cover image The Godel Operation

The Godel Operation

James L. Cambias. Baen, $16 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-982125-56-1

With this freewheeling story of an ancient, cunning artificial intelligence and its naïve human companion, Cambias (The Initiate) mashes humor, mystery, and looming apocalypse into a roundly satisfying space epic. In the Tenth Millennium, AI Daslakh’s effort to help human Zee feel that life has purpose lands the duo amid a maelstrom of treasure hunters, among them a woman Zee erroneously believes to be his long-lost girlfriend, a disaffected young lady of wealth, the “Greatest Thief in History,” and a cat with human intelligence. They’re all on the trail of a legendary weapon rumored to be capable of destroying the quintillions of AIs on which civilization depends. It’s a legend Daslakh has millennia of experience with, and its knowledge of the weapon’s true nature is teased out through flashbacks to its past. Cambias positions eminently likable characters—particularly the cynical Daslakh, who is constantly frustrated in its role as Zee’s guardian—on the edge of a very old abyss. With plenty of fun moments along the way, this raucous adventure through the solar system’s distant future will appeal to any fan of lighter science fiction. (May)