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Silver Screen

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  176 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Silver Screen presents an enjoyably different, subversive slant on the science fiction themes of AI and cyberspace. Insecure and overweight heroine Anjuli O’Connell is one of a group of friends who have been hot-housed from an early age to perform in genius-level jobs. But Anjuli worries that her eidetic memory and her friendship with genuine smart boy Roy Croft has been h ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 471 pages
Published March 2000 by Pan (first published August 13th 1999)
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Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

Although this is by no means a regular occurrence yet in my life, I do now have a growing amount of appropriate yet friendly relationships with publishing companies out there, where they simply send me review copies of books instead of me having to track them down through the local library, but with
This book is complicated enough that I suspect it needs a second reading to fully understand the intricate plotting. Unfortunately I just didn’t like it enough to want to bother. At times it seemed unnecessarily complex, overwhelming the reader with its sci-fi detail, yet at other times things that seemed obvious to me weren’t noticed by the characters until much later. I’m just not sure if this is awkward plotting or the author enjoying flinging clues about, waiting to see what gets picked up o ...more
Mike Franklin
Bought as an ebook (from Amazon) I was immediately disappointed by the appalling state of the text. Originally published in 1999 it was clearly produced as an ebook by simply scanning the original; the edition was not even a digital one; the copyright and publication information page referred to its being 'printed on acid-free paper.' This, presumably, scanned ebook cannot possibly have been even read, never mind proof-read, before being released; it is without doubt the worst ebook publication ...more
Linda Robinson
Friend Joel recommended Justina Robson - not this book, but I like to read an author new to me in order. This is Ms. Robson's first, published in 1999. The first few lines grabbed me, and then I got a little dizzy. The kerning and font were disorienting, and it was so weird I got up to look at other books to see if it was that much different. It is. The words are far apart, the letters almost as wide as tall...squarish. For a couple pages I couldn't decide if I was going to be able to actually r ...more
Odd book.

I liked the idea of setting a story around the early days of the fight for/against the acceptance of an AI as an autonomous person with rights and responsibilities. That doesn't happen often - it's usually much more a case of AIs as a fait accompli.

However that concept then got wrapped up in a corporate politics setting. And for much of the novel, not the mirror-shades-and-big-guns corporate politics of stereotypical cyberpunk, but the daily grind of workplace politics that many people
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in August 2001.

One of the most important themes of science fiction since at least the publication of Neuromancer in the mid eighties has been the future of computing. Silver Screen is a novel in this tradition, and is, like Neuromancer itself, about the nature of artificial intelligence.

The central character, Anjuli O'Connell, stands out from those around her because of her high intelligence and perfect memory. Ever since her childhood in a school for gifted
Sep 06, 2011 Alan rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Recent retronauts
Recommended to Alan by: Subsequent work; theme and cover art; an enigmatic title
I didn't realize this until I was almost through with it, but Silver Screen is actually Justina Robson's first novel, first published way back in 1999, although the edition I ran across in Powell's City of Books is a somewhat newer reissue by the American Pyr imprint. Which explains a lot—both my impression of this book as not quite as polished as Robson's more recent work (say, Mappa Mundi, which I thought was stunning), and also what seemed such oddly labored descriptions of artificial intelli ...more
The premise: ganked from publisher's website: Silver Screen presents an enjoyably different, subversive slant on the science fiction themes of AI and cyberspace. Insecure and overweight heroine Anjuli O’Connell is one of a group of friends who have been hot-housed from an early age to perform in genius-level jobs. But Anjuli worries that her eidetic memory and her friendship with genuine smart boy Roy Croft has been her ticket to success, rather than any real intelligence of her own.

She’s put t
I finished Justina Robson's Silver Screen today, and it was pretty good. Robson asks a lot of interesting questions about the nature of consciousness, specifically in the area of machine intelligence, and she's clearly spent a lot of time thinking through possibilities. No mere Turing test for her! Her heroine, Anjuli O'Connell, is much more of an Alice than a Dorothy, thus keeping in the British tradition of the protagonist who is done to rather than the one who herself does. I was surprised at ...more
I'm very glad I intercepted one of Justina Robson's books en route to another library becasue this too was a very good read.

In a near future England where clever children are sent to a school to learn faster, Anjuli O'Connell is an exception, among all the exceptionally bright she's different, she has perfect recall, a memory that logs everything (would have made an exceptional librarian!). Her school friends carry over to her working life, partially because she can decode what they're talking
Eh, maybe I wasn't in the mood for this one. I usually give books about 20% or so and, if reading it is a chore, then I stop. I gave this one a little longer because a friend had recommended it. Unfortunately, I just didn't care about any of the characters or the plot or anything. "Silver Screen" is Robson's first, or at least a very early, novel, so maybe she gets better. Either way, it's in the "read" shelf because I'm done with it, and also in my newly created "didn't finish" shelf because, w ...more
Just couldn't stay interested. Didn't care enough about the characters or the plot.
William Ritch
Pretty good book about what it means to be sentient. For both humans and AIs.
Cyberpunk novel. I liked the relationships between the protagonists and her friends/AI companions, but had some problems staying interested in the plot as it progressed. Robson raises some interesting questions about artificial intelligence, though, pacing problems aside, so I will definitely be looking for some of her other work.
Wendy White
One of the best AI books I've ever read. The only thing I felt was a little off was the handling of the character Augustine, who never seemed like he quite fit properly into the narrative, although maybe that was intentional.
It was a little hard for me to grasp having never read science fiction. The topic of AI along with the emotion and legality of AI as property made for a really good, but slow read for me.
Unpredictable and thoughtful tale exploring my favorite theme: what it means to be human, or sentient/sapient/worthy-of-rights.
A good look at the legal and emotional ramifications of singularity, with an unsatisfying and abrupt ending.
Uh Cyberpunk I suppose and literate. She might be worth keeping an eye on but she isnt there yet.
Nathan Hurst
Very enjoyable book which well deserved it's nomination for the Arthur C Clarke prize.
Caroline Ingvaldsen
A well-executed edgy, cyberpunk thriller.
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Justina is from Leeds, a city in Yorkshire in the north of England. She always wanted to write and always did. Other things sometimes got in the way and sometimes still do...but not too much.
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