The invention of cyberspace has allowed humans to link into a shared electronic network, increasing hundreds-fold the speed of such complex interactions as courtroom trials. Carey Nolan is a new lawyer with the firm of Ava & Rice, trained in the techniques of shifting only her rational self into the cyberspace courtroom. But on her first case something else leaks through and causes her to crash. In danger of losing her job, she accepts a court order to be probed by medical experts. However, Spinner, the Prober to whom Carey is directed, is one of many Artificial Intelligences who believe that possession of these leaked substances--usually by theft--will lead an AI to transcendence. Such stealing invariably kills the human involved, so Carey's life is imperilled during her therapy. The prose in Mason's first book is uneven, but her inventive portmanteau vocabulary clearly depicts the wonders of a San Francisco 43 years after a second major 21st-century quake. The symbolism of the Arachne myth ties the story together at the climax. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990 Release date: 05/01/1990 Genre: Fiction
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