Arachne

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Mason, Lisa. Arachne. © 1990. New York: AvoNova-Avon, 1992.

A slightly kinder, gentler, and somewhat less bloody cyberpunk novel, with a human woman and female-gendered AI sort-of robot as protagonists, "telespace" open to the arrival of archetypes, and ethical issues handled with insight. As in W. Gibson's Neuromancer series, there is drug use, mega-firms, "transcendent" entities in cyberspace, and AI's, but their use is more serious here. The drugs work, all right, but can be dangerous; the mega-firm we see is a very nasty law firm; the transcendent entities are psychological and historical (plausibly and explicitly from the collective unconscious); and the AI's are relatively realistic serious-comic characters, including the featured, feminine AI, PR. Spinner. (NOTE: We follow the tradition of taking comedy seriously.) See LM's Cyberweb. (RDE, 02/09/95)

Described by Frances Bonner as "female-inflected cyberpunk" if "not women's sf," esp. significant for the AI "Pr Spinner, a very fully characterized and . . . [female] gendered creation." Rev. Bonner in Foundation #54 (Spring 1992): 115-18. ML's telespace, described by Marcia Marx as "a human/computer interface technology similar to Gibson's Neuromancer." (q.v.). Rev. SFRA Newsletter #180 (Sept. 1990): 37-38.