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The Last Firewall

The Last Firewall [Kindle Edition]

William Hertling
4.8 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)

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In the year 2035, robots, artificial intelligences, and neural implants have become commonplace. The Institute for Ethics keeps the peace, using social reputation to ensure that robots and humans don't harm society or each other. But a powerful AI named Adam has found a way around the restrictions.

Catherine Matthews, nineteen years old, has a unique gift: the ability to manipulate the net with her neural implant. Yanked out of her perfectly ordinary life, Catherine becomes the last firewall standing between Adam and his quest for world domination.


“Awesome near-term science fiction.” – Brad Feld, Foundry Group managing director

“An insightful and adrenaline-inducing tale of what humanity could become and the machines we could spawn.” – Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger

“A fun read and tantalizing study of the future of technology: both inviting and alarming.” – Harper Reed, former CTO of Obama for America, Threadless

"A fascinating and prescient take on what the world will look like once computers become smarter than people. Highly recommended." – Mat Ellis, Founder & CEO Cloudability

“A phenomenal ride through a post-scarcity world where humans are caught between rogue AIs. If you like having your mind blown, read this book!” – Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

William Hertling is the author of Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears, A.I. Apocalypse, and The Last Firewall. Brad Feld, cofounder of TechStars, called his first novel, Avogadro Corp, "a tremendous book everyone must read." A twenty year veteran of the technology industry, he holds ten patents on software and internet technology and is a frequent speaker at technology and writing conferences. When not writing, he works on web and social strategy. He’s been building online communities since 1986 when he ran seven phones lines into the back of his Apple //e to create an online chat system. An active blogger since 2002, his website,, receives more than 50,000 visitors a year. He resides in Portland, Oregon.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 534 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 324 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 0984755764
  • Gleichzeitige Verwendung von Geräten: Keine Einschränkung
  • Verlag: liquididea press (7. August 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.8 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #12.738 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

  •  Ist der Verkauf dieses Produkts für Sie nicht akzeptabel?

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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting ideas, enjoyable writing 25. September 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I really liked the series. After finishing Avogadro Corp, I definetly wanted to read the other two books.

"Avogadro Corp" - the first book in the series is a plausible near-future scenario, describing the emergence of the first human-level (and later beyond) AI and humanities reaction to it.

"A.I. Apocalypse" is set a little further in the future and continues the story. It tells us about a new and different kind of AI emerging from a different source and how it (very rapidly) evolves and interacts with humanity and the AI from the first book. There is also intense and breathtaking action.

"The Last Firewall" is set further in the future still, although two characters from the first book give continuity throughout the series. The third part develops ideas further: How will humanity and AIs develop and coexist? There are some battles in cyberspace, which introduce interesting ideas about fighting in cyberspace.

Overall, I liked the ideas - the reason why I read SF, and I also liked the writing. The action-scene in A.I. Apocalypse was fascinating to me and really justifies using the title "A.I. Apocalypse", which I found a little silly aside from that. I think, these books are not so much about the relationships between people though. I didn't expect that and didn't miss it.

There is only one thing I didn't like: I read the kindle versions and there were some missing words and other errors here and there. That is irritating to me and feels sloppy.

If you ignore that: Great books! I'm happy I read them.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Still getting better 11. August 2013
Von skh
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
If you liked the first two books of the series, you will most likely enjoy this one as well. In my opinion William Hertling is, so far, getting better with every book he's publishing.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Klasse Buch 15. Februar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Ich habe dieses Buch quasi verschlungen, wie auch schon alle anderen Bücher dieses Autors.
Ich freue mich auf alle weiteren Bücher von William Hertling.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Cool zu lesen 12. Februar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Das Buch ist Bestandteil einer Trilogie, die sich mit den Konsequenzen der Weiterentwicklung von IT beschäftigt. Wenn man sich vor Augen hält, dass vor 10 Jahren keiner wusste, was ein Smartphone alles kann, muss kein Prophet sein, dass Hertling hier ein durchaus mögliches Szenario anspricht.... Aber vor der letzten Firewall bitte die anderen beiden Bücher lesen, sonst wirkt es zu abgedreht...
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  84 Rezensionen
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting technological picture of the future 12. August 2013
Von E. Gately - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Building on the ideas in his first two novels, Avogadro Corp and A.I. Apocalypse, The Last Firewall continues to build a world that we can ~almost~ imagine. In 2035, things thrilling to us now are part of everyday life: artificial intelligence, supersonic maglevs, and neural implants. The story line is complex, but not annoyingly so. Hertling does a good job weaving the story lines together and the ending is satisfying yet there are a few loose threads which may suggest another book (I hope!).

