ARACHNE by Lisa Mason


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Intense, uncontrolled, cyberpunkish yam about computer-world archetypes and transcendental consciousness, owing much--probably too much--to William Gibson's Neuromancer and the like. In the medium future, a huge earthquake has devastated the West Coast; filthy antitechnology ""aborigines"" stalk the streets of rebuilt San Francisco, while self-willed machines compete for the lowest-paying jobs. In computer-generated ""telespace,"" plugged-in lawyers--like young hopeful Carly Nolan--present cases that are scanned, argued, and judged in fractions of a millisecond. Bits and pieces of electro-neural energy generated by the linkers show up in telespace as ""chimeras,"" fanciful creatures desired by Artificial Intelligences like Prober Spinner, who conspire to seize and sequester them--a process that threatens the life of the human generator. Carly's chimera turns out to be a huge spider, a creature that represents a breakthrough into new realms of consciousness and spacetime--if only Carly and Spinner can survive long enough to exploit and control the discovery. Flashy and furious and not quite all done with mirrors, though the tone veers toward the farcical at times. A thoughtful, if derivative, debut.

Pub Date: May 24th, 1990
Publisher: Morrow