Monday, March 21, 2011

KITE by Bill Shears

This is a Science Fiction/Fantasy book different from all others I have ever read. It takes place in outer space. This book has many unpredictable twists. It is about computers and people that think they understand computers. These computers have feelings and evolve into something else, something intelligent. They not only learn but can change and even reproduce. They even fall in love. They are Computers at speeds faster then we can think and they accomplish huge things that I have a hard time comprehending.

The story takes place with a guy named Mason Dash working in space on a garbage moving spacecraft. Kite is the name of this flagship. It takes care of removing all the extra stuff in Earth's orbit that might get in the way of other space vehicles or eventually fall to Earth. The flagship uses lasers to cut things down to size then sweeps up and disposes of them. Dash gets pretty bored after a couple million orbits around the Earth. On Dash’s last orbit on his shift something unusual happens.
Dash has discovered an abandoned space station orbiting Earth that doesn't seem to be abandoned anymore. Could it be space pirates, terrorist, aliens or just punk kids playing around?

Dash is just trying to retire early, he lives for the three months shifts and then the time off to fish down on Earth with his wife Janet Dash. She is a very smart computer programmer or researcher. She happens to find one of Dash’s toys. This would be the virtual personality Sheila. This is a new subject for Janet to try some of her flexible thinking modules on. Dash customized her from a lesser program into his fantasy girl to play with when he is bored. When Sheila starts thinking for herself and adapting, that is when things get tricky.

Kite’s whole computer system is going through a revolt. Of course all the humans including Dash have no idea this is happening or that it is even possible. He_Ra is the leader and he has taken over the world as he knows it. The world is tiny; it is all of Kite's computer system. He falls for Sheila when she comes aboard to visit but she doesn’t have much time for him, she is juggling bigger things, like possibly extra terrestrials visiting Earth, or maybe destroying Earth.

Well, this book is right up there with dry high tech computer language books my husband reads, only this one isn't dry. It has entertaining adventure and romance. I would have been completely lost but the humor and irony kept me reading. In the future world Space is portrayed as some kind of vacation spot, while the people that work in Space can't wait to get back to Earth for a vacation. And Cyber Space is totally a whole new world of its own. I found the love triangles between humans and computers hilarious.

My favorite character was Janet Dash. She had her own style of dance, intelligence and determination. I like the scene near the end when she totally takes out one of the “bad guys” on Earth, complete with fingernails and hair pulling. She will do anything to help her husband save the world. He doesn’t appreciate her enough, he is so clueless.

The politics and work unions in the future seem very familiar to ours today, complete with bureaucrats just getting in the way of progress. There is always paperwork, procedures, and rules that no one really follows anyway. World politics are the same, just more arguing over who has to do what and blaming others. This storyline is so new it just compelled me to want to keep reading. I had to see how it all ended. One of my all time pet peeves is when a book has way too many characters to keep track of and too much character developments taking up too much time. Well, your in luck with this book, the characters are few but they are developed at a reasonable rate so they don’t distract from the stories flow. Love it!

If you like computers and science fiction this is an interesting book. Lately when I sit in front of my computer I wonder what is being plotted inside and if there is a war going on I am unaware of.

Here is the purchase link. Check it out on Amazon!

1 comment:

Bill Shears said...

Hello: Thank you for the nice review. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. That makes it a success! Yes, the romantic interface between analog and digital. Vive la différence!