may be one of the most inadvertently horrifying works ever created, both for the future it presents and for what it says about its author’s psyche
The Promethians: Introduction, Head of State
Been reading, Q1 2017, there could be snakes in here
You want to know how to get me to hate you? Tell me about how shitty science fiction is at predicting the future.
A Land of Rum and Writing
Dies alles steht nicht in einem Science-Fiction-Roman, sondern in einer sozialwissenschaftlichen Monographie, in der ein in Oxford lehrender Ökonom ganz ernsthaft und mit zahllosen Fußnoten erkundet, wie es in der Gesellschaft der „Brain emulations“ zugehen wird
Die Regierung der gescannten Hirne, Frankfurter Allgemeine Feuilleton
Simultaneously an economic treatise and a work of deep speculative fiction, it’s a melding of genre rarely seen, but dearly welcome. … Hanson, simply, is willing to take chances, make big assumptions, and see where the cards fall. It’s a style of romantic academic endeavor long out of favor.
Michael J. Hanson
Metaxis, Age of Em: Where Sci-Fi Meets Economics
struggles without merit to deny obviously science fictional content, if not its groundbreaking approach to genre concerns of identity, immortality, and virtuality. Although as nonfiction it is cursed by a somewhat unreliable narrator, the assured depth of its varied speculative aspects - taking in post-scarcity economics, social philosophy, and political futurism - makes this contribution to genre scholarship an invaluable guide for fellow travelers on the roads to quasi-utopian states.
Book Reviews, Interzone, pp. 83-84
The depth and breadth of his analysis is undeniable. In reading the work one is simply stunned at the sheer volume of thought into em existence Hanson provides–short of perhaps interior decorating (and even then he notes the possibilities are limitless), one is hard pressed to find an area Hanson left uncovered. Readers of Age of Em will find it weighty and be left wishing that Hanson crafted an overarching narrative that puts his richly envisioned world into context.
Ale máme tu ještě něco podstatně šílenějšíh. … Hanson bystře vyvozuje, jak bude pak vypadat práce, zábava, mezilidské vztahy, ozbrojené konflikty.
Knížky roku 2016, které by se čtenářům Lupy mohly líbit
Robin Hanson … is a genuine polymath with a background in physics, early AI and economics. His book … is one of the strangest, most challenging books I have ever read.
Gerard de Valence
Researching the Far Future, Construction Industry Economics and Policy
Robin Hanson’s Age of Em represents a significant intervention in debates about what kind of futures to envision, how to envision those futures, and why we should do so in the first place. … I am … grateful for the book for serving as a serious, worthy intervention in a debate that social scientists aren’t even having.
Paul Musgrave Blog
It's a wild idea but what’s so nice about this kind of this science fictional idea and treatment in this book … is how rigorous it is. Hanson really goes through all the possible implications of what this means. … A great great read, dizzying with ideas
Ira Flatow, Lee Billings
is a very strange book; in a way, it reminds me of my version of team blogging, only actually rigorous and comprehensive … At a minimum, it’s a fascinating intellectual exercise … The most distinctive book I read in 2016.
What I’ve Been Reading (Football and Not), Reading and Thinking Football
The book provides vivid descriptions of the world of uploads. … It covers a wide range of details, from the size of their cities to the types of music they might listen to. … What is clear is that the prospect of uploading warrants serious attention now.
Scientific American blog
The Age of Em by Robin Hanson is the best worst book I have read in a very long while. It is the best because Robin has a very effective, efficient and eloquent writing style and a personality to match it. … It is the worst because The Age of Em is an efficiency utopia: a place where … one person one vote doesn’t work [does it ever?], ems live to work and not the other way around … and humanity has either starved to extinction or has become a tool of our tools.')
Book of the week: … it’s an interesting read, and I’d at least take on board Hanson’s advice to make sure you are the owner of a few ems.
Thing of Things
It’s perhaps the strangest book you’ve ever heard of. … This book really does make you think about the world in a different way. … It even makes you question what it means to be human.
