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Get set for a romp into a trans-humanist future of epic proportions. We’re talking about this week’s review of Spear of Light by Brenda Cooper, out now from Pyr Books. The sequel to Edge of Dark and the second book in her Glittering Edge duology. Spear of Light brings the battle between humans and the terror world of AIs to an ultimate climax.
The banished AI world is prone to enslaving humanity, destroying their corporeal forms and downloading them into subservient machine bodies. Spear of Light once again explores just what it means to be human, and whether a copied consciousness of a person is, in fact, them. Most of science fiction mainstream was introduced to a similar concept in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series from over a decade back. We see hints of the same style of conflict from Spear of Light all the way back in Frank Herbert’s Dune saga, which takes place in a far future where humanity has triumphed over machines.
Can humans and machines ever just get along?
And what would such a future look like? Could we live with such an alternate intelligence in our midst? Like with Battlestar, the enemy AI intelligence in Spear of Light and the Glittering Edge duology has moved far off into the outer solar system… perhaps the Universe is indeed big enough for the two of us.
We’ve also reviewed work by Cooper before, including the Ruby’s Song series of books including The Diamond Deep and The Creative Fire. There’s some cross connections going on between the two series as well, as the saga of the multi-generational starship is referenced several times in Spear of Light.
The layout of Spear of Light is unique as well, carrying on the tradition of titling each chapter after a character and moving from one perspective to the next in rapid fire progression. The type of rotation really moves the plot along at a fast pace, and makes for great character development.
Perhaps, the characters in Spear of Light can never go back to the wild and natural life of the planetary colonies they enjoyed before the reintroduction of human- enslaving machine intelligence. Maybe we’re all destined to remember the bad old days of today as the good old days of tomorrow… and maybe a balance can be struck between carbon and silicon life. Read Spear of Light and the Glittering Edge duology to find out!
Next up: what are we currently reading? Well, in the science department, we’re finishing up Quantum Fuzz by Michael S. Walker. In the science fiction department, the next one in the pipeline is the 2017 Nebula Awards, there’s already some great stories in there, let me tell you. Also in the queue are the last few books in the Kristine Kathryn Rusch Starbase: Human series, and then the next duology out from Brenda Cooper, with Wilders, book one of the Project Earth saga. We’re keeping up with the Friday review cycle, though with our current adventures in long-term travel, we’re receiving review copies now almost exclusively via .pdf… and we’ll throw in a few other interesting books that have drifted in through our transom as well.