Copyright 1999 by
I first read this in April 2001.
A powerful computer on board a spaceship achieves consciousness.
Two hundred years, and a humanoid body later, it has developed a skill and
reputation as a purchaser of fine art. It meets a very dangerous lady,
Mira, who is also in search of works by the revered Vaddum, an artist
thought long dead. A number of difficult situations are worked through
and the story ends.
This was a disappointment. It was published in one of those bigger format
paperbacks intended to subtly portray higher literary value. I should
have waited until it came out in mass-market format, and probably resisted
"Polymorph" showed real promise and the subsequent "Fine Prey" achieved
some of that. I expected "Evolution's Darling" to be even more
satisfying. However, although a more accomplished work than
the its predecesors, it lacked any tension and real excitement.
In fact I'm so surprised that this book was such a disappointment that
I've just picked it up and leafed through it again. My conclusion is
that, yes, it's very skillfully written, but artifice has obscured
purpose, and the emotion and tension has been lost.
What's it got: artificial intelligence achieving consciousness. That's
about all I can remember a few days after reading it. Oh no, I forgot,
there was also a lot of human-machine sex. Amazing that that almost
slipped my mind.
Loaded on the 16th May 2001.