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Book Reivew: Theo Blinkerson and the Copper Coffin

Theo Blinkerson and the Copper Coffin Book Cover Theo Blinkerson and the Copper Coffin
Gregory Butron
Science Fiction, Dystopian
November 28, 2015

When someone sets out to destroy all electrical technology on the planet, it’s sometimes best to hide under the softest, fluffiest blanket available. Other times you have to run screaming from dangerous robots. In the worst of times, you find out that your best friend has forgotten that you exist, and that you have to ride the world’s longest elevator with the scary girl you only met two days ago. Theo Blinkerson is about to have all of those times.

My Thoughts

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

“Pictures and words can be powerful – but only when people see or hear them. How do you think ideas get spread? It ain’t carrier pigeons. A picture can unite or divide people – but only if they see it. Technology is what makes that happen.”

Theo Blinkerson and the Copper Coffin is a YA Sci-fi novel set in low-earth orbit in a space station, and in and around a space elevator designed to transport people from earth to the space station.

The novel follows Theo Blinkerson, a 14-year old who lives in the space station, and his adventures with Ilene and Carson, who come to the station from earth after a group of people on earth set off an EMP to try to destroy all technology and electronics on earth.

Humans at this time are co-existing with robots called “neurobs”, which have very advanced artificial intelligence. This novel touches on a lot of different themes and questions relating to the practicality and ethics surrounding artificial intelligence, and how the world would respond to it.

I really enjoyed this novel, and the author does a great job exploring these themes, while still having a light-hearted and action packed storyline.

Although I really liked the characters and the character development, especially with Ilene, and Carson, I felt that Theo seemed a bit young for his age, and seemed fairly immature. Theo is the only child that lives on the space station with his parents, and a lot of other scientists. Given his surroundings, I would have expected that he would react to situations in different ways than he did. I hope the author develops Theo further in other novels.

Further, even though it seems this takes place quite far in the future given the level of technology, the author makes a lot of references to technologies used today (i.e. some programming languages.) Although I did appreciate that the author tried to add an element of realism to the technology in the story, it seemed odd that it jumped back and forth between current technology and very advanced technology.

I’m interested to see what other adventures Theo will get into in the future, and I recommend that everyone give this book a shot if you enjoy the genre.

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  1. “This novel touches on a lot of different themes and questions relating to the practicality and ethics surrounding artificial intelligence, and how the world would respond to it.”

    We’re already at the point where this is an issue. E.g., should a driverless vehicle sacrifice its passenger instead of running down a jaywalker? I’ve seen a couple of articles and discussions on this already.

    I wonder how they’d program the car for the road equivalent of the Trolley Problem.

    Whatever the manufacturers do, I hope they don’t program the logic in C. Or dBase. Or Lisp. Or Forth.