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Dreaming Metal (1997)

de Melissa Scott

Séries: Dreamships (2)

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2455111,820 (3.95)7
Five years after the Manfred riots, the question of machine intelligence is still a dangerous one on Persephone, and the coolie rights organization Realpeace is not prepared to let it go. For conjurer Celinde Fortune and her musician cousin Fanning Jones, the conflict is a distant one -- until the murder of a popular musician raises the stakes even for the most determinedly uninvolved. And when Fortune acquires a new Spelvin construct to manage her magic act --one originally owned by an FTL pilot named Reverdy Jian -- she is thrust suddenly into the middle of the problem. Because this construct is something different, and that difference can get them all killed.… (mais)
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Exibindo 5 de 5
3.5 stars
If I were breaking up with this book, I would say, "It's not you, it's me." I don't think I was intelligent enough to understand what was going on in this novel. There were so many technologies, ethnic groups, etc. that were never fully explained. I don't think I have the right kind of brain for world-building of that type. For example, there were two extremist groups, one called Realpeace and the other Dreampeace. Those sound so similar to me I didn't even realize there were two until halfway through the book. Then it started to make a lot more sense! : ) Maybe if I had read the companion novel first it would have helped. Although I was confused a lot of the time, I also had a strong sense of what I thought was going to happen. Then that thing did happen, and that was it it, the end, so I felt like I was waiting for more. Dreaming Metal was told by three different narrators. I think I also made a false assumption that because the book was a Lambda winner, it would showcase some same-sex relationships, but there were just brief mentions or minor characters, which is totally fine but I had wrong expectations. Certain incidents that happened in the book really did have me on the edge of my seat, though. I also very much enjoyed reading about Fanning Jones' band Fire/Work, and I think you have to be a really great writer to make an imaginary band's music so fascinating. For all my complaints, this book made me think (even if a lot of those thoughts were "huh?") and I think it deserves high marks. ( )
  jollyavis | Dec 14, 2021 |
I liked this better on second read. Although in theory it stands alone, it really makes much more sense when read with knowledge of what happened five years beforehand, in [b:Dreamships|836601|Dreamships|Melissa Scott|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1282549131s/836601.jpg|822212]: those events cast a long shadow over the individuals and societies in this story. The main characters in that book are secondary or background characters in this one.

Two of the viewpoint characters in this book are performers: Fortune is an illusionist -- not the fantasy-magic kind, the smoke and mirrors kind; and Fanning is the fx guy in a band, which I appreciate more now that I am a slightly more educated observer of music videos and have learned to see more of what's in them. Music is important to the story; music as art, and music as emotional expression.

There's also politics and tech, of course, and it's got a very cyberpunk feel (though without the incredibly dark "gritty underbelly" ambiance that seems to characterize most of that subgenre these days).

It's a good read. But read the first one first. ( )
  VictoriaGaile | Oct 16, 2021 |
I rather enjoyed this. I don't know if it's because it's a sequel or if the first one was like this, but there was a lot going on in the world that was never directly explained, only inferred. It was like she dumped you in the deep end of the pool expecting you to swim or drown, and I rather liked it. YMMV. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Apr 25, 2020 |
Performing magician uses AI machines in act; new machine becomes self-aware
  JohnLavik | Mar 29, 2020 |
This is the sequel to Melissa Scott's "Dreamships." It mostly functions as a standalone novel, with different (although somewhat overlapping) main characters and a separate (although linked) story, but I would still recommend reading Dreamships first, just because the world that Scott creates here is complex, full of different political and racial factions, which are easier to keep track of if you read them in order (which I didn't).
The planet here is an industrial colony, built underground on a rather inhospitable planet. Society is highly stratified, with often-deaf, Asian-descended "coolies" at the bottom - and dissatisfied with their legal rights. Also active is a group agitating for the rights of machine intelligences - even though such a thing hasn't been proven to exist. The coolies are against any "rights" being given to machines that would be greater than their rights - and riots and violence are simmering, and sometimes boiling over. Struggling to work and live in this situation is Celinde, a performance artist who does a stage show involving robotic "karakuri." But when she buys a new computer to help run her show, the computer intelligence seems to her to be genuinely intelligent. And shady - and possibly powerful - elements seem to be after it. Celinde's position is complicated by the fact that she quickly grows to like this possible AI, and doesn't want to give it up to anyone.
Scott does an excellent job of mixing philosophical debate on the nature of sentience with action-filled, tense sequences and a well-realized, unique and believable world. Excellent. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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Persephone (Persephonean, Persephoneans): only inhabited planet of Hades, Midsector III Catalogue listing 1390161.f.CPC#A3B/G6171/884G(3).
Interweave beat and shuttle, image + max-thrust 10.2, cross sine wave 1, 2, 3, homeclick/selfcheck home.
My mother loved the Empires, all nine of them, from Queen-Iron in the west to New Phoenix in the east.
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Five years after the Manfred riots, the question of machine intelligence is still a dangerous one on Persephone, and the coolie rights organization Realpeace is not prepared to let it go. For conjurer Celinde Fortune and her musician cousin Fanning Jones, the conflict is a distant one -- until the murder of a popular musician raises the stakes even for the most determinedly uninvolved. And when Fortune acquires a new Spelvin construct to manage her magic act --one originally owned by an FTL pilot named Reverdy Jian -- she is thrust suddenly into the middle of the problem. Because this construct is something different, and that difference can get them all killed.

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