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Transcension. (Science, Fiction, Fantasy & Horror).

BRODERICK, Damien. Transcension. Tar. 348p. c2002. 0-765-30370-1. $14.95.


In a future world where nanotechnology is commonplace and an artificial intelligence (Aleph) governs, the lives of Amanda and Mathewmark entwine. Amanda eloquently describes herself as "Gene-tweaked, adolescence plateau extended, super-oxide dismutase mimetics. telomerase transducers, developmental cascade inhibited until Maturity." (She speaks to imitate artificial intelligence and does not use connector words-it's all the rage at the mall.) She won't reach Maturity until age 30, two years away. Mathewmark, on the other hand, is a real 19-year-old, living in the only place they still exist, the Valley of the God of One's Choice. In this preserve live those who eschew technology, choosing to live simpler lives. Amanda plans to break into the preserve to use their ventilation shaft to access the underground super subway system so she and a friend can ride atop one of the trains, gaining glory with the mall crowd. They manage to do just that, only Mathewmark follows them and attempts to ride without proper equi pment. Her friend dies, and Mathewmark sustains such drastic brain damage that his only chance of survival is the implantation of a connection to the governing network in what is left of his brain.

Throughout the entire story, vignettes from the Al. Aleph. are inserted. Aleph is becoming sentient and has some unusual ideas about where Earth's future lies. At the end of the book, Aleph causes solar Singularities or Spikes, so it can be "turned into electricity to power tiny self-replicating nanogadgets to chew up a planet or moon, then sequester the materials." Although the Amanda/Mathewmark story is compelling, the added Aleph subplot makes this most appropriate for good readers who are mature enough to handle the vocabulary and concepts. Sherry S. Hoy, Media Spec., Tuscarora J.H.S., Mifflintown, PA
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Author:Hoy, Sherry S.
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2003
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