Copyright 1992 by
I first read this in 1995 and most recently on the 2nd February 2010
Reverdy Jian lives on the planet Persephone. She's a spaceship
pilot-for-hire. Indeed, she is offered a commission by Meredalia Mitexi to fly
Meredalia's brother back from the planet Refuge, being where he'd ended up following some apparent
The brother is a brilliant scientist and Meredalia needs him back to resume work on his greatest creation,
"Manfred", a computer program that is capable of becoming a conscious artificial
intelligence. The sister however has no such lofty aims. She has no intention of letting Manfred
Rather she needs her brother only to clip and crop Manfred until there
is no chance of it ever developing consciousness. Then she plans to sell it.
This started well, but got a bit boring and ended up just being a
thriller that could have been set in any exotic location.
It was also disappointing about what happened on the AI question - I thought
Jian rather jumped to her conclusion on remarkably sparse evidence.
In fact the plot was untidily contrived throughout.
This was a big disappointment after Melissa Scott's
fabulous "Five Twelfths of Heaven". However, not quite as
dreadful as her slightly more recent "Trouble And Her friends".
Loaded on the 20th March 2022.