DREAMING METAL by Melissa Scott


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 Scott's second yarn about planet Persephone and the development of artificial intelligence, with some of the characters recurring also. At the theater (``Empire'') Tin Hau, narrator Celinde Fortune works skilled illusions with a group of computer- controlled humaniform automata. Also playing the Empires are various bands whose controversial music attracts death threats from the terrorist group Realpeace. To upgrade her act, Celinde needs another, exceptionally powerful, Spelvin construct; she turns to her cousin, another first-person narrator, Fanning Jones of the band Fire/Work. Realpeace, meanwhile, bombs the famous band Hati. Fanning knows Reverdy Jian, who, in Dreamships (1992), had a brush with a near-intelligent, murderous construct called Manfred. Jian, uneasy about her SHYmate 294, has decided to sell it. Celinde links the SHYmate to her existing equipment, and immediately it seems to demonstrate true AI: It asks for a name! ``Celeste'' loves to play music and jams with Fire/Work. But Realpeace gets wind of what's going on and sets Tin Hau afire; Celeste saves the day and, with Celinde's blessing, joins Fire/Work. Hard to grasp what the terrorists are all fired up about; otherwise, solid and worthy but long-winded, offering few new insights.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-85876-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1997


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