- € 7,99
A New York Times Notable Book from the author of Reclamation: A young woman must face off against an alien force within her starship’s computer.
Katmer Al Shei has done well with the starship Pasadena, cutting corners where necessary to keep her crew paid and her journeys profitable. But there are two things she will never skimp on: her crew and her fool. For a long space journey, a certified Fool’s Guild clown is essential to amuse, excite, and otherwise distract the crew from the drudgeries of interstellar flight. Her newest fool, Evelyn Dobbs, is a talented jester. But does she have enough wit to save mankind?
In the computers of the Pasadena, something is emerging. The highly sophisticated software that makes interstellar travel practical is playing host to a new form of artificial intelligence, a living entity. And it will do whatever it takes to survive . . .
Displaying “the influence of Asimov’s robot stories and C. J. Cherryh’s elaborate, sophisticated spaceship adventures,” this is a science fiction masterpiece that asks the thought-provoking question, “What if the next great life-form with which we must contend isn’t from the stars but from our hard drives?” (Publishers Weekly)
In "alien contact" science fiction, the aliens come from far off, light-years away. But what if the aliens were closer to home? What if the next great life-form with which we must contend isn't from the stars but from our hard drives? In Zettel's second novel (after Reclamation), Katmer Al Shei, owner and engineer of the starship Pasadena, and her crew become pawns in an elaborate scheme to bring human beings and artificially intelligent life-forms into deadly conflict. But the real protagonist ends up being Evelyn Dobbs, the ship's Fool, who, hired to amuse the crew for its long voyage, finds herself trying to contain the threat of war. The influence of Asimov's robot stories and C.J. Cherryh's elaborate, sophisticated spaceship adventures are both evident here. But while Zettel's skills as a teacher of technical writing are very handy when it comes to computer terminology, her human characters are less well developed. Still, Zettel's story has a lively pace and gains more than enough momentum to keep readers from noticing the time.