Tom Maddox, Author Tor Books $18.95 (216p) ISBN 978-0-312-85249-8
Maddox's first novel offers a provocative mixture of virtual reality, artificial intelligence and mystical philosophy. While raising interesting questions about the nature of perception, cognition and self-awareness, however, he fails to explore them fully. The corporate space station Halo is run by Aleph, a machine intelligence that has evolved from a much simpler computer system. One of those integral to Aleph's leap to sentience has been on the verge of death for years, kept alive only by Aleph's efforts; now Aleph and its human partners in Halo's Interface Collective have begun an experiment to preserve the dying man's consciousness in the computer, independent of his failing body. But SenTrax, Halo's corporate owner, is wary of the project and of Aleph's power in general, and sends Mikhail Gonzales to investigate. Gonzales quickly becomes involved in the experiment, and he and the Collective members strive to complete their work before SenTrax shuts them down. The story's tension is uneven, and motivations are not well defined. Scenes occurring within the computer are distinguished by vivid imagery and poetic turns of phrase, but Madddox falls back on vague mysticism rather than offering specific ideas about the nature of intelligence. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8125-1096-6
Acrobat Ebook Reader - 978-1-4192-2271-9
Paperback - 168 pages - 978-1-4191-2271-2
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-5371-9480-6
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