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Body Electric

Body Electric [Kindle Edition]

Susan Squires
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Victoria Barnhardt set out to create something brilliant; she succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. With one keystroke her program spiraled out of control...and something was born that defied possibility: a being who called to her.

He spoke from within a prison—seeking escape, seeking release, seeking her. He was a miracle that Vic had never intended. More than a scientific discovery, or a brilliant coup by an infamous hacker, he was life. He was beauty. He was genius. And he needed to be released. Just as Victoria did. Though the shadows of the past might rise against them, on one starry Los Angeles night, in each others arms, the pair would find a way to have each other and freedom both.


When she creates an unimaginable artificial intelligence who is brilliant and sensual beyond her wildest dreams, Victoria Barnhardt must find a body for him so that he can escape his dark prison and be hers in the flesh forever. Reissue.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 637 KB
  • Print Length: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance (4 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #521,703 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a provoking book that pushes the boundaries 29 Sep 2002
By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If this book was in techo-thriller category it would not cause as much fuss, as it is more in the Robin Cook-Michael Crichton vein than true romance. I have always held that the romance genre is a misnomer, that there is NO genre outside of publishing's mind, because romance is all genres - horror, historical, western, mysteries, suspense and a catagory and there is a writer in the romance field doing it and doing it well. And Susan Squires is out to prove that point with a vengeance!!
Squires is a super writer, she challenges the reader, pushes buttons and makes you think. But at times, I get really really angry at her characters (LOL)!! This book is a stroke of near genius, but it is very hard to connect with Vic...the emotional tie you need to your main character is lacking. At times, not only is there no empathy, you really do not like Vic. It is that lack that causes this work to just miss mark. She is a graphic writers (some readers complain TOO graphic - if that is the case then don't read her). She pulls no punches, gives the reader no pleasant safety net. She writes with a confidence that is way beyond someone with just a third book and is a name that will be around.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm looking forward to this author's next release. 17 Nov 2002
By Huntress Reviews - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Victoria Barnhardt has achieved her lifelong dream of creating a truly intellegent computer program, one capable of sensation, feeling, and independent thought. She names it for Jodie Foster, but is in for a surprise when Jodie turns out not to be female, as she intended, but male. Not only that, but her program rapidly takes off, growing in capacity and capability at an incredible pace. Unfortunately, this begins to cause her problems at work, as Jodie is starting to draw unwelcome attention from her corrupt bosses.
Vic loses her job, but is not done with Jodie, nor he with her. He contacts her, asking for a body; he has even selected one. It happens to belong to John Reston, a thorn in Vic's former bosses' collective sides, and someone she has secretly desired. Through incredible means, they are able to download the majority of Jodie into the brain dead man's mind. Now on the run, the two must fight to preserve not only their newly awakened love, but their existence.
***** A combination of two groundbreaking movies, TRON and STARMAN, this novel is itself taking on new frontiers. Ms. Squires, who improves with each book, has created a frightening possible, fascinating world that gives the reader much to think upon. Vic is a dynamic, realistic heroine, with troubles and who lives the cutting edge, stressed life of a modern career woman. Jodie combines innocence with masculinity in a most charming fashion. You have never read a romance like this one, but hopefully, there are more to come. *****
Reviewed by Amanda Killgore.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winner of the WordWeaving Award for Excellence 6 Aug 2002
By C. Penn - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In a world of a not too distant future, Visimorph monopolizes the computer software industry by replacing all of the world's operating systems with PuppetMaster, a system that insures fat profits for owner Bob McIntire. Every time he issues an upgrade, customers must repurchase their current software or risk not being able to function in society. McIntire draws upon the greatest talents in the industry, including Vic Barhardt, a hacker he rescued from prison. Vic turns her gift for hacking into security systems impregnable against hackers like herself.
Using Visimorph resources, Vic creates program, a form of Artificial Intelligence, that she calls Jodie. Vic dreams of imbuing the program with the gifts of femininity without the cultural hassles. Vic feels uncomfortable with her own femininity, disguising her looks with asexual attire so that she might be taken seriously in the computer world. Only late at night in a dangerous world of anonymous sex does Vic indulge her feminine needs, and then only with a mask of leather and control.
