THE SHAPES OF THEIR HEARTS by Melissa Scott

THE SHAPES OF THEIR HEARTS

KIRKUS REVIEW

Another far-future artificial-intelligence yarn from the author of Dreaming Metal (1997), etc. Here, planet Eden, with its religious-fanatic Children, their Memoriant (a powerful artificial intelligence imbued with the mind of prophet Gabril Aurik), and their support for terrorism, is under blockade. Still, a terrorist bombing on planet Jericho in which numerous bigwigs perished was facilitated by an exported copy of the Memoriant. So, rich, powerful bombing survivor Reiter Spath hires clone Dr. Anton Tso to steal a copy of the Memoriant for its security-busting potential. Tso, who trades on Eden, agrees but realizes that the Memoriant copy will need highly secure containment. Arriving on Eden, Tso’s immediately grabbed by the Children, interrogated, then forced to interface with the Memoriant. As Tso’s security chief Renli DaSilva teams up with local agent Angel Harijadi (his bosses would like to see the Memoriant destroyed altogether) to track him down, Tso learns that the Memoriant has an enemy in Eden’s computer system--indeed, two free-living programs appear to be loose. One, Roy Muhyo, has the persona of an old revolutionary; the other, Caleb, has the ability to move invisibly. Tso must use all his wits and his computer know-how to survive until DaSilva and Harijadi arrive to free him. Even so, he will discover that the Memoriant has partially overwritten his implanted computer chips. Intriguing, at first, with Scott’s depiction of cyberspace the main allure, but short on plot and burdened with too many narrative points of view: disappointingly slight and aimless.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-85877-9
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1998




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