quite enjoyable, and although The Ghost Brigades is a sequel to that book, it also can stand alone.

The Ghost Brigades is a more obviously philosophical book than its predecessor, with an extended meditation on self. This focus posed a certain problem for me; I found it difficult to grasp the distinctions the characters were trying to make between the mind and the consciousness.

SPOILERS: Although my recollection of Old Man's War is shaky, why should there be, even under the rules of Scalzi's world, a substantive difference between transfering the conscious mind of an old person into a new body and transferring a computerized pattern of the same to a new body? Shouldn't the new bodies in the first instance also have burgeoning consciousnesses of their own, just as the Special Forces bodies do?

I like to think of myself as a smart person, and I feel quite irritated at being baffled by a book. What am I missing?
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