Ares Express

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McDonald, Ian . Ares Express. New York: Pyr Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2010. For other issues of the novel and links to reviews, see Internet Speculative Fiction Database, linked here.[1]

Reviewed by Patrick Casey, SFRA Review #292 (Winter 2010).[2] Casey says of the human/machine relation ship in the novel that it is set on a

world where quantum machines shape reality and even humans are capable of seeing and manipulating quantum states. The key distinction between the quantum machines and humans is that the machines inherently operate at the quantum mechanical level. They can’t help but view the universe as a string of probabilities. Humans, on the other hand, must approach the quantum realm circuitously, through reflections, mechanical inventions, or mystic rituals.

The relationship between man, machine, and reality is further complicated by a theology that has developed around [p. 14] the quantum machines. Long ago, these machines became self aware. This development inevitably led them into conflict with their human creators. Partly through the intercession of an incorporeal human, a détente was established that left most of the artificial intelligences in permanent orbit around Ares where they act as “angels” ensuring the continuing habitability of the planet below. (pp. 14-15)

See for a kind of amalgam of SF and magic-realism, plus "a healthy helping of humor" (Casey, p. 14), looking at the possibility for true AI (artificial intelligence), with consciousness and religious implications.

RDE, finishing, 19Mar21