Friday, July 26, 2013

To Be Human

Tsukahara's Ghost by Leon Bruce

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review.

Summary: Morgan Brunhilde lives on the fringe of society, outcast because she prefers the company of Governed Intelligences to human beings. When a stranger called Tsukahara asks Morgan to help him find a Governed IQ that has gone missing, a Mind, he says, of unlimited intelligence, Morgan agrees on the condition she gets access to the Intelligence once they recover it.

But when Morgan realizes what the existence of an ungoverned Mind actually means, she must decide whether she can trust Tsukahara enough to keep his side of the bargain, or run the risk of losing everything in an effort to win the greatest of prizes.

Review: An enjoyable science fiction story with fascinating technology and questions of humanity.

The short story, “Tail to Contact,” connects with this story although I won’t tell you how since it would spoil the surprise. Tsukahara’s Ghost brings up the same issues raised in Tail to Contact. Issues of identity, what makes humans human, humanity, control, and technology. Element of this book do remind me of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and the comparison is a good one. The plot is seemingly straightforward, but I will admit to being confused at times. This book is short and could have probably been expanded at parts so a reader could better understand the story.

I was a little rough on what CDI exactly was. It seemed like an internet you could “physically” go into with the use of implants or through a connecting device. Beyond that, I wasn’t really too sure. Also, I understood that IQs were governed artificial intelligences. None of them seemed to be self aware even though some of them had very high intelligence. Morgan liked to interact with these IQs although it’s never fully explained although that does explain why she accepted Tsukahara’s offer. I really did not like how many times Morgan got raped or almost raped. It felt unnecessary.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy science fiction that deals with artificial intelligence and clones.

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