I really enjoyed this book very much. It's one of the best Scifi's I've read in a long time. Written in the late 90's, I was surprised at how much of it rang true for most of our present time. This book concerned a great story about AI's, the internet, space and settled planets, prejudice and bigotry. It was humorous in parts and very exciting. This story sucks you in. I was very impressed with Zettel's charactor development, you get attached very quickly. I enjoyed this space adventure very much and I highly recommend it. A very good read!
The Story of a war between humans and newly aware Artificial intelligences a very imaginative and entertaining book. the aurther has a captivating style. She has an unorthadox hero a conservative muslim woman who captains a space going mercgant ship. It sounds farcical but teh authur really pulss of a wonderful tale with sympathetic characters of depth.
Katmer Al Shei is co-owner (with her brother-in-law) of the trade ship, Pasadena. They each use the ship for a certain amount of time and have their own crews. Evelyn Dobbs is the ship's Fool -- a crew member whose job is to act as a pressure valve for the rest of the crew during long flights. Jemina Yerusha is a Freer. Freers live in space, and they don't like going down to any planet. They believe that AI's are reincarnated human souls. It is about 500 years in the future, and there is still a lot of hate and prejudice, especially against AI's, who seem to wreck planets when they are âborn' as self-aware life forms.
As the Pasadena leaves, she is immediately hit by Murphy's Law ... until they figure out they have a virus onboard. The reader figures out very quickly that our Fool has secrets, but from then on the story just rolls along. I was initially put off by the book because of its CP aspects, but I was sucked in by the characterization and the imagination of it. And there's a Slinky in the story! :-)
The novel is based on her short story, FOOL'S ERRAND in Analog 1995. Thumbs up. A keeper!
While I liked this book, it was a very slow read. I had trouble staying with it for the first 200 pages.
This is a good novel of first contact and a humane one. I won't say that its notion of AIs achieving sapience is particularly innovative or that more than two of its characters seemed fully realized as individuals, but it is still an enjoyable enough read.
It is so rare to have women as the main characters in Science Fiction. Sarah Zettel does an amazing job at taking the reader on twists and turns throughout the story. This was my first introduction to her writing and I can't get enough! Another good Sci Fi from her is "Playing God." Again, well written, strong female characters.