In 2007, a signal is detected coming from the Alpha Centauri system. Mysterious, unintelligible data streams in for ten years. Heather Davis a professor in the University of Toronto psychology department, has devoted her career to deciphering the message. Her estranged husband, Kyle, is working on the development of artificial intelligence systems and new computer technology utilizing quantum effects to produce a near-infinite number of calculations simultaneously.
When Heather achieves a breakthrough, the message reveals a startling new technology that rips the barriers of space and time, holding the promise of a new stage of human evolution. In concert with Kyle's discoveries of the nature of consciousness, the key to limitless exploration — or the end of the human race — appears close at hand.
This special Kobo edition includes the bonus short story Flashes and a reading group guide.
"Sawyer's finest novel to date. Scientifically plausible, fictionally intriguing and ethically important." — New Scientist
"Sawyer's latest novel explores the enigmatic and perplexing landscape of the human mind and the interplay of true, false, implanted, and collective memories that comprise the phenomenon of consciousness. Recommended." — Library Journal
"Sawyer manages to gather his various plots into one seamless, hugely entertaining thriller. Factoring Humanity presents some fascinating mathematical speculations and a true sense of wonder about the universe, yet it never loses sight of its human story." — Starlog
"Robert J. Sawyer writes my favourite kind of science fiction. Interesting characters, fast-paced plotting, science threaded elegantly into the prose — he does it all with grace and style. He does it again in Factoring Humanity: it will grab you by the scruff of the neck at the very start and it won't let go until you are finished. I was constantly amazed by the depth of Sawyer's characters — their humanity, their failings and their instincts. If you read this novel, be prepared to be glued to your chair for the duration. You are in for a treat." — SFSITE.COM
ROBERT J. SAWYER has won the Hugo, Nebula, John W. Campbell Memorial, Seiun, and Aurora Awards, all for best science fiction novel of the year. His novels include Hominids, Rollback, Wake, and FlashForward (basis for the TV series).