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Implied Spaces

( 4 )


Aristide, a semi-retired computer scientist turned swordsman, is a scholar of the implied spaces, seeking meaning amid the accidents of architecture in a universe where reality itself has been sculpted and designed by superhuman machine intelligence. While exploring the pre-technological world Midgarth, one of four dozen pocket universes created within a series of vast, orbital matrioshka computer arrays, Aristide uncovers a fiendish plot threatening to set off a nightmare scenario, perhaps even bringing about ...
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Aristide, a semi-retired computer scientist turned swordsman, is a scholar of the implied spaces, seeking meaning amid the accidents of architecture in a universe where reality itself has been sculpted and designed by superhuman machine intelligence. While exploring the pre-technological world Midgarth, one of four dozen pocket universes created within a series of vast, orbital matrioshka computer arrays, Aristide uncovers a fiendish plot threatening to set off a nightmare scenario, perhaps even bringing about the ultimate Existential Crisis: the end of civilization itself. Traveling the pocket universes with his wormhole-edged sword Tecmesssa in hand and talking cat Bitsy, avatar of the planet-sized computer Endora, at his side, Aristide must find a way to save the multiverse from subversion, sabotage, and certain destruction.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this grandly scaled space opera from bestseller Williams (Hardwired), swashbuckling computer scientist Aristide explores pretechnological "pocket" universes in search of interesting "implied spaces," the unintended regions that come into existence between deliberately designed structures. Then he uncovers evidence of a dark collective that's kidnapping people and sending them to pockets where a virus co-opts their minds and turns them into willing spies and assassins. Evidence implicates one of the Eleven planet-sized quantum computers, somehow corrupted in spite of its "Asimovian safeguards." Armed with a wormhole-edged broadsword and accompanied by his sidekick, Bitsy, an avatar of one of the Eleven in the form of a talking cat, Aristide finds himself hunted, brainwashed, killed and resurrected more than once before he learns the truth. Williams tells the tale with enthusiasm and a crisp, dry wit well suited to this entertaining blend of high adventure, intrigue and postsingularity technology. (July)

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Library Journal

In a distant future where artificial intelligences care for humans' needs and death is curable, computer scientist-turned-swordsman Aristide, along with his talking AI cat, Bitsy, explores the pocket universes created by machine intelligences, searching for the implied spaces-pieces of sculpted reality created out of necessity to support these worlds' architecture. On a primitive pocket world called Midgarth, he encounters evidence of a plot that could destroy civilization, and his travels suddenly take on a desperate importance. The versatile author of Voice of the Whirlwind and other hard sf and cyberpunk novels now uses the trappings of fantasy to explore some of science's most sophisticated ideas. Ever surprising, ever provocative, Williams's latest sf adventure belongs in most sf collections.
—Jackie Cassada

Kirkus Reviews
From Williams (Conventions of War, 2005, etc.), a far-future science-fiction yarn that employs sword-and-sorcery trappings to investigate philosophical questions. Thanks to native ingenuity and the computing power of an array of several planet-sized artificial intelligences orbiting Earth, humanity has consciously avoided a technological singularity; instead, wormhole engineering offers access to limitless artificial worlds, and nobody dies permanently-you simply resurrect your last memory back-up in a cloned body. Aristide, a computer scientist turned swordsman, perpetually amused both at himself and the universe's ability to astonish, studies implied spaces, disregarded regions not specified but suggested by the subtleties of architecture and geometry. While exploring the artificial world Midgarth, carrying his wormhole-tipped sword and accompanied by the talking cat Bitsy-she's actually an avatar of the AI, Endora-Aristide stumbles across a warrior-cult led by needle-toothed alien priests armed with tiny wormhole weapons. Recognizing the signs of a vast and deadly plot, Aristide returns to his home in the orbiting habitat Topaz to discuss the matter with persons he can trust. The allies must act before a bad situation deteriorates into another Seraphim Plague or a full-blown Existential Crisis . . . and that isn't even the half of it. An intelligent, delicate and precise novel of real depth: a pleasure to read, an undertaking to savor.
Charles Stross
“Walter Jon Williams really knows how to play power chords in the ‘key of wonder’ and in Implied Spaces he’s gone to town on the guitar solo!”
SM Stirling
“Implied Spaces pioneers a new genre of SF--- the ‘Sword and Singularity’ novel. Williams combines fantasy tropes believably with nanotech, bleeding-edge infotech speculation, classic smashing-planets space opera, and intriguingly human, or possibly post-human characters along with a fast-moving plot and a quirky sense of humor in a melange that’s cosmological, theological, ontological, comic, and thoroughly entertaining.”
Vernor Vinge
"What happens when technology reaches the casements of reality? The answer to that question may dominate the rest of humankind's Experience. In Implied Spaces, Walter Jon Williams wraps excellent adventure around the core question, and gives insights from a number of different perspectives."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597801256
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/2008
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Jon Williams is an award-winning author who has been listed on the best-seller lists of the New York Times and the Times of London. He is the author of twenty-nine novels and three collections of short fiction.

