Sunday, March 15, 2020

Five top books featuring AI

Len Vlahos is the owner of the Tattered Cover in Colorado. He is the author of The Scar Boys, Scar Girl, and Life in a Fishbowl.

His new book is Hard Wired.

At, Vlahos tagged "three books where AI doesn’t take over the world, and two where they kind of do," including:
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, like many of Robert Heinlein’s books, will be seen as both dated and controversial. But this story of political intrigue on a late 21st Century lunar penal colony is so compelling that the book stands on its own merits. At the heart of the story is the HOLMES IV supercomputer, which, as the book opens, has become self-aware. The computer befriends one of his service technicians, Manuel Garcia “Mannie” O’Kelly Davis, who names the computer Mike, after Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s brother.

Mike is one of science fiction’s all-time great AI characters. From his early attempts to understand humor, to becoming the leader of a lunar revolution (with echoes of the American Revolution), Mike does it all; he is instantly lovable and completely memorable.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress won the Hugo Award, was nominated for a Nebula Award, and is widely regarded as one of the great science fiction novels of all time. It deserves all of those accolades.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is among Jeff Somers's six notably colorblind SF/F universes.

--Marshal Zeringue