Limit Of Vision
Copyright 2001 by
I first read this on the 30th August 2002.
Virgil Copeland, Randall Panwar and Gabrielle are researchers working for
Equatorial Systems. They've been developing an artificial neuron-like life-form,
nicknamed LOV (Limit Of Vision) organisms. These little critters appear to
enhance intelligence and emotions. Since the LOVs are artificial life-forms they are
developed in space habitats and strictly prohibited from being brought to Earth.
However, our trio of researchers have thoughtfully infected themselves with these LOVS
and brought them, unhesitatingly, to Earth.
Of course, everything goes wrong. The life-forms escape and the action moves to Vietnam
where an area of the jungle is infested by these rapidly developing, but surprisingly
Ela Suvanatat is a Thai freelance journalist, reduced to reporting on over-fishing
in the Mekong Delta. She's in the right place at the right time to cover this story.
Instead of finally hitting it big with this major scoop, she'll meet up with
Virgil copeland, get infected and then get caught up in the struggle to save these
darling little LOVs, to prevent their extermination by the world government.
Supporting her she'll have two mysterious allies: Vietnamese businessman, Ky Xuan
Nguyen, and Mother Tiger, an artificial intelligence.
This was not good. I've read a couple of Linda Negata books
before (The Bohr Maker and Vast) and wasn't exactly enamoured
of them. This was a more ambitious book, and therefore yet more disappointing in
I liked some of the stuff in this book: I liked
the Vietnam setting (but then I would) and I'm all for nanotechnology
and artificial life. However, I could barely finish reading it.
The problems are, I think, that she gets some
pretty good ideas, and she's can string together an interesting
plot, but she doesn't think the ideas through. Worse, her writing is merely
In this book, she suffers particularly in that the LOVs - the
little nanotechnological life-forms embedded in the human brain - have (i) an
appalling name and (ii no real purpose. Yes, yes, yes, they enhance emotions
and the idea that enhanced emotions may emulate increased intelligence
is interesting, but almost nothing is made of it. Now and then our
protagonists worry that their LOVs are making them too emotional, and
now and then the LOVs assist them into a state of intense focus and
creativity, about as effectively as a couple of Mexican coffees (the
Tequila kind, not the cinnamon and cocoa). Wouldn't it have been simpler just
to have introduced them as an intelligence enhancer?
I have the impression
that Linda Negata started writing this book hoping that she'd be able to wring something
better out of these little imps (perhaps along the lines of the Emotional
Register of The Primal Urge by Brian Aldiss), but in the end gave up and
went for the old alien invasion approach instead.
Loaded on the 24th September 2002.