Void Star

Void Star

by Zachary Mason


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250159410
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 04/24/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 376,465
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Zachary Mason, author of the novel The Lost Books of the Odyssey, is a computer scientist specializing in artificial intelligence. He was a finalist for the 2008 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. He lives in California.

Table of Contents


1. Floating World 3
2. High Playground 5
3. Oculus 7
4. Negotiable Sense of Place 11
5. Working 15
6. What Forgetting Is 20
7. Discipline 22
8. Unreal City 25
9. Matches 28
10. Laptop 40
11. Theater 50
12. Clinic 55
13. Secret Book 63
14. Ghost 66
15. Future Shift 74
16. Circumference 82
17. Tunnel 84
18. Essential Hardness 91
19. No True Security 93
20. Fundamental Things Never Really Change 101
21. Someone 109
22. Shapes Purely 112
23. Finish Up 116
24. Stillness in Memory 122
25. Just Leaving the Station 129
26. Nonexistent Prisons 132
27. Venice Replicated 136
28. Departure 147
29. Bad Pattern 156
30. Ossuary 163
31. Refuge 167
32. Still Unformed 170
33. Encoded in Form 175
34. Final Sword 177
35. Persephone 183
36. Usually in Trouble 189
37. Cloudbreaker 198
38. Thought Purely 205
39. Lost Coast 207
40. In the Palm of Her Hand 211
41. Oublier 217
42. Tangle of Snakes and Darkness 221
43. Intimacy of the Mundane 223
44. Great Dark Forward 226
45. Good Thing to Own 231
46. Exact Enumeration of Blurred Flocks 237
47. Something to Cry About 242
48. World Is a Chessboard 251
49. Closely Coupled Forms of Nothing in Particular 259
50. Our Lady of Drones 266
51. Never Really Have Happened 271
52. Sphinx Explains Our Horror 275
53. A Little Beyond the Law 281
54. Unwieldy, Lovely, Perhaps Eighteenth Century 288
55. Form on the Water 293
56. Axis Mundi 297
57. Vaguely Cetacean 300
58. Touch Nothing 302
59. Telemetry Irreconcilable 307
60. What They Really Wanted 308
61. Hole in the Wall 310
62. Flaw in His Vision 317
63. Purpose, Impatience, Suffering 324
64. Difficult Transition 329
65. Babel 331
66. Change of Plan 340
67. Future Selves Forgive Her 343
68. Beyond Is Hidden 351
69. Island in the Past 354
70. History Lacks a Story 357
71. Dolos 362
72. Memorial 365
73. Masamune 367
74. Marmont 370
75. No Longer Metaphor 375
76. Continuity 380
77. Arabescato 384

Acknowledgments 387

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Void Star 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A pleasurable jaunt with AI, neuro-augmentation, and a street samurai.
Yzabel More than 1 year ago
[NOTE: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.] This story takes us on the paths followed by three characters very different from each other: Irina, carrying a brain implant that gives her perfect memory and access to AIs; Kern, a young refugee from the San Francisco favelas, who taught himself through books and martial arts thanks to a laptop found in a dump; and Thales, son of a murdered Brazilian politician, whose life hangs by a thread only because his body may reject the implant that saved his life at any moment. The world depicted in the novel is not exactly cyberpunk, not exactly transhumanistic, not exactly dystopian, but a blend of all three? Life-prolonging and youth treatments exist... only for those who can afford them. The implant in both Irina and Thales’s brains is exceptional... but. Large corporations dominate everyday life, but the protagonists are different from their more usual cyberpunk counterparts. Earth is going through climate changes and places like Singapore are gradually going underwater, and many people don’t have access to basic necessities... but at the same time, a sense of wonder still permeates the story, if only because of the way the characters are confronted to various threats and obstacles, yet also to hopes and openings towards new paths. Kern’s laptop, for instance, because of what it represents, or could represent, for a young boy living in the streets. Or the inhuman and fascinating beauty of the AIs introduced here, the destructive Cloudbreaker and the elusive Mathematician. This is both close to us, making it possible to grasp it, with its technologies that we can understand (tablets and phones, albeit somewhat obsolete for the wealthier characters), and at the same time deeply alien and full of mysteries (what would it be like to live with a perfect, artificial memory you can access just whenever, yet that may send you into seizure and kill you?). ‘Void Star’ reads well, although for some reason I felt like taking my sweet time with it, perhaps because unconsciously I didn’t want to finish it too fast? It may sometimes be a wee difficult to follow, since it doesn’t rely on detailed explanations, instead taking its readers through its characters’ travels; I quite liked that, though—I like that in general in SF/F, even though I know I can’t read such stories when I’m too tired, for fear of losing my pace and missing important hints. While some events appeared, as a result, a little confusing, in the end I could still piece everything together. The three main narratives are well interwoven—chapter Y actually holds the missing answers to what happened in chapter X, and so on—and even when I didn’t have all the information to understand their world in the beginning, it wasn’t much of a problem. Conclusion: Not the easiest read around, due to its (beautiful but sometimes complex) descriptive language and concepts; however, if one is ready to tackle that, this book can be positively fascinating.