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Blindsight is a hard science fiction novel by Peter Watts, published by Tor Books in 2006. On 29 March 2007, it was nominated for the Hugo Award in the Best Novel category. The novel deals with a crew of astronauts investigating an extraterrestrial entity and explores the nature of identity and consciousness. The title refers to blindsight, a neurological condition with implications for philosophy of mind.
Eighty years in the future, Earth becomes aware of an alien presence when thousands of micro-satellites surveil the Earth; through good luck, the incoming alien vessel is detected, and the ship Theseus, with its artificial intelligence captain and crew of five, are sent out to engage in first contact with the huge alien vessel called Rorschach. As they explore the vessel and attempt to analyze it and its inhabitants, the narrator considers his life and strives to understand himself and ponders the nature of intelligence and consciousness, their utility, and what an alien mind might be like. Eventually the crew realizes that they are greatly outmatched by the vessel and its unconscious but extremely capable inhabitants.  

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Tags: Watts, alien, Earth, Peter, Blindsight