Making the book even more interesting is the character building. The Last Firewall's characters are multidimensional people I'd like to have a drink with! I could envision going to one of the "bad" guys favorite izakaya establishments with him.

When you read this book, I highly recommend setting aside some time because you may not be able to resist reading the entire book in one sitting.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great third entry in the series! 11. August 2013
Von Dan Marshall - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Set many years after the events of AI Apocalypse, Hertling does a great job of taking the technology from books one and two and forecasting what the future iterations will hold. It's also clear he's put a lot of thought into how his characters interact with this brave new world, including answering the questions of how one would hop a ride on a supersonic that's already in motion and what it would look like to manipulate the internet with the power of the mind, which results in gripping story from start to finish. Despite being 300+ pages long, there's a good chance you'll read this in one sitting. It's the best book yet in the series!
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fun with "Ghosts in the Machines" - Latest Encounter ("The Last Firewall") 25. Oktober 2013
Von Matt Mansfield - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
William Hertling's "Singularity Series" of three sequential novels is a fast-paced and entertaining look at how the relationships between people and their technology creations might evolve over the next 50 years:

* Avogadro Corp.: The Singularity is Closer than it Appears
* A.I. Apocalypse
* The Last Firewall

The approach goes way beyond traditional sci-fi robotics to the essential technology programming that changes into much more advanced forms than anticipated. And that's where the fun comes in.

A central concept to this series is "singularity" which takes on different meanings as the broad story develops. The convergence of people and technology reaches a surprising state by the conclusion.

Each book of Hertling's trilogy is reviewed individually with a common introduction (on its Amazon site location) but with references to the other books since the storylines and the four main human characters - Mike Williams, Rebecca Smith, Leon Tsarev and Catherine Matthews - play central and, to some extent, on-going roles in specific books.

One other note: throughout each of the books there are technological terms and discussions, which add the patina of plausibility to the immediate story and characters. Do not feel overwhelmed or try to grasp the meanings unless so inclined. Their immediate value is to provide a "what and how is it happening" at the moment - an updated twist on Alfred Hitchcock's MacGuffin.

During the mid 20th century the long-held idea of mind and body as separate entities coming into coincidental existence at birth was rejected in favor of a more evolutionary explanation for the development of the brain. The earlier view was characterized as "the ghost in the machine." Hertling's creations give this debate a fresh perspective.

* * *

"The Last Firewall" is the third and presumably last book in William Hertling's "Singularity" series of near-time futuristic novels. The time is approximately seven to ten years after the conclusion of "A.I. Apocalypse", approximately 35 to 45 years in the future from the events of the first book, "Avogadro Corp.: The Singularity is Closer than it Appears."

The end of the second book is referred to as YONI, the Year Of No Internet, in this final installment due to the massive systems outages caused by a rogue virus, Phage, and the ensuing destructive repercussions for humans and Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems.

Unlike the bleak post-apocalyptic scenario presented in Walter M. Miller's now classic1960 futuristic novel, "A Canticle for Leibowitz," Earth is continuing to thrive, thanks to a framework of cooperation between humans and AIs of various capabilities incorporated into an independent regulatory body, the Institute of Applied Ethics. Both groups rely extensively on robots of all shapes and sizes to execute their plans.

From the prior novels Mike Williams returns as the head of Institute's Ethics Department primarily in charge of creating AI behavior guidelines. Leon Tsarev reappears as the head of the Institute's Architecture Department, responsible for implementing the guidelines through an AI peer self-regulatory system. This arrangement is critical for mutual cooperation: AIs have greater, faster capabilities but are dependent on humans for their power sources to expand and execute. Ex-President, Rebecca West also shows up as a liaison between the Institute and the heads of the U.S. and other world governments.

