By Tony Ballantyne

Welcome to the 12 months 2252—and congratulations! You’re now a character build. we all know that may be a frightening degree of private improvement, specially for those who don’t take into account making this life-changing choice. yet we’re the following to help….Helen is waking to a gloomy new reality—one that she’s sure she didn’t decide upon. during this borrowed lifestyles, she reveals an unforeseen consultant in Judy, a geisha-faced virgin who’s on a challenge of her personal. jointly, the 2 of them start a perilous run via dozens of imagined worlds in an try to capture a psychopath haunting the shadowed components of digital space—a killer who brutally murdered an prior model of Helen and who plans to kill back. in the meantime, Justinian is investigating a unusual rash of AI suicides on far away planets—and reveals that not just is there extra to those “deaths” than he suggestion, yet that they're associated with his spouse Anya’s mysterious coma.In a destiny the place AIs have taken over human existence and the surroundings service provider runs every little thing for our personal strong, the truth that we will live to tell the tale after actual dying as sentient electronic beings must have been an excellent factor. as a substitute, as Helen and Justinian are approximately to find, it simply capacity there are extra how you can die.

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Judy 3's lips curled in a faint smile. "Well, no. We do make a topological outline for possible forensic pattern-matching routines, but nothing else. Why should we? " "Yes, but—" "But nothing. That was decided long ago. You are the here and now, not the backup copy. " "Eva Rye…" began Helen, but Judy 3 had tilted her head slightly, listening to the shushing of her console. "Ah, the atomic Judy has made contact. Hello, AJ. " Helen's eyes narrowed. "That means you've got a connection to the outside world.

The AI pod is about to commit suicide, for whatever reason. Maybe it wants to warn others about what has happened. What to do? It has access to vast libraries of data. Records of every human that has ever lived are stored inside it. It does a search for the human most likely to help it. Is it any wonder that it comes up with the same answer as the EA has? " Justinian stared at Leslie, wondering. Maybe it was true. Maybe he was being hasty, wanting to leave the planet. The baby bit at his collar again, then began slobbering over his cheek.

Not to tell them the way they should live. " Helen was staring out into the darkness of space, visibly overwhelmed by the dark wall of the Shawl. " she asked suddenly. Judy 3 raised a black eyebrow to the atomic Judy. Her kimono was invisible against the dark night beyond her, giving her the appearance of a disembodied head and hands floating in the darkness. " She spoke in a carefully noncommittal voice. " Helen scowled. " she asked. " The atomic Judy's reply was gentle. "Come on. " "Me? Why should I commit suicide?

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