Just finished reading Divergence by Tony Ballantyne.
Another very good SF novel from Ballantyne. I thought the earlier novel Capacity, was also very good, but this didn't quite live up to it.
The disturbing concept of Capacity was fleshed out nicely, essentially that of an AI dictator, although a very nice one at that. I thought the novel played out a couple of ideological extreme cases and I don't think either are particularly compelling. The other extreme case is that of software for dealing completely fair transactions and towards the end starts to feel very socialist, and next to the AI dictator makes a very strong contrast. The resulting good vs evil trope wasn't clear for most of the novel, which I liked, but I wasn't convinced at all by the ending. The "Fair Exchange" entity just didn't seem believable, and the explanations and reasoning were more obtuse than a lot of magic you find in SF.
Still, I really like the Dark Seeds, and Dark Plants concept in this novel - now that is really cool.
2 weeks ago