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Evolution's Darling de Scott Westerfeld
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Evolution's Darling (1999)

de Scott Westerfeld

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1986106,040 (3.79)3
Does a clone have a soul? Darling, an astronavigational control unit and personal companion, achieves sentience and wants to know. Now, 200 years and an artificial body later, he is off in search of a dead artist, a living artwork, and the forces behind a mystery that spans the universe. Accompanied by a female assassin, he'll confront the Maker and get the answer.… (mais)
Membro:JohnLavik
Título:Evolution's Darling
Autores:Scott Westerfeld
Informação:Publisher Unknown
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:Read

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Evolution's Darling de Scott Westerfeld (1999)

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An AI reaches turing positive (personhood) while caring for a teenage girl. The process of interacting with the girl is what enables the AI to achieve person hood. One of the best human-computer sex scenes and one of the most poignant death fairwells.
  JohnLavik | Mar 29, 2020 |
It's an intriguing tale of intelligence, identity and memory, but the best part of this book is the really hot sex. I always love Westerfeld's fluid take on gender and sexuality (read Polymorph for some more good stuff), but he's especially good here. The relationship between the main characters is charged with competativeness, sensuality, and a certain tinge of moral disquiet. Add that to Darling's impressive array of attachments (think tentacles, not egg beaters) and an inventive streak that would impress hentai creators, and you've got yourself a very sexy mix indeed.
( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Creepy AI sex in space. I am always amazed at the variety of books that Scott Westerfeld has written. ( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
You may recognize Scott Westerfeld’s name from his popular young adult series, such as Peeps and Uglies. Evolution's Darling is an entirely different novel. Darling is a 200 year old artificial intelligence. Thanks to technology, robots have the ability to become sentient beings, detectable by a Turing test. The title refers to the fact that artificials can evolve many times during their lifetime, while their biological counterparts cannot. Darling, so named and made sentient by a past love, is an art dealer of authentic, original, and expensive art. He happens to meet Mira, a mysterious assassin, on a pleasure ship. He seeks a famous sculptor that was thought to be dead, while Mira accompanies him (with her own motives). Is Vaddum, the sculptor, a copy? Can intelligent beings be copied? Should they? Should the copies be destroyed?

Although this is a science fiction novel, the language used and descriptions are beautiful and complex. Musical imagery is used throughout. It was surprising for me that there was a balance and mixture of science and art that was wonderful to read. The two are typically seen as polar opposites and are rarely juxtaposed. All of the characters were fully realized and unique, even the minor ones. The artificial intelligence, in many instances, turned out to be more human than the biological humans. For example, Darling focuses on the emotional meaning behind Vaddum’s work, while Zimivic, his human rival, looks at the technical aspects and how much the piece will make him. It makes us question what really makes a being human or sentient. Even the not yet sentient AI has personality, humor, and their own quirks.

Evolution’s Darling was a completely unique novel. It was engrossing from beginning to end and I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this book to any fan of science fiction. ( )
  titania86 | Oct 1, 2008 |
(Written as a reply to a Book Challenge on the basis of vulgar language and graphic sexual content. Submitted 09.04.07.)

Evolution's Darling is a fairly traditional cyberpunk novel containing elements of sophisticated technology within a radically different social order. Westerfeld raises intriguing questions regarding slavery, sentience, enlightenment, freedom, cloning, and the nature of the soul.

The vulgar language within the novel is used in context and not for the sole purpose of shocking. In listing the words which a reader might find offensive, I did not find the type or quantity unusual for a work of cyberpunk. Although the majority of the words are used as expletives (bastard, bitch, cunt) or in general conversation (badass, crap, dyke, hell, piss, shit), some were used for their sexual denotation as well as connotation (cock, fistfuck, fuck). Although most of these words were only used a few times, the term "fuck" was commonly used to refer to sexual intercourse. Neither the word choice nor overall tone ever had the effect of jolting me as a reader out of the fictional scenes or the world Westerfeld was creating.

Although many cyberpunk novels do not have sexual content, the ones that do often portray aberrant or unusual practices. The initial introduction of the Minder's methods of observing Rathere's physiology and "taster" her biochemical responses to emotions clearly foreshadowed that their relationship would develop sexual components. The sexual scenes within Evolution's Darling are quite descriptive without being graphic in the manner of scenes commonly found in romance novels. Darling is an artificial intelligence whose body is composed of "a fine web of motile, sensory, and broadcast-capable elements constantly reconfiguring itself". The lack of standard human physiology makes it incumbent upon the writer to explain the mechanical elements of a coupling. The tone is more descriptive and explanatory than directed towards the goal of sexual arousal.

Although other sexual encounters are said to have occurred, only four appear "on screen" comprising approximately 9 of the 290 pages. Three of these scenes are between Darling and a female while the fourth is a lesbian encounter. Two of the scenes with Darling have the greatest potential to make the reader uncomfortable. The most disturbing aspects described are the direct contact with internal organs including heart, lungs, and stomach as well as rough sex. (Repeated allusions are made to the results of rough sex having occurred "off-screen".) References are also made to anal intercourse, erotic asphyxiation, and restriction of movement -- described as necessary so that the human is not damaged by the portions of Darling in contact with internal organs. The acts are clearly consensual without any overtones of rape, torture, or domination.

I would without reservation recommend this book to a Science Fiction book club or genre study. I have, and will continue, to recommend it to readers of cyberpunk, although I would not recommend it without caveats to general Science Fiction readers unfamiliar with cyberpunk. ( )
  ktoonen | Sep 18, 2008 |
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Does a clone have a soul? Darling, an astronavigational control unit and personal companion, achieves sentience and wants to know. Now, 200 years and an artificial body later, he is off in search of a dead artist, a living artwork, and the forces behind a mystery that spans the universe. Accompanied by a female assassin, he'll confront the Maker and get the answer.

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