Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kiss Me Twice, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Next up for Nebula nominees in 2012 is Kiss Me Twice, by Mary Robinette Kowal, in the Novella category.  Close collaboration between an AI and human is an old theme.  My first SF novel that affected me emotionally was The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein.  I was very moved when the AI lost too many nodes to be conscious.

Kowal's entry is quite fine.  We have an AI with somewhat realistic computing capabilities (indeed, along those lines it probably doesn't go far enough), and a lonely detective that encourages "her" emotional side.  The adventure is a good police procedural and nicely tense, with likeable characters throughout.  The story is ripe for a breakout--the AIs seem about ready to go independent, I might be curious to see that.  It makes a good try at imagining what "life" would be like for a being that normally never goes offline, if they do so unexpectedly.  Good fun and a great read.  I gave it four stars, somewhat impulsively but so what.

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