Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn this complex and rewarding novel, Williams (Days of Atonement) has created a future which features many of the wonders SF has been promising us for years: virtual reality, genetic engineering, faster-than-light travel, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, telepathic links with computers, and more. Perhaps most interesting is that people have control of their daimones, different aspects of personality that are given specific names. The class system remains: the aristoi are the seemingly perfect humans who wield power and influence; in fact, some worship them as gods. An aristos named Gabriel discovers a conspiracy among three others of his class, who have created several worlds that are barbaric, with little technology and rampant disease and sickness. They have also killed other aristoi to cover their tracks and violated the sanctity of the Logarchy, the massive, open computer network that links all humans. In a nice touch, Williams renders several scenes in two columns of text on the page, the left describing the action, the right Gabriel's internal dialogue with his daimones. And in one delicious scene Gabriel has sex with two different women at the same time--one in virtual reality, one in real space. (Sept.)
Library JournalIn the far future, an elite class of individuals--called aristoi--rules an interstellar empire through the benign, disciplined mastery of advanced technologies. Beneath the facade of universal prosperity, however, lurks a tide of dissension and madness that can only be fought from within. Williams ( Voice of the Whirlwind , LJ 5/15/87; Days of Atonement , LJ 3/15/91) tests the borders of imagination in a novel that combines brilliant hard science and speculative vision with a firm grip on the central humanity of his characters. A priority purchase for sf collections.
Roland GreenOptimism about the potential of science and technology to improve society is sufficiently rare these days that one almost suspects it has been declared politically incorrect. Williams does not truckle to such conventional wisdom in his latest novel. Written with care, intelligence, and grace, it depicts a future society based on highly developed computers and biological engineering, the key skills of which are controlled by an elite known as the Aristoi. This world is depicted meticulously and vividly, and so is the near war of all against all that is unleashed when one of the Aristoi falls prey to the corruption of power. A fine, thoughtful work, highly recommended; Williams seems to grow with each book.
- Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
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Aristoi based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Absolutely worth the read.