Re: MacLeod's Cassini Division

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Tue Oct 03 2000 - 22:34:59 MDT

At 11:42 AM 3/10/00 -0400, Robin wrote:

>>The particular evil horror
>>uploads you mention are explicitly a kind of botched first pass, as I

>In Cassini Division, the good AIs are those that retain human form,
>environment, speed, and styles of thought, while the bad AIs are those
>that do not. It seems from what you are saying that this is also true
>in the Stone Canal as well. So what do you think I've gotten wrong?

I don't have the books to hand, but my guess is that MacLeod explicitly
sets up a variety of kinda kneejerk or ideological reactions to all manner
of things that are often later reversed or at least modified as the
characters learn more, and certainly as the reader sees more variations
than any of the characters do. You might well be correct that this
anti-upload/non-humanoid prejudice seems reinforced by his extant novels,
but I think that's just an accident of the stories he's happened to tell.
(Which, granted, might be sufficient for your purposes.) There's no one,
consistent `line' being run in his work (as there is, maybe, in Asimov's).
You might as well say he argues for nano Difference Engines in preference
to electronic computers, but again that's just an accidental side-effect (a
rather clever and amusing one) of the gloabl EM pulse weapons used in one
of the books.

Damien Broderick

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