Book Review: A Calculated Life by Ann


This Story is Brilliant!

Reading Charnock’s novel, “A Calculated Life” gives me that quintessential reader – story relationship where I can, from the start, SEE the story in my mind’s eye, as if it were an actual movie. The characters, the action, the dialogue and the setting are all so well written and accessible that the imagery just springs to life throughout the entire novel. In every real sense, you don’t read this book, you dive in and immerse yourself for a while, and then climb back out. All the best books are this way.Even the interplay of the numbers, as statistics play a strategic role in the story, can be viewed as different forces pushing and pulling against each other, whether they are energy statistics, or stickbugs, citrus, olfactory, sexual experience.

This is at once one of the most human stories, and one of the best A.I. stories I have ever read. I won’t go into a full plot summary, because so many others have provided them, but I will say the author does a superb job addressing questions of :
What does it mean to be human?
What incredible benefits do humans take for granted? What do humans do that makes no sense?
How would humans deal with android perfection?
Can humans and androids love each other?
What happens when humans are jealous of androids ?What happens when androids become more human?
What rights, if any, do androids have to continuity of their personality? (Keep their experiences and memories especially if they lead to sentience ).

The term android is used generally here to indicate the use of hardware, software and biology together to form an individual.

Highly Recommended for intelligent readers interested in a sophisticated story with glorious characters, relevant themes, active use of statistical results to drive the story forward, arcane yet fascinating details, interesting backstories and generally a thumping good read!


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