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.