Shapes of Their Hearts

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In The Shapes of Their Hearts, a computer tape of the brain of a religious prophet has been allowed to merge with an AI; the result is both a religious icon on the planet Idun and a powerful terrorist. Anton Tso must come up with a way to stop the terrorism without killing God.

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Overview

In The Shapes of Their Hearts, a computer tape of the brain of a religious prophet has been allowed to merge with an AI; the result is both a religious icon on the planet Idun and a powerful terrorist. Anton Tso must come up with a way to stop the terrorism without killing God.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Taped from the fanatic brain of the prophet Gabril Aurik and melded into an artificial intelligence on the blockaded planet Eden, a wiseacre CyberGod called the Memoriant threatens to wreck the interstellar cybernetwork knitting Scott's latest far-future civilization together. Aurik's loathing for human cloning and the DNA-warping FTL drive bars his cold-eyed Children from leaving Eden, but they smuggle out copies of the Memoriant to spread their inquisitional faith. When Anton Tso, a cloned scion of a powerful criminal family on nearby Jericho, sets out to pirate a copy, the local Theologians trap him in virtual space, necessitating a lengthy conventional rescue involving Eden rebels led by Tso's bodyguard, clone Renhi DaSilva, a high-tech Emma Peel. Scott's colorful setting is Eden's grungy Freeport, where hyperrock Steel musicians scarf greasy fries and Auxiliary policemen ham-handedly juggle conflicting moral obligations. Less compelling are Tso's interminable attempts to escape his virtual prison and Scott's frustratingly awkward character names. No matter how glitzy, virtual reality just can't vivify Scott's provocative vision, a future where a human-made God sets out to make humanity's other creations irrelevant. (June)
Library Journal
On the planet Idun, populated by members of a Christian cult, a powerful AI (artificial intelligence) has merged with the mind of a deceased prophet, transforming that world into a dangerously aggressive theocracy. Sent by his family of interstellar importers to destroy or steal a copy of the AI's program, Anton Tso finds himself caught in a battle for his own salvation. Scott (Dreaming Metal, LJ 5/15/97) combines the taut action of an sf thriller with the cerebral excitement of cyber-metaphysics. A good choice for most sf collections.
Kirkus Reviews
Another far-future artificial-intelligence yarn from the author of Dreaming Metal (1997), etc. Here, planet Eden, with its religious-fanatic Children, their Memoriant (a powerful artificial intelligence imbued with the mind of prophet Gabril Aurik), and their support for terrorism, is under blockade. Still, a terrorist bombing on planet Jericho in which numerous bigwigs perished was facilitated by an exported copy of the Memoriant. So, rich, powerful bombing survivor Reiter Spath hires clone Dr. Anton Tso to steal a copy of the Memoriant for its security-busting potential. Tso, who trades on Eden, agrees but realizes that the Memoriant copy will need highly secure containment. Arriving on Eden, Tso's immediately grabbed by the Children, interrogated, then forced to interface with the Memoriant. As Tso's security chief Renli DaSilva teams up with local agent Angel Harijadi (his bosses would like to see the Memoriant destroyed altogether) to track him down, Tso learns that the Memoriant has an enemy in Eden's computer system—indeed, two free-living programs appear to be loose. One, Roy Muhyo, has the persona of an old revolutionary; the other, Caleb, has the ability to move invisibly. Tso must use all his wits and his computer know-how to survive until DaSilva and Harijadi arrive to free him. Even so, he will discover that the Memoriant has partially overwritten his implanted computer chips. Intriguing, at first, with Scott's depiction of cyberspace the main allure, but short on plot and burdened with too many narrative points of view: disappointingly slight and aimless.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312872472
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 11/3/1999
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.78 (d)

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