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SILVER SCREEN by Justina Robson Kirkus Star


by Justina Robson

Pub Date: Oct. 3rd, 2005
ISBN: 1-59102-338-6
Publisher: Pyr/Prometheus Books

A cerebral and absorbing novel that explores the nature of consciousness and artificial intelligence, from the author of Natural History (2003).

Anjuli O'Connell, an A.I. psychiatrist aboard the orbital station Netplatform, discovers her lifelong friend and co-worker Roy Croft dead in his cabin after he attempted to upload his consciousness into cyberspace. The actions of the station's A.I., 901, are questioned—could she have saved Roy?—which leads to a legal battle to determine both the A.I.'s culpability and what exactly it takes to be considered a “person.” Anjuli has a near-perfect memory, so she knows things, but doesn't always understand them, which makes her uniquely prepared to tackle the difficult philosophical questions the narrative asks; this, coupled with her all-too-human desires and idiosyncrasies makes her a compellingly original heroine. The supporting cast is similarly well-drawn. Robson's prose is lean and dynamic, and the speculative concepts are cutting edge and ultra cool.

A startlingly innovative take on the tried-and-true theme of artificial intelligence.