After Mind

After Mind


Fiction - Science Fiction
380 Pages
Reviewed on 05/11/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Spencer Wolf is an award-winning author, having been recognized fourteen times, including twice as a semi-finalist for the Chesterfield Writer's Film Project and once as a semi-finalist for the Academy of Motion Pictures' Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. He fell in love with Artificial Intelligence, future worlds, and all things almost human after he read the adapted screenplay for Blade Runner based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. He holds a degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from UCLA. He writes characters from the heart and is hard at work on his next Science Fiction novel. Visit his website at SpencerWolf.com

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

After Mind is an intense science fiction novel by Spencer Wolf which centers on the theme of artificial intelligence. The central character is a young boy named Packet, whose physical life has ended and his consciousness has been replaced by an artificial intelligence. The A.I. of his new persona causes conflict in Packet’s human body, and when he has the chance to start remembering the past he had before his new mind was installed, the novel takes a hugely emotional turn, exploring what it means to be human in a world where technology has a mind of its own. So begins Packet’s adventure to remember the truth about himself, and face the consequences when that truth is revealed.

Spencer Wolf has created an accomplished, sensational novel that Isaac Asimov would be proud of. Well-written and suitably complex for its subject matter, what begins as an interesting conceptual take on artificial intelligence quickly transforms into a heartrending journey amidst a world of technology and tyranny which feels plausibly real. Packet is an endearing hero whom all sci-fi fans will relate to, and his fascinating psychological and technological journey is nothing short of a science fiction masterpiece. The concepts are big and exciting, right to the final conclusion, with plenty of incredible yet believable ideas to chew over. I found After Mind compelling and well-paced, which made it difficult to put down and impossible to stop thinking about long after I’d finished the tale. Overall, I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates thought-provoking science fiction.

Charity Tober

After Mind by Spencer Wolf is an exciting, action-packed science fiction read. The story follows a young AI (artificial intelligence) boy named Packet, who has no memories of his past. As Packet begins to remember though, he soon realizes that the world around him and his life are not quite what they seem. Readers follow along as Packet struggles to find the right path, learn more about who he really is, and faces the ethical dilemmas that come with being an artificial being. Will he choose the path that was created for him or will he rise up and become something more?

I found After Mind to be a really introspective story. The author, Spencer Wolf, raises a lot of thought provoking questions regarding what it truly means to be a human. There are also a multitude of questions involving the rights and feelings of artificial intelligent beings – are they merely possessions or at what point do they become something more or even become someone (independent of their creator)? I was really rooting for Packet; he was such an innocent and likeable character. I knew he could be more than he was and I was hoping he would embrace his destiny and do the right thing. You can tell that the author is a big science fiction fan by the book’s vivid narrative containing detailed descriptions of the technology and environment of the world. I believe science fiction fans will really enjoy After Mind with its rich and descriptive environment, engaging cast of characters, and suspenseful plot line.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Spencer Wolf’s After Mind probes deep into the mind of futuristic conscience, reasoning and intelligence. What makes us human? Our flesh? Our emotions? Our mind? Or, could it be the influence of imagination that sets us apart as a species? Cessini Madden is a boy with a rare disease, Aquagenic Urticaria, making him reactive to water. He is “afraid of rain from above,” and the "pain of his own tears from within." Awake and asleep, his nightmare is of water. Cessini has a tragic accident. He awakes after lying dormant for over a decade. He has been latent, in DigiSci’s HACM (Human & Cognitive Machines) lab, located on the island of Tasmania. Waking from his void, Cessini doesn’t recognize himself. He believes himself to be Packet, but desires to be Ceeborn. Through a series of tests, cause and effect, and belief and knowing, a team of loving researchers hope to awaken Cessini into reality once again. Through the help of DIDs, SQUIDs, and an alter ego, Cessini discovers who he really is.

After Mind by Spencer Wolf articulates the evolution of becoming human, by portraying an inside view of the learning process of artificial intelligence. Keeping true to Wolf’s words, “A reinvigorated creative mind is contagious,” I took a plunge into his science fiction imagination. With my curiosity piqued, I was captivated by the element of ambiguity. However, due to the uncertainty, my mind would wander, so it took me a few chapters to get into it. Wolf pens meticulous visual descriptions, especially regarding the advancement of computer science technology and the methods of futuristic medicine. The main character is beyond creative and extremely likable. He grows and develops with several identities. These different versions of self all blend together through the process of nature versus nurture, making him a dynamic and evolving character. The supporting characters are different, yet equal. Each bear an element of pain and guilt, making the conflict of man against himself the undercurrent of the plot’s action. After Mind leaves you pondering the essence of life and the power of imagination.

Ray Simmons

After Mind by Spencer Wolf is a thought provoking look into the not so distant future of Artificial Intelligence. The characters are realistically portrayed, as is the the future they inhabit. After Mind is a complex novel about growing up and evolving. But most of all, it's about love. Daniel Madden is a genius level self-taught computer programmer. He is also a father any child would be lucky to have. His son, Packet/Cessini, is very sick and Daniel responds like any father would, with love and every effort to save his son. Their story is a journey and the ending is important, not only for them but all mankind.

I think this book is awesome, timely, and a much needed relief from tales of Massive Main Frames with missiles under their control or super human robots pissed off at their makers. There is a lot of talk in the media and among intellectuals about how close we are to the "Singularity" - a technological breakthrough so huge that we can't even imagine how the world will look after the breakthrough. Some people are frightened of Artificial Intelligence. Some people look for AI to save us from ourselves. I like the way Spencer Wolf looks at this coming breakthrough. For better or worse, these Beings will be our children. In After Mind, Spencer Wolf shows us what kind of fathers and mothers we should strive to become to this brave new generation. After Mind is as much about love and family as it is about technology. A great book.

Lisa McCombs

“Technology doesn’t kill the imagination of children. It lets it fly.” Daniel believes this with his very being, but finds his resolve shaken multiple times in his attempt to bring Cessini back to the human form that was once his son. Cessini struggles with an extreme fear of water to the point of reactivity so severe that physical symptoms include visible burning and rash. Is this a reaction to an overly active imagination or is it “induced by a previous event” in his lifetime, as suggested by the scholars who attempt to aid Daniel in his research? While Daniel and Meg (Cessini’s half-sister) work to discover this answer, Cessini himself battles with the unsettling images that plague his dreams and distort his reality. Is he really a boy named Cessini or is he Packet, the robot of his childhood fantasies and his father’s technological workings?

Spencer Wolf has created a surprisingly intense tale of scientific studies in human creation. After Mind enforces the statement that “no one can ever be the same human twice,” forcing me to question the intent of the world’s secret governmental laboratories. What is truly happening behind the closed doors that protect the genius minds of our society? Was Mary Shelley so far off the mark that human manufacturing is not a possibility? Or is this a social statement that questions the insincerity of man’s ability to alter his actions in the wake of redefining his goals? Regardless of the author’s purpose, I found After Mind an intriguing addition to the world of science fiction.