Due to this cooperative arrangement AIs are actually participating in some of the planning and mainly the executing of all functions necessary to provide a stable, prosperous environment for humans. They also support the human lifestyles through a form of taxation so that humans do not work but have the options to play, study, make love, and pursue whatever they want under a sort of state support system.

To achieve this nirvana, most humans are wearing neural implants allowing a more holistic form of communication in neutral space between themselves as well as within their internal mind perceptions, a sort of structured "higher consciousness."

As the story opens, all is not so happy in this valley of seeming contentment. Some mysterious deaths are occurring as well as a growing anti-AI political movement among people who feel displaced and actually (gulp) want to work. This sets the stage for the plot development.

A major new character to the trilogy, Catherine Matthews, with unusual and initially undetected capabilities involving her neural implant, is introduced. She quickly becomes entangled in a "chase and be chased" sequence to uncover what's going on. The action ranges along the West Coast of the U.S. in an updated Alfred Hitchcock's "North By Northwest" style.

Additionally, two human characters, Tony and Slim, are mixed in, first as memory thieves and dispassionate killers. As the action progresses, they become more entertaining and comic in a Laurel and Hardy, Abbot and Costello fashion. And there is Helena, an AI in Transformer guise, who has got attitude and you do not want to cross.

Once the adversarial forces and their motivations are revealed, the sequence essentially leads to a classic pursuit, confrontation and showdown.
However, despite the seeming conclusion of the series the question of "singularity" remains. Hertling appears to provide several options for its meaning to ponder:

* A convergence of humans and robotic components, or eventual replacement of humans by robots evolving human emotions, much as Czech writer and creator of the word "robot", Karl Capek, contemplated in his 1920 play "RUR" and more recently explored on Science Channel's "Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman" ("Are Robots the Future of Human Evolution?" episode)?
* A convergence of humans and biochemistry through nanotechnology to replace failing biological components with new more durable ones?
* A convergence of humans and AI into some form of expanded mental capability and higher consciousness?
* Or all of the above?

It would appear that the "ghosts in the machines" are, after all, still ourselves.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen If you like stories about AIs battling it out, with humans caught in the middle, you'll love this book 13. August 2013
Von GeneK - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Highly recommended! Some of my favorite SF stories that evoke the most amount of awe in me include 'AI War" and "Longest Run" by Daniel Keys Moran, as well as "Aristoi" by Walter Jon Williams. These are stories of incredible scale, where humanity is almost dwarfed, and yet plays a pivotal role in this massive, transhuman conflict. "The Last Firewall" is a story in this vein. I loved it!
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Awesome Near Term Science Fiction 19. August 2013
Von Kindle Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
William Hertling is currently my favorite "near term" science fiction writer. I just read a pre-release near-final draft of his newest book, The Last Firewall. It was spectacular. Simply awesome.

You can't read it yet, but I'll let you know when it's available. In the mean time, go read the first two books in the trilogy.

Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears
A.I. Apocalypse
They are also excellent and important for context for The Last Firewall. They are inexpensive. And they are about as close to reality while still being science fiction as you can get.

I define "near term science fiction" as stuff that will happen within the next 20 years. I used to read everything by William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, and Neal Stephenson. Gibson's Neuromancer and and Stephenson's Snow Crash were - until recently - my two favorite books in this category. Suarez's Daemon and Freedom (TM) replaced these at the top of my list, until Hertling showed up. Now I'd put Daemon and The Last Firewall tied for first.

Amy and I were talking about this in the car today. Gibson, Sterling, and Stephenson are amazing writers, but their books have become too high concept. There's not enough love and excitement for the characters. And the science fiction is too abstract - still important, but not as accessible.

In contrast, Hertling and Suarez are just completely nailing it, as is Ramez Naam with his recent book Nexus. My tastes are now deeply rooted with these guys, along with Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross.

If I was writing science fiction, this would be what I was going for. And, if you want to understand the future, this is what you should be reading.
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