1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Superb. Just superb.,
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This review is from: The Lifecycle of Software Objects (Hardcover)The last time I reviewed one of Chiang's short stories I loved it, and I loved this much longer (but still short-form - I'm not sure whether it's a "novella" or a "novelette", or whether there's a difference between the two, and I don't really care) story for much the same reasons. It is grounded somewhat more in a feasible extrapolation from current technology and pastimes than Exhalation is, and is perhaps more immediately accessible for that. Where his earlier short story "Exhalation" is broadly speaking an exploration of himself by the only character, The Lifecycle of Software Objects looks primarily at two main characters (one of them an entertainment AI the other a human) and how their relationship grows and changes over an extended time. It's even better than Exhalation, but the quality is just as high - I can't think of anyone living or dead who writes better than Chiang, and precious few who match him. It's better only because that top quality writing, evocative as well as entertaining, is sustained for so much longer.
I recommend that you buy it, because the author deserves his royalties, but it's also available online for free on the publisher's website, which is how I read it. But I have now bought it too. The book has some illustrations in it that aren't online.