We Think, Therefore We Are-Peter Crowther (editor)

We Think, Therefore We Are

Peter Crowther (editor)

Daw, Jan 2009, $7.99

ISBN: 9780756405335

 

These fifteen new tales that make up the A.I. themed anthology are well written engaging stories that for the most part entertain yet also have the reader thinking what the future will hold with the rapid speed of information technology advancements.  The Introduction by Paul McAuley references the past (Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics), the present has The Matrix trilogy) and the future (Vernor Vinge’s theory that AI will go where humans cannot imagine).  With a nod to Clarke’s Hal of 2001 fame, the entries are overall engaging and thought provoking.  “Tempest 45” by Stephen Baxter has an AI fail to perform its mission to stop a hurricane from devastating Florida, but the investigation leads to so much more.  Brian Stableford’s “Highway Code” will remind the audience of Spielberg’s AI as an intelligent big truck drives the roads alone for years until a major accident occurs.  A salvager in space falls in love with his AI while waiting for the arrival of a missionary ship coming home from a visit with God (“Salvage Rites” by Eric Brown or what is the “Dragon King of the Eastern Sea” by Chris Roberson.  Although somewhat limited in exploring what could be due to the short story format, the compilation is superb as the authors contribute diverse tales with some seemingly weird like Marly Youmans’ “The Chinese Room” adding depth and variety to the anthology.

 

Harriet Klausner

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