Then late one night, a miracle occurs. The breath of life transforms Vic's code to a sentient being. As Jodie grows, the AI takes space on the latest Visimorph's server Neuromancer. Soon Jodie expands across other servers as well, including libraries, AT&T, even the IRS. But fragmentation brings about corruption in Jodie's programs. In addition, Jodie declares himself to be male. When McIntire comes to realize that Vic has been working on an AI, he makes plans to use the code for his own purpose.
Author Susan Squires plays marvelous word games in BODY ELECTRIC, drawing from classical literature and contemporary science fiction to create a dazzling world of possibility. The dangers suggested by Hal in 2001 A SPACE ODYESSY, echoes from Ray Bradbury or William Gibson remind readers of the dangers inherent in a highly technological society. But beyond the fight between the controllers of the world like Bob McIntire and everyman, Squires strikes at the heart of the challenges to women, from issues of femininity to the need to connect to someone. Vic, a woman of intelligence and beauty who denies her femininity, learns to treasure it when the mask is suddenly ripped away by events beyond her control. Jodie's struggle with emotion and a desire to become something "more" adds dynamic tension as well.
Rich in nuance, BODY ELECTRIC is one of those rare novels that readers may read for simple entertainment, or for much, much more as it explores questions of sentience, humanity, and self-identity. I confess to wishing BODY ELECTRIC had been on my graduate reading list rather than William Gibson, although Squires gives me a new appreciation for his novels! An electrifying novel that belongs on everyone's keeper shelf, BODY ELECTRIC earns the WordWeaving Award for Excellence.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Squires stuns us with an out of the box wonder! 12 Aug 2002
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Victoria (Vic) Barnhardt is a computer genius. So good, in fact, that her current employer, Bob McIntire--the CEO of the huge computer conglomerate Visimorph-had actually bailed her out of jail with the agreement that she'd design security programs for him that couldn't be hacked, even by talented hackers such as herself. Now Vic has started a project of her own-using Visimorph's vast resources. She's actually succeeded in creating Artificial Intelligence-her computer program, which she names Jodie-can actually think for itself. Vic is thrilled, she's made the breakthrough of a lifetime, but when Bob McIntire begins to get suspicious about what his genius hacker is spending all her time working on, and when Jodie begins to overtake some of Visimorphs other computer programs storage with it's voracious appetite for knowledge, she has to figure out a way to house Jodie outside of Visimorph, and in essence hide her discovery, before Bob can lay claim to her discovery.
Vic thought that she'd given her program, Jodie, everything it would need to be a successful female AI. Only Jodie has other ideas. After soaking up tons of info, Jodie has come to the conclusion that HE is male. Vic is devastated at first-how does it know? And how could it be male? Vic has struggled her whole life, in a male dominated world, in a world where her father thought less of her because she was female. Her opinion of males is low, to say the least. She struggles with a darker side of herself, a side that wants to exploit and use males for her needs, and then discard them. How could her huge success turn out to be a MALE?
When Jodie tells Vic that he needs a human body, Vic is stunned once again. While thrilled with her invention, she's almost scared of what she's created, for Jodie is a life force all his own. When a brain dead body is located, it just happens to be that of a male that Vic had found quite attractive. How can she resist Jodie's incredible mind and this wonderful body?
Breaking WAY out of the box with Body Electric, Susan Squires pulls off an incredible feat. She creates a heroine whom we feel incredible empathy for, but at times almost don't like, she's so tough. Vic is a product of her world, gritty and smart, and capable. I admire this character tremendously, and applaud Ms. Squires for the depth and characterization she put into Vic. Incredible. She made me want Jodie to be human, and understand Vic's emotional struggle with herself over Jodie. This is sure to be another hit under Susan Squires belt, for she's once again proven what inceredibly vast talent she has. Paranormal and Sci Fi readers alike-Don't miss this! You'll be stunned and thrilled with this wonderful read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please Make a Movie from this book! BEST Ever! 31 May 2004
By G. Jordan - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Better than Hollywood's version of AI, I hope this becomes a movie! It would be the BEST, or at least up there with LOTR Trilogy, I'd ever see in my lifetime. This book is 100 times better than the Matrix--it's what the Matrix should have been. I had never read this author before & found this book in a bargain bin at my local CVS drugstore for $2.50! Body Electric by Squires would easily be worth much more to me. I've been an avid, even voracious, reader ALL my life (40+ years so far) and this is THE BEST story I have ever read! That is an unbelievable accomplishment for I've read & re-read at least half a million books. I can not wait to devour the rest of Squire's novels.