His first novel to attract serious public attention was Hardwired (1986), described by Roger Zelazny as "a tough, sleek juggernaut of a story, punctuated by strobe-light movements, coursing to the wail of jets and the twang of steel guitars." In 2001 he won a Nebula Award for his novelette, “Daddy’s World,” and won again in 2005 for “The Green Leopard Plague.”

Walter's subject matter has an unusually wide range, and include the glittering surfaces of Hardwired, the opulent tapestries of Aristoi, the bleak future police novel Days of Atonement, and the pensive young Mary Shelley of the novella "Wall, Stone, Craft," which was nominated for a Hugo, Nebula, and a World Fantasy Award.

His latest work is Deep State, a near-future thriller set in the world of alternate reality gaming.

Walter has also written for the screen and for television, and has worked in the gaming field.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A beautiful homage to golden age writers

    Here Williams has written a beutiful homage to Zelazny, and nobody seems to recognize that fact. Both the expository style (No exposition to speak of) and the use of the name of one of Zelazny's most famous character (Francis Sandow of "the isle of death" and "To die in Italbar") referenced here as Franz Sandow, lead a dedicated reader towards Zelazny.
    It's a fun read, not the least for the plethora of society changing ideas, as well as the relationship between Aristide and Bitsy, the cat-shaped avatar of the an AI minds. Good Stuff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2008

    A Must read for SF fans

    Implied Spaces is an incredibly detailed voyage through a multi genre world, shot through with barbs at our own pop culture. It starts with Aristide, a man who comes off like the all knowing NPC at times, traveling through a desert world inhabited by trolls, ogres and other fantasy creatures. With his magic sword and his talking cat Aristide joins a motley crew turning against a large band of thieves and their blue skinned priest overlords who have been attacking caravans and plundering supplies for months. Did I mention that this is a science fiction novel? Aristide, it soon turns out, is overly knowledgeable because this fantasy world is actually a constructed world, part of a larger multi-cosim where humans have advanced to the point of being able to 'save' their personalities and memories, much like we save games on memory cards. The ability to reincarnate themselves into new, healthy and highly adapted bodies at will has lead to quite lengthy life spans. Complications arise when the strange blue priests in the world co-created by gamers and anachronists wield the same power as Aristide possesses in his sword, a curious ability to say the least. In fact, the ability leads directly to the more modern world, where Aristide and his allies discover that someone, or something has been funneling humans from the unwired worlds elsewhere and reprogramming them as mental slaves. Call them zombies or pod people, someone, or something is building an army. This barely scratches the surface though. Implies Spaces is packed with incredible amounts of detail. In the first few chapters the long description in nearly painful detail seems a little odd, but by the time the story stretches into an expansive multiverse the sheer amount of detail makes the story absolutely solid. Aristides himself is an interesting tool used to establish the limits of the world. Given his position as an aged, respected and highly intelligent member of society unlike many other books on the market Aristide doesn't have to figure out motives or plots, the reader eventually learns to trust his leaps of logic and suspicions as true. Of course, considering that A.I.s with brains the size of planets exist in these worlds Aristide's intelligence is quite challenged. The depth and detail of this book simply cannot be explained in a simple review. Expanding through both social and hard science fiction, as well as touching on mystery and fantasy, Implied Spaces is an impressive tale that's surprisingly human at its core.

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    Posted October 26, 2011

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    Posted September 8, 2011

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