Book of the month
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Unfettered Journey is Bookclubz' Book of the Month.

Use these discussion questions to guide your next meeting.


Set in a richly envisioned future world, Unfettered Journey is the story of an AI scientist who seeks to create robot consciousness and discovers the resilience of the human spirit. He travels to a small college to progress his quest, but instead finds love, a secret plot by unjust forces, and the answers to his fundamental questions—the nature of the conscious mind and free will. Unfettered Journey is a profound, many-layered journey. It is a love story and an adventure. It traces struggle and resilience in an imperfect world. It is a deep philosophical exploration, resetting the conversation at the intersection of science and religion, challenging you to begin your own journey to a purposeful life.


This discussion guide was posted in partnership with the book's author, Gary F. Bengier.


PART ONE 1. How do you feel about Joe deleting his AI, Raidne? What do you think about having an AI in your head? 2. Joe and Raif have a background as hackers. Can hacking ever be justified to offset government privacy overstep concerns? 3. Do you think the book presents a realistic view of the evolution of robots in our future? 4. Despite the fact that everyone gets everything they need for free, people have created hierarchies that separate the privileged from the unprivileged. How does this affect them? Is this inevitable? 5. If climate change eliminates the ability to travel due to eco issues, will people be satisfied with virtual travel? What is lost if people can no longer physically travel?

PART TWO 6. What do you think about life in the Dome? What is good about it? What is bad about it? 7. How is surfing a metaphor for the way Evie goes through life? How is her approach to life different from Joe’s? 8. In this future world, people have access to all the necessities without working. How will people feel when they do not need to work? Is work a privilege? 9. Why are the Levels so hated by people in the lower Levels while many people in the upper Levels see them as benign? 10. Do you think that the technology used for social communication (such as hologram projections, Prime Netchat newscasts, and the buzz of the netchat stream) impacts the emotions of the people and their ability to think clearly about issues? How do we preserve clear headspace with our technology?

PART THREE 11. Which of the two main characters is better prepared for the challenges that they face in Part Three? How have their lives prepared them for different aspects of the challenges? 12. What philosophies about the exchange of goods and services do the four characters in the Empty Zone hold, and how do those affect their mini-society? 13. In the Empty Zone, Evie and Joe split many chores, and share childcare duties. But there is still certain gendering of roles. Is there something that makes us split chores the way we do? Will that continue in the future? 14. Evie’s protection of her children is powerful and raw. How does that human urge impact how we interact with the modern world? 15. Evie is a multidimensional character, sometimes showing strong emotion. Do you see those as weaknesses, or just being human?