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Author: Joan O. Vinge
Learn what it is like to share your mind and body with a super computer, then discover the joys and sorrows of motherhood on an alien world. — Fireship- Michael Yarrow was just an insignificant lab assistant at a government research center. The ETHANAC 500 on the other hand, was by no means insignificant; it was the worlds most sophisticated comp...  more »
ISBN: 14139
Pages: 156
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4 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Dell Publishing Co., Inc
Book Type: Hardcover
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This early book by Vinge is actually a "double" of two novellas:
Fireship is sort of a proto-cyberpunk heist adventure - our "hero" is the first person to have his consciousness linked with a computer. He was only an experimental subject, but once the computer linked with his brain, it achieved sentience, became a new amalgamate personality, and he was out of there - escaping to Mars with the technology.
Once there, a radical political group tracks him down and blackmails him into sabotaging the computer system of the guy who owns not only the Mars resort casino but has a politcal monopoly on earth...

The second novella is "Mother and Child," which reminded me much more of LeGuin in tone. In the far future, on another planet, two groups of the decadent remnants of humanity conflict against each other - one group follows an Earth-centric nature religion, and believes that those with special abilities are blessed by the Goddess. The other group believes these people are cursed. And, giving them an advantage - they have Gods - who are physically present and have been providing them with technology.
The story follows a priestess of the goddess, as she is kidnapped by the ruler of the opposing faction, but then removed from the path of the resulting war by a young and idealistic xenobiologist, who hopes for a better result of his race's interference than the mere control of a dangerously violent alien species...