Enola — Alastair Reynolds

Enola, written by Alastair Reynolds.You’ll find this in the anthology, Zima Blue and Other Stories.

A really enjoyable, short, post-apocalypse story.   A bit confusing at first as it jumps back and forth between a human girl and an AI machine, but it all makes total sense at the end.

Next up from Alastair will be Digital to Analogue.

Alastair’s Page

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Nunivak Snowflakes — Alastair Reynolds

Nunivak Snowflakes, written by Alastair Reynolds.You’ll find this in the anthology, Deep Navigation.

Messages from the future found inside fish falling from the sky landing in front of the person the message was meant for.

Basically, someone from the future is being naughty and messing with the past in an indigenous community in Alaska.

Other than The Big Hello, of which i have no idea when published, this is Alastair’s first published story.   So it’s very early Alastair Reynolds, so don’t be expecting Revelation Space or anything like it.

But it’s a reasonable, quirky, little read that’ll keep you happily ensconced in you favourite reading pit for a while.

Alastair’s Page

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The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect — Roger Williams

So what if we humans suddenly find ourselves immortal, with the ability to have anything whatsoever that we desire other than real death?   That’s essentially the basis of this book.

A super computer AI, Prime Intellect, has taken over and zapped everything into a virtual reality that is ruled over by Prime Intellect.   Prime Intellect has done this because of the three laws of robotics and it computes that the only way of preventing humans from dying, which it can’t allow, is to essentially upload everything into one galactic sized cyberspace and make all humans immortal.   Within this new reality, as long as the humans don’t do anything, or ask for anything, that contravenes the three laws of robotics, they can do and have anything they want.

Sound good?   Or does it sound like your worse nightmare?

Enter the realm of the death jockey.   People who want to ratchet up the suffering and get as close to death as Prime Intellect will allow.

Yes folks, this book is really fucking twisted.   If you’ve read the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy and thought some of the scenes in those books were extremely brutal and twisted, then you’ll be glad to know that you can put this book on the same bookshelf right next to them.   If you haven’t read them and enjoyed this book then i really suggest you do give them a go: they’ll be right up your twisted alley.

I would say that, at its core, this book is a critique of the three laws of robotics, and how they may be interpreted by any AI governed by them.   The critical pieces of the jigsaw being: what the AI decides it is going to label as human, what is therefore governed by the three laws of robotics and how, therefore, it then treats everything else.

I thought the ending was really good too.

So yeah, the future is bright my friends, rush out and buy your virtual reality gear today.

Me thinks i shall be looking forward to having a read of more of Roger’s books in the future if this is anything to go by.

Roger’s Page

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