Silver Screen -
@ 2001 by Justina Robson.
She's got the memory of a machine...
whose work is slowlyturning him into a cyborg...
a friend whose only dream -
of becoming pure mind
inside a computer -
is about to come true...
(Book cover synopsis)
"Silver Screen" is an book set on earth in the near future. The work of thousands of computers have been taken over by AIs, integrating everything from accouting to trains into big company owned AIs.
The book deals with where humanity starts, and where it ends.
Can machines be human?
Can humans be machines ?
The books title "Silver Screen" alludes to one AI's use of 40's movie actors as its avatars. The female lead in this book also have a craving for film noir. (And I suspect: So has Justnia Robson). The book uses extremes in human behaviour just like film noir uses lights and shadows. Some things in this book are easily placed - good, evil and their motives isn't though - and that makes it a splendid read.
"Silver Screen" definetly has a different flavour to it than your typical Cyberpunk novel. Even if it is similar in theme to Gibson's "Idoru", it is one of the more unique books i've read in a long time. Like a good (or is it bad?) mystery, bits of the
plot is revealed in the end, but it still has you asking more questions than it answers.
The technology used in the book is still fairly close to ours, and therefore human nature hasn't changed much.
A dreary english countryside is still wet and cold, and there hasn't been any nuclear war or terraforming to change that. In my opinion this makes the book far more accessible, letting you think more of the problems presented than dreaming of the future to be.
The book includes a powered armor fight scene that keeps me begging for a complete novel that's more like this. Even books that are exclusivly "power armor fights" (Ragnar's Claw and Space Wolf) are not written as good as this.