Thursday, July 12, 2012

Roberson takes artificial intelligence Further.

Further: Beyond the ThresholdFurther: Beyond the Threshold by Chris Roberson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Found this book at a book sale, and it had a cover note from John Scalzi saying he'd been "reading Chris Roberson for years ... Welcome. Enjoy."

Well, I couldn't pass that up. And it turned out to be a great book.

I particularly liked Roberson's concept of the Human Entelechy that exists 12 thousand years in the future. Not only do AI's coexist with humans but so do uplifted apes, lions, killer whales and just about anything else, because sentience can inhabit any form — and for any of them not to be considered "human" would be discriminatory. This provides for some wild speculative fiction with interesting character interactions and fantastical imagery. Very fun reading. All the more so with Roberson's wit.

As the book progresses, it becomes more familiar. The plot and scenarios take on a Star Trek-like quality. Roberson's wit and some edgy villains are the only things that keep it fresh. Still, all in all, I liked it to the end, and agree with Scalzi. I'll read Roberson again; probably for years, and enjoy.

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