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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Existential Roller-Coaster
This is a fine book about a future world in which multiple virtual realities exist alongside 'atomic' reality and a human being may choose to have multiple versions of themselves made (and where illegal copies of human beings may be made for the purpose of abuse and exploitation). The world is ruled by AIs who seem benign but may not be. Hyper-intelligent...
Published on 17 Jan 2006 by Christopher O. Beckett

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but no ending!
I read this book a few months ago and I generally enjoyed it. There were quite a few interesting ideas, it was well written, and it kept my interest going most of the time. The big disappointment for me was that it didn't have a proper ending, instead you have to wait for the next in the series. I wasn't aware of this when I bought the book, and I found it infuriating...
Published on 24 Sep 2007 by dc_x


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Existential Roller-Coaster, 17 Jan 2006
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This review is from: Capacity (Paperback)
This is a fine book about a future world in which multiple virtual realities exist alongside 'atomic' reality and a human being may choose to have multiple versions of themselves made (and where illegal copies of human beings may be made for the purpose of abuse and exploitation). The world is ruled by AIs who seem benign but may not be. Hyper-intelligent robots co-exist alongside human beings: strange subtle, devious, passionate robots, very much against the grain of what we expect robots to be like. Human and artificial intelligence alike face a strange new existential threat from beyond the galaxy.
Like its predecessor Recursion, this is a subtle, ambiguous book which really is about life, the universe and everything. It's full of thought-provoking ideas and not only ideas about only about robots and artificial intelligence (though Ballantyne clearly knows what he is talking about here) but about belief and certainty, good and evil, free will and determinism, childishness and maturity...

There are some great set pieces: the scene in the cave on Gateway, the showdown between Judy, Frances and Chris... At times it is nightmarish, at times absurd, at times touching and hopeful. Like all the best imagined worlds - and like the real world - there isn't a tidy edge to this fictional universe. It extends beyond the horizon. You could reread the book and find new things in it, or change your mind about what is really going on.
Highly recommended. I look forward to the third novel.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but no ending!, 24 Sep 2007
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dc_x (Washington DC, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Capacity (Paperback)
I read this book a few months ago and I generally enjoyed it. There were quite a few interesting ideas, it was well written, and it kept my interest going most of the time. The big disappointment for me was that it didn't have a proper ending, instead you have to wait for the next in the series. I wasn't aware of this when I bought the book, and I found it infuriating that I didn't get a complete book for my money. It seems a lot of sci-fi books are part of a series these days, so perhaps it's not a problem for other people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some great ideas, not 'easy reading', 21 Feb 2010
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K. Royle (Nottingham) - See all my reviews
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A good book with excellent ideas, some quite original. The book isn't difficult to read, but you do need to concentrate in order to follow what is often parallel events with multiple copies of the same characters.

The book handles the necessary visualisation of the worlds well. Some nice twists in the plot too.

Sadly, this book appears to be the middle one of three, something that I didn't detect originally. That said, it stands on it's own quite acceptably. I will probably buy the others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars slightly odd, 23 Mar 2013
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Austin (Stockport, England) - See all my reviews
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A sci-fi genre, well written but I doubt I would choose to buy the sequel. I wasn't that keen because the subject matter dwelt a lot on S&M, although it stayed clear of being pervy it's not a subject I enjoyed reading about.
The literary structure is fascinating, with a number of different strands I nearly gave up reading it as it was confusing to start off, but it actually became clear quite quickly and was worth the effort.
I think I couldn't be bothered to read the sequel as I didn't engage with the characters, I would try another book by the author if he can marry the interesting structure and more engagement with the characters.
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