Charles Platt The Silicon Man & Protektor

ISBN 13: 9781941071199

The Silicon Man & Protektor

 
9781941071199: The Silicon Man & Protektor

Can human intelligence thrive in computer hardware? The Silicon Man tells an intensely human, suspenseful story showing how it may be done. William Gibson praised it as a plausible, well-crafted narrative exploring cyberspace in a wholly new and very refreshing way. The Washington Post described it as a well-plotted, fast-paced, and imaginative look into the future . . . a book where ideas drive the plot. Above all, Platt's work is full of surprises. Science Fiction Review said that it ranks right up there with Michaelmas and The Demolished Man. And Gregory Benford commented, In fascinating detail, Platt shows us what it would really be like to live (and breathe!) in cyberspace. A second novel, Protektor, moves the action five centuries into a future where semi-intelligent computers have formed a unique, symbiotic relationship with humanity, creating an interstellar utopia at the price of human freedom. Together for the first time in one volume, these science-fiction adventures explore the ultimate implications of virtual reality and artificial intelligence with high drama and an in-depth understanding of the technology.

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Review:

Before Platt became a feature writer for Wired and other tech journals, he wrote several science fiction novels, including the two in this omnibus. In The Silicon Man first published in 1991, and set in 2030 in Long Beach, Calif. he spins a web of intrigue around LifeScan, a government-funded project to create artificial intelligence for military applications. When FBI agent James Bayley gets wind of illegal activities and investigates, he discovers that scientist Rosalind Finch and her research team have gone rogue and are working on a vastly more ambitious scheme that they ll kill to protect. Protektor, first published in 1996, is set in the 26th century on the pleasure planet Agorima, one of more than 10,000 human-inhabited planets linked by the Protektorate. When inexplicable malfunctions in Agorima s computer system cause a series of deaths, Protektor Tom McCray 50 percent computer nerd, 50 percent private eye is dispatched to find out who has infected the system with a virus that endangers Agorima s static utopia and why. Though set in vastly different milieus, both novels track as crisply written tales of futuristic crime and suspense, laced with the extrapolative what if? vibe that one associates with cyberpunk in its headier early years. Platt provides insightful Afterword and Context sections for each novel that describe how they blossomed from idea to finished book, and both novels have aged well enough for readers to wish he were still in the SF-writing game. (May) --Publishers Weekly

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