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The Lifecycle of Software Objects
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Group Reads 2015 > February 2015 Groupread - The Lifecycle of Software Objects

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message 1: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo | 1092 comments This is to discuss February 2015's group read - The Lifecycle of Software objects.


message 2: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo | 1092 comments I've not read Ted Chiang before but looking on Amazon this book is only available in hardcover, and used is $30 so i'm going to have to see if I can get it from our local library.

If I can't i'd like to read something by him so I may well read Stories of Your Life and Others as this is available for Kindle. Has anybody read this one?


message 4: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo | 1092 comments Jim wrote: "The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang is available for free here:
http://subterraneanpress.com/magazine......"


That's great thanks Jim, I can read it now.


message 5: by Buck (last edited Feb 01, 2015 07:38AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Buck (spectru) | 899 comments Jo wrote: "I've not read Ted Chiang before but looking on Amazon this book is only available in hardcover, and used is $30 so i'm going to have to see if I can get it from our local library.

If I can't i'd ..."


I got The Lifecycle of Software Objects from my library. I've read all of Ted Chiang's published work, I think. He is a favorite author. Stories of Your Life and Others is very good.


message 6: by Buck (last edited Feb 02, 2015 08:19AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Buck (spectru) | 899 comments I finished this a couple days ago. It's short and a quick read. Here is my review:

This is Ted Chiang's most recent book, and at 150 pages his longest. I think I've read everything else he's published, which is a small body of work. Chiang's stories are special; They're different, original.

This story is about the development of artificial intelligence, digital beings raised like children. It's about love of people for artificial people, about the personhood status of artificial sentient entities, and about their exploitation. The story is about the emotional involvement the people have in the AI entities they own and the quandaries they face in a changing technological world. Chiang raises these issues in The Lifecycle of Software Objects, but he doesn't resolve them.

The character development isn't deep for the main human characters nor the artificial characters, and the emotional relationships among them are not fully expressed. That remains for a different work, a longer work, perhaps by a different author.



Michael | 7 comments I loved this - one of the best things I've read for ages.

I'm curious though if readers' responses are influenced by their personal circumstances - if they are parents, if they are pet owners, etc. I found it really hard to disassociate the story from my own experience of being a parent for example.


message 8: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo | 1092 comments I really liked this as well. Having neither pets or children I can't say my personal circumstances influenced my enjoyment. Saying that I do love Japanese animé especially Ghilbli and so walking talking animals is something I love so I guess this is probably tailored for me!

The story was really well written and just drew me in. I liked the way it evolved and it didn't become too sentimental or opt for a traditional ending. Very impressive for a book of only 150 pages. Definitely one of my favourites that I've read with the group.


message 9: by Buck (last edited Feb 08, 2015 06:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Buck (spectru) | 899 comments Having had both children and pets, I dont think that this particularly provided empathy with the characters. In fact, I felt them to be slightly peculiar. I think I probably would have been a digient owner who suspended his digient and moved on. Something that perhaps did help me empathize with the characters was an emotional bond I once had with an antique car, that I had to sell because I simply could not afford its restoration and it needed a good home.


David | 3 comments I thought the story was interesting enough and the concepts flow held me in the story to finish it, however, I kept thinking why don't they just own a digital pet or have a child when the real things are both more fun. The story is well written, characters are interesting and would read more of his work.


message 11: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo | 1092 comments David wrote: "I thought the story was interesting enough and the concepts flow held me in the story to finish it, however, I kept thinking why don't they just own a digital pet or have a child when the real thin..."

I see your point but there is a certain appeal to be able to put things on pause or rewind them back to a certain point and do it again in a different way. It's parenting with no real responsibility.

People are retreating more into a virtual world and so in some cases it's a kind of natural progression for people that don't really want to interact with real people.


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