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Dreaming Metal (1997)

de Melissa Scott

Sèrie: Dreamships (2)

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210396,460 (3.89)7
Five years after the Manfred riots, the question of machine intelligence is still a dangerous one on Persephone, and the coolie rights organization Realpeace is not prepared to let it go. For conjurer Celinde Fortune and her musician cousin Fanning Jones, the conflict is a distant one -- until the murder of a popular musician raises the stakes even for the most determinedly uninvolved. And when Fortune acquires a new Spelvin construct to manage her magic act --one originally owned by an FTL pilot named Reverdy Jian -- she is thrust suddenly into the middle of the problem. Because this construct is something different, and that difference can get them all killed.… (més)
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I rather enjoyed this. I don't know if it's because it's a sequel or if the first one was like this, but there was a lot going on in the world that was never directly explained, only inferred. It was like she dumped you in the deep end of the pool expecting you to swim or drown, and I rather liked it. YMMV. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Apr 25, 2020 |
Performing magician uses AI machines in act; new machine becomes self-aware
  JohnLavik | Mar 29, 2020 |
This is the sequel to Melissa Scott's "Dreamships." It mostly functions as a standalone novel, with different (although somewhat overlapping) main characters and a separate (although linked) story, but I would still recommend reading Dreamships first, just because the world that Scott creates here is complex, full of different political and racial factions, which are easier to keep track of if you read them in order (which I didn't).
The planet here is an industrial colony, built underground on a rather inhospitable planet. Society is highly stratified, with often-deaf, Asian-descended "coolies" at the bottom - and dissatisfied with their legal rights. Also active is a group agitating for the rights of machine intelligences - even though such a thing hasn't been proven to exist. The coolies are against any "rights" being given to machines that would be greater than their rights - and riots and violence are simmering, and sometimes boiling over. Struggling to work and live in this situation is Celinde, a performance artist who does a stage show involving robotic "karakuri." But when she buys a new computer to help run her show, the computer intelligence seems to her to be genuinely intelligent. And shady - and possibly powerful - elements seem to be after it. Celinde's position is complicated by the fact that she quickly grows to like this possible AI, and doesn't want to give it up to anyone.
Scott does an excellent job of mixing philosophical debate on the nature of sentience with action-filled, tense sequences and a well-realized, unique and believable world. Excellent. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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Persephone (Persephonean, Persephoneans): only inhabited planet of Hades, Midsector III Catalogue listing 1390161.f.CPC#A3B/G6171/884G(3).
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Five years after the Manfred riots, the question of machine intelligence is still a dangerous one on Persephone, and the coolie rights organization Realpeace is not prepared to let it go. For conjurer Celinde Fortune and her musician cousin Fanning Jones, the conflict is a distant one -- until the murder of a popular musician raises the stakes even for the most determinedly uninvolved. And when Fortune acquires a new Spelvin construct to manage her magic act --one originally owned by an FTL pilot named Reverdy Jian -- she is thrust suddenly into the middle of the problem. Because this construct is something different, and that difference can get them all killed.

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