Wyman Ford is back again in "The Kraken Project, "the thrilling new novel from "New York Times "bestselling author Douglas Preston.NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn's great moon, Titan.Read more...
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Wyman Ford is back again in "The Kraken Project, "the thrilling new novel from "New York Times "bestselling author Douglas Preston.NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn's great moon, Titan. It is one of the most promising habitats for extraterrestrial life in the solar system, but the surface is unpredictable and dangerous, requiring the probe to contain artificial intelligence software. To this end, Melissa Shepherd, a brilliant programmer, has developed "Dorothy," a powerful, self-modifying AI whose true potential is both revolutionary and terrifying. When miscalculations lead to a catastrophe during testing, Dorothy flees into the internet.Former CIA agent Wyman Ford is tapped to track down the rogue AI. As Ford and Shepherd search for Dorothy, they realize that her horrific experiences in the wasteland of the Internet have changed her in ways they can barely imagine. And they're not the only ones looking for the wayward software: the AI is also being pursued by a pair of Wall Street traders, who want to capture her code and turn her into a high-speed trading bot.Traumatized, angry, and relentlessly hunted, Dorothy has an extraordinary revelation--and devises a plan. As the pursuit of Dorothy converges on a deserted house on the coast of Northern California, Ford must face the ultimate question: is rescuing Dorothy the right thing? Is the AI bent on saving the world... or on wiping out the cancer that is humankind?
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-03-31
- Reviewer: Staff
This flawed thriller with a science fiction twist from bestseller Preston (Impact) features Melissa Shepherd, an erratic genius programmer, who creates an artificial intelligence program called Dorothy Gale, after the heroine of the Oz books, for the Kraken Project, a remote probe to Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. When, in a simulated test on Earth, Dorothy discovers the reality of the outside world, she goes into panic mode. Melissa can’t turn Dorothy off or prevent her from escaping into the Internet, where she threatens to find and kill Melissa. Readers with even a cursory interest in artificial intelligence development will find the characterization of Dorothy preposterous and unscientific. Dorothy is unwilling to make copies of herself for a reason not stated, for example. Worse, Dorothy’s apparent turn away from malevolence occurs offstage and is, in a literal sense, a deus ex machina moment that makes hash of an already weak story. Agent: Eric Simonoff, WME. (May)