Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street.
Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high: no less than the first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he'll be switched off, and they'll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty.
The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. Or so he thinks. Because the universe is full of nasties, and trespassers make them mad – very mad.
Julie, Jeff and Mike discuss the 2013 movie Her: “Sensitive letter writer Theodore has just ended his marriage. Lonely, he goes out to buy an artificially intelligent Operating System that promises to give him everything he needs. Samantha is more than his average OS. She does secretarial work for him but also becomes his friend whenever he’s lonely. They go out on adventures and travel together. He becomes the physical feet to get them places, and she the new eyes in which to see the world. Their intimate moments soon turn into love and they start an unusual relationship between OS and human. Things get complicated as they deal with Theodore’s complex emotions and Samantha’s inability to provide physical comfort. What happens to an OS when its consciousness is altered? Or to a sensitive man who doubts his emotions?” — Marielle on imdb.com
The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity's only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present, and its future.
The first event takes place on Mercury, on the city of Terminator, itself a miracle of engineering on an unprecedented scale. It is an unexpected death, but one that might have been foreseen. For Swan Er Hong, it is an event that will change her life. Swan was once a woman who designed worlds. Now she will be led into a plot to destroy them.
1855: The Industrial Revolution is in full and inexorable swing, powered by steam-driven cybernetic Engines. Charles Babbage perfects his Analytical Engine and the computer age arrives a century ahead of its time. And three extraordinary characters race toward a rendezvous with history - and the future: Sybil Gerard - dishonored woman and daughter of a Luddite agitator; Edward "Leviathan" Mallory - explorer and paleontologist; Laurence Oliphant - diplomat and spy. Their adventure begins with the discovery of a box of punched Engine cards of unknown origin and purpose. Cards someone wants badly enough to kill for...
Part detective story, part historical thriller, The Difference Engine is the first collaborative novel by two of the most brilliant and controversial science fiction authors of our time. Provocative, compelling, intensely imagined, it is a startling extension of Gibson's and Sterling's unique visions - in a new and totally unexpected direction!