He, She and It

Marge Piercy, Author, Sonny Mehta, Editor Alfred A. Knopf $22 (0p) ISBN 978-0-679-40408-8
In this diverting tale of the 21st century, poet and novelist ( Summer People ) Piercy explores a world where information has become a commodity more precious than gold. When Shira Shipman, a ``psychoengineer' (artificial intelligence expert) for a powerful corporation, loses her young son in a custody battle, she decides to leave the rigidly controlled confines of her Multi (one of 23 corporate city-states that divide the world) and head for Tikva, where she grew up. Seeking the comforts of home and hearth and maybe even some of Grandma's chicken soup, Shira finds instead that Tikva--one of the few remaining ``free'' towns unallied with a powerful corporation--is under attack from ``information pirates'' who are killing computer programmers for the knowledge in Tikva's mainframe. Soon enough, grandma Malkah, a brilliant, feisty programmer, enlists Shira's aid in protecting their hometown. Enter Yod, a cyborg created specifically for that purpose; before he can go out on patrols or mingle with the populace, however, he must be socialized and it is Shira's job to do so. There is no chicken soup in Tikva, but in Yod's arms Shira finds comfort aplenty. Intercut with Malkah's vignettes of a golem that protected the Jewish ghetto in 17th-century Prague, the human/cyborg love story in Piercy's vivid future world remains transcendent. 40,000 first printing. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Open Ebook - 409 pages - 978-0-307-77522-1
Paperback - 978-0-449-00092-2
Hardcover - 978-0-517-11256-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 448 pages - 978-0-449-22060-3
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-1406-3
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