Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review: Demon Seed

Author: Dean Koontz
Pages: 307
ISBN: 9780425228968
Buy it from The Book Depository

In the privacy of her own home, and against her will, Susan Harris will experience an inconceivable act of terror. She will become the object of the ultimate computer’s consuming obsession: to learn everything there is to know about human flesh.

The Verdict

I’ve had this book in my collection for ages and I just never got round to reading it.  While taking a break from reading lengthy sci-fi I finally picked it up.  I was very pleasantly surprised since this is the first real horror sci-fi I’ve read by Koontz and he does an admirable job.

The story revolves around Adam 2 (or Proteus as he calls himself), a sentient machine intelligence, and his fixation on the wife of his creator.  He traps Susan in her automated home and tries to create a genetically altered baby into which he can transfer his AI consciousness in order to gain a body of his own

The story is told from the viewpoint of Proteus and touches on quite a few problems/desires a sentient AI might have to cope with.  Even though he appears somewhat childlike in some aspects he makes HAL from 2001 look reasonably tame (and sane!) at times.

Since the original story was written in 1973 and later revised in 1997 it’s a story that really was quite a bit ahead of its time.  Even the author doesn't think the 1973 edition was up to scratch, so make sure that you get the revised edition.

Rating 6.5/10

Buy it from The Book Depository

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