Hugo Award Finalist: A near-future novel of artificial intelligence, human nature, and mass murder that “succeeds on virtually every level” (The New York Times Book Review).
In Los Angeles in 2047, advances in the science of psychology have made crime a rare occurrence. So it’s utterly shocking when eight bodies are detected in an apartment, and not long afterward the perpetrator is revealed as well: noted poet Emmanuel Goldsmith. The LAPD’s Mary Choy—who has had both her appearance and her police work enhanced by nanotechnology—is tasked with arresting the killer, while psychotherapy pioneer Martin Burke prepares to explore his mind. Meanwhile, Goldsmith’s good friend and fellow writer reels at the news—while, far from all of them, a space probe makes a startling discovery.
This “excellent” novel about technology, identity, and the nature of consciousness is a thought-provoking stunner by the Nebula Award–winning author of the Eon series and the Forerunner Saga (Chicago Tribune).
An intriguing concept forms the basis of this not entirely successful novel by the author of Eon . By the latter days of 2047, psychology has developed into a true science, and most of the population of Los Angeles has been therapied into sustaining balanced personalities. Thus public defender Mary Choy is shocked to be assigned to a rare murder case. Within hours of the detection of the crime, modern chemical sniffers have determined exactly who passed through which doors of the victim's apartment in what order, and it is established that poet Emanuel Goldsmith is killer of his publisher's daughter. The question is why. While Choy tries to locate Goldsmith, fellow poet Richard Fettle tries to imagine himself into Goldsmith's mind, and Dr. Martin Burke, Ph.D., does even better through his sophisticated cell-monitoring technology. Each of these subplots permits a guided tour through different parts of a society 50 years in the future. Braided with these three narrative threads is a fourth concerning the engendering AI of an interstellar probe. While each plot line is absorbing in itself, Bear fails to tie together their implicitly interlocking parts, resulting in a weak and disappointing ending. BOMC alternate.