For a book without a plot or characters, it offers a surprisingly engaging and compelling storyline. … Hanson’s book and his approach to thinking about the future are extremely important for anyone who wants to have a say in the future of humanity.
Future of Life Institute
A highly speculative, possibly over ambitious, but nonetheless fascinating 'thought exercise’ … New concepts or implications explored on nearly every page.
Science Fact & Science Fiction Concatenation
A mash-up of robotics and social theory, The Age of Em is a comprehensive treatise … This tomorrow, as envisioned by Hanson, `weird' as it is, is rich with meaty data.
An interdisciplinary thought experiment … The sheer amount of detail … really allows readers to engage with these scenarios and reflect back on our current situation.
Books in brief, Network Review, No. 121, pp. 62-63
A challenging and often disturbing look at a possible future … simultaneously breathtaking and tedious. … For all its strangeness, the book amply rewards the effort you’ll invest in reading it. It limns a world as different from our own as any portrayed in science fiction, yet one which is a plausible future that may come to pass in the next century, and is entirely consistent with what we know of science.
Saturday Night Science
The Age of Em is imaginative and provides a thought-provoking discussion of the social implications of an em economy.
A Singularity Economy — If Uploads Come First, AAI Foresight Signals
Fascinating. Two months later, the book’s ideas still pop into my mind daily. Nothing else I’ve read in the past year has done that.
Overall, the book is a nerdvana for the transhumanist and can be recommended for all who like to think (as opposed to merely feel) about the future.
Extropy Chat List
All futurists, transhumanists and citizens interested in possible futures radically different from today’s reality should read “The Age of Em.” … I like “The Age of Em” a lot. … Some readers will love the book, some will hate it, but nobody will remain indifferent.
Hanson’s work is revolutionary, not in what it says, but how it attempts to say it. … once over the peak, the expedition feels more than worthwhile.
Engineering and Technology Magazine
I enjoyed the book … enriching our sense of the range of possible futures that might be out there … is the reason I got value from his book.
This hellish cyberworld is quite cool to think about in a dystopian Matrixy way. … brilliantly weird extrapolations
What is remarkable … is not just the detail … but the way he situates it within a perceptive analysis of our human past and present.
Wall Street Journal
Lots of creative, intelligent people … doing remarkable wonderful things with big expensive toys … but you only got, personally, subsistence wages … What it is like to be an Em is … a graduate student.
Josh Storrs Hall
Where is my Flying Car?
There is no doubt that what Hanson is doing here is truly fascinating. … any science fiction author worth his or her salt should be rushing out and buying a copy of this book. There are enough ideas here to spark off a thousand stories.
I highly recommend it. … His language is always incredibly direct and clear. Hanson is an academic Hemingway.
It’s certainly an impressive exercise in world-building, which, with the addition of plot and character, would have the potential to make a spectacular series of novels.
Move over, humans; the emulations are coming and our world is going to get really weird. That's the premise of the George Mason economist Robin Hanson's fascinating new book.
I can’t think of another book of this depth and quality in the same niche. … I highly recommend Age of Em as a fantastically fun read and a great introduction to these concepts. It’s engaging, readable, and weird. I just don’t know if it’s weird enough.
Slate Star Codex
Hanson repeatedly tackles questions that scare away mainstream academics, and gives relatively ordinary answers
Bayesian Investor Blog
The book [is] a fascinating survey of what we know about humans – think David Brook’s The Social Animal, but through a more removed lens, and with a deeper blend of hard and soft sciences.
The pacing is fast, chock-full of interesting ideas to play with … Hanson has done a fantastic job sketching technologically and economically plausible outcomes to the future of humans and near-humans.
Peter St Onge
Profits of Chaos
Very often Robin is describing our world in cloaked fashion … [It is] a reminder of how strange everything is. … I am wildly enthusiastic about everything the Robin upload does.
More reviews are available at Amazon and Goodreads.