Watermind

Watermind

3.4 5
by M. M. Buckner
     
 

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From storm drains, illegal dumps, and flooded landfills, all of North America’s most advanced technology flows down the Mississippi River—microchips, nano-devices, pharmaceuticals, genetically modified seed—and lodges in the Louisiana delta. Out of this mire emerges a self-organized neural net, drifting in the water: the Watermind. It can

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Overview

From storm drains, illegal dumps, and flooded landfills, all of North America’s most advanced technology flows down the Mississippi River—microchips, nano-devices, pharmaceuticals, genetically modified seed—and lodges in the Louisiana delta. Out of this mire emerges a self-organized neural net, drifting in the water: the Watermind. It can freeze, boil, condense, and move—seemingly at will.

CJ Reilly is a brilliant, sexy, self-destructive dropout working on a crew cleaning up a pollution spill in Devil’s Swamp near Baton Rouge, when she and her new lover, Max, discover the mysterious Watermind. Reilly’s more interested in investigating it than containing it, but when it kills someone and escapes into the Mississippi, corporations, governments, protesters, the Coast Guard, and a really wacky underground journalist get involved. And there’s no longer any question that it must be destroyed before it reaches the ocean.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Watermind:

“An exciting novel of technological and scientific detection and combat.”

—Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine

“A bold idea. Well-drawn characters. A gripping tale. A first-class novel.”

—Ben Bova

“The action comes crisp and smart in this fast-moving novel, rich in ideas. I liked it a lot.”

—Gregory Benford

“Part techno-thriller, part speculative science, and all quality.”

—Mike Resnick

Publishers Weekly

Buckner (War Surf) theorizes a brand-new intelligence emerging from electronic trash in this cautionary near-future tale. When troubled MIT grad school dropout CJ Reilly encounters bizarre ice covering steamy Louisiana's polluted Devil's Pond, she has visions of saving the world after she analyzes a sample and discovers its power to purify water. Then the mysterious substance responds to music and begins to move, and Reilly becomes convinced of its sentience. When it kills a man, scientist Roman Sacony, whose company owns the pond, is determined to utterly destroy the emerging life form, while CJ insists on trying to save it. Despite the suspense and nonstop action, unlikable characters make it hard to root for anyone, and the scientifically sound ending is narratively unsatisfying. The story succeeds best when it traverses Louisiana's geography, and only indifferently when it traverses the human heart. (Nov.)

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Library Journal

Among the toxic and chemical wastes that regularly spew into the rivers, lakes, storm drains, and flooded landfills are the rejects of the country's cybertechnology: microchips, pharmaceuticals, nano-techs, and biochemical material. Gathering in the Mississippi Delta, these bastard spawns of biotech research gradually develop an intelligence, becoming the Watermind. When MIT dropout C.J. Reilly and her lover, Max, stumble upon the entity, at first they find it sympathetic and intriguing. Then it begins to kill, and they realize the danger it poses to the world. Part B-movie horror, part Philip K. Dick dystopic adventure, this sf adventure/suspense by the author of the award-winning War Surf belongs in larger sf collections.


—Jackie Cassada

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765320247
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
11/11/2008
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

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