A crackerjack murder mystery -- not WHO dunnit, but WHY? The surprising conclusion will make you question the meaning of humanity.
I've finally got to read this, one of Robert J. Sawyer's earlier works, and I loved it!
I love the way Sawyer builds worlds, and can paint such a vivid picture within a 200-page book. As with his other works, he can always find the mind-bending conundrums that arise from deep consideration of fantastical scientific theories.
As with his other works, Sawyer is not shy about using uncomfortable situations to describe compelling characters. Not for the squeamish.
This was fun. The story of a sentient computer, in control of lots of stuff, committing a murder. But told from the computer's perspective, which was an interesting twist. Sawyer has done a great job here keeping things highly understandable and moving along.
Nitpicks: too much time spent on the decoding of extraterrestrial transmissions; I seem to have picked up every exo-message book Sawyer has written... Also, written in the 1990s, some details seem dated. (The book talks about how hard it is to find space to fit about 1000 terabytes of storage; in 2010, this probably fits in about the size of a normal refrigerator, and that physical space is still dropping.)
Still: this was a great book. Highly recommended.