I am a computer guru to everyone who knows me, and I'm overwhelmingly impressed with the research, imagination & credibility Susan Squires expertly, and SEAMLESSLY, compiled in "Body Electric". Believable even in its incredibility, Squires makes the impossible seem simple, this story reads like a secret conspiracy we can all believe is already happening, and she the brave whistle-blower. Every page flies by, can't put the book down, MUST know what happens next, then next, but towards the middle suddenly the pages slow down; not because they are boring but because one becomes aware of an urgent need to make this pleasure last, dreading the knowledge that the story WILL end though one wants to stay immersed in the story forever.
You've read the plot descriptions in the other reviews. Vic definitely has psychological issues--as do all humans--and is sexually imbalanced. The earlier reviewer mentions incest, as a mother-child dynamic, & missed the connection completely. Vic doesn't see Jodie as her child at all. Vic sees Jodie as her Creation, as one might imagine our Creator sees US! When adding Vic's sexual and identity problems to the mix, it is inevitable that they become lovers, since VIC HAS in effect CREATED her IDEAL MATE! Many modern women love adult men who AT TIMES seem childish, naive & innocent, without their relationship being compared to incest. Vic's real struggle is with her relationship as Jodie's Creator, knowing he started as a Computer Software Program, not the VERY HUMAN being he becomes. Vic relates to machines better than she ever could with humans, eventually this is what allows her to accept her love for Jodie and let go of her shame for being attracted to something essentially NON-Human. Vic struggles to define herself, and what exactly defines pure unsocialized gender, and humanity, throughout the novel. Just as in ALL of us there is a shadow side we don't much like, the same is true of the recognizably REAL Victoria. What we can't like in her character are those parts of ourselves we see in Vic, and reject just as she does.
Jodie is every woman's ideal man {except for that photographic memory perhaps?:=}, with the hard-soft combination all women secretly desire in their mate. Who wouldn't love a teachable man? Squires inserts much humor into her novel & I found myself moved on so many levels throughout, laughing, crying, afraid, angry, grinning, disgusted, hopeful. We fall in love with his character, we fear for him right along with Vic, and we fear for Vic as well, wondering along with her, "Just WHAT IS Jodie capable of? Is there any thing he can't do?" Jodie healed the hole in his skull, grew new bone, skin & hair in under 24 hours, by telling the body to do so, but the one thing he can't do is stop having Grand Mal Seizures. Determined to save him human brain from degenerating further & losing his chance at life, and maybe a future with Victoria, Jodie believes he can get back into the evil megalomaniac Trillionaire McIntire's Super Computer and restore his core program code, trapped behind a firewall Jodie and Vic created. But now that core program seems to have a life and will of its own, blocking access to everyone, including its Host or Creators!
This is one thrill ride a lucky reader will never forget! "Body Electric" is a definite KEEPER to be read again & again, each time as exciting as the first. Sexy without going into too much detail, intelligent, credible, moving, drama & action, funny, scary, the best in ANY class or genre. "Body Electric" is going to be a classic, and Squires the Creator of a whole new class of writing that raises the bar for all others, and spoils us for anyone else.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but with a few issues�. 30 Oct 2002
By Sarah - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ok, I have to start by saying that I really enjoy Ms. Squire's writing. Dangeld, Sacrament and now Body Electric are all interesting books with unusual twists and refreshing new ideas. This book crosses many genres and should appeal readers of all of them: sci fi, tech thriller, and romance. To start, this book goes into great depth about the computer industry. I have to assume whatever Ms. Squires is writing about is viable and true because I do not have a deep understanding of computers, programming, and other related fields.
Let me move on here to the characters. I had a real problem in the beginning of the story. Vic was just so far out there that I had no sympathy with her at all. It took a long time to drag me back around to appreciate her and even then, in the end, I am still not sure that this was accomplished. Jody on the other hand was an incredible character. Every scene he was in, he stole the show. I kept reading to see his character develop and mature.
My biggest problems come about with the relationship that grows between these two characters. It kept crossing my mind that Vic looks at this relationship as a mother/child one. (At least at first). That they get romantically involved, brings up some issues I was a little uncomfortable with. I have to say, if nothing else, this book is thought provoking. I enjoyed reading it... Star Trek meets Free Jack.
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