War between the stars. It was started by an AI, and few humans even knew there was a war at all. But now people are dying, not just robots and aliens—and the AI wants it to stop. But a war is easier to start than to stop, and the computer can't alter its course without outside help. When the Gnostic Control System searches for conspirators, it chooses its friends carefully.
- Pali: a public relations director, who broods far too much on her unfulfilled ambitions.
- Ramo: a flamboyant senso-dancer and sculptor, who prefers a musical jamdam to serious conversation.
- Sage: an awkward systems designer, for whom the AI rapture-field is realer than life.
- And three of the alien Ell: Harybdartt, who would rather die with dignity than betray his people; Lingrhetta, who tries to unravel the meaning of human dance and music, pain and love; and Moramaharta, the binder, who must persuade his fellow decision-makers to risk everything for the sake of a fragile bridge of understanding across the stars.
A thought-provoking novel of the not-too-distant future, from the Nebula-nominated author of Eternity’s End and The Chaos Chronicles.
What members say
It’s mostly good
I liked this book but almost couldn’t be bothered to finish it.
I loved the sci-fi elements, which are quite extensive, but found the character-building of most of the human characters to be quite dull. That was its only shortcoming IMO. Overall a solid read if you can get past the first hour or two.
- William Isley
A remarkable tour of discovery and oneness!
I've read this book a few times over the years and it never fails to spark my imagination and hope for technology and humanity.
I love how Mr. Carver paints pictures in the mind with such deft brush strokes while allowing the characters to blaze forth in all their glory.
An amazing blueprint for AI design.