|Author: Greg Bear|
|In the sixth decade of the 21st century, Earth has been transformed. Nanotechnology has been perfected, giving humans the ability to change their environment and themselves down to the cellular level. And the study of the mind has brought a revolution in human psychotherapy and artificial intelligence. It''s a sane and perfect world--almost.|
From the Publisher:
In the sixth decade of the 21st century, the world has been transformed. Nanotechnology has been perfected, giving humans the ability to change their environment and themselves on the cellular level. And the study of the mind has brought about a revolution in both human psychotherapy and artificial intelligence.||It’s a sane and perfect world. Almost.||A man called Jack Giffey is planning to break into the Omphalos, the most secure building in all of separatist Green Idaho. Rumor says that the Omphalos houses the not-quite-dead, the very wealthy deceased who are still alive, their brains connected directly into Thinkers, Artificial Intelligences that provide a virtual reality. Data is the great treasure of the new millenium, and Giffey plans to tap into the Omphalos datastream, to steal the knowledge gathered by the inhabitants of the Omphalos. |In the offices of Mind Design, Inc., the most advanced Artificial Intelligence in the world has had a unique experience. She has received a request for contact from a new AI, one she does not know and did not help to design. Jill has never met a stranger of her own kind before; is it an alien Thinker, or the offspring of some vast conspiracy?||Slant is set in Bear’s Queen of Angels universe, and is one of the great SF novels of the 1990s.
The fourth volume in a loose series that began with "Queen of Angels", and continued with "Heads" and "Moving Mars". Half of the population is addicted to a new form of virtual reality and the other half suffers personality breakdowns as a result of "therapy" designed to keep them happy. Meanwhile, two super computers that have each managed to become sentient, struggle to control the destiny of a nation, and one lowly thief, who is not what he seems, begins to discover things about himself that even he didn't know.
"['Slant'] is tense and fast-paced, beautifully written with complex, engaging characters and a story line that unfolds like an origami puzzle. Bear's nanotech future is utterly plausible (whether you think nanotech itself is plausible), and rich in carefully worked detail." - Daniel Marcus 07/13/1997 New York Review of Science Fiction
"Beneath its baroque, hard-sf exterior, there is a palpable sense of sympathy for the imperfect, imperfectable majority, and for all of the commonplace victims of depression, loneliness, mental instability, and marital discord. Bear's unmistakable moral outrage at the self-serving elitism of the Aristos, and their many real world analogs, lends a potent emotional edge to the novel. At the same time, his inventiveness and attention to detail add depth and resonance to what is surely one of the more thoroughly imagined futures to arise from the field in recent years." - Bill Sheehan February 1998