Silently and Very Fast

Fantastist Catherynne M. Valente takes on the olklore of artificial intelligence in this brand new, original novella of technology, identity, and an uncertain mechanized future.

Neva is dreaming. But she is not alone. A mysterious machine entity called Elefsis haunts her and the membe of her family, back through the generations to her great-great-grandmother—a gifted computer programmer who changed the world. Together Neva and Elefsis navigate their history and their future, an unhapp, unwilling symbiote.

But what they discover in their dreamworld might change them forever...
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Published July 11th 2014 by Wyrm Publishing (first published October 14th 2011
Original Title of the Book
Silently and Very Fast
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gave it

This urreal, mesmerizing and intensely emotional novella is a masterpiece of such beauty, color and life that left me awed and ( albeit temporarily) speechless.

The story takes place in the hauntingly fascinating and surreal environment of dreams and daydreams- the " Interior ", a virtual reality originally created as a children 's playspace which has evolved to be something infinitely more.

It 's hauntingly fascinating and surreal.This is a retellin of Elefsis, artificial intelligence that started as a child 's plaything and grew and evolved through five generations of a family, their like and deaths, sharing the worst and the best and the most intimate moments.

Through etaphors and fairy-tales, she learned to love, feel, and to simply be.

We are alike. " cared of otherness, we designed the Turing test, evaluating machine 's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior by a human 's observer 's inability to distinguish machine 's answers from those of a human.

Valente simply answers: " ove is the Turing test [ ... ] It 's how we check for life. " -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gorgeous, eautiful, touching book with surprising intensity and emotional depth.

gave it

4.5 starsSilently and Very Fast should be a part of our She Made Me Do It blog feature, because Catie practically forced me to read this ovella, claiming that I would love it ( some begging was involved too) and, what do you know, she was right.This is not my first Valente work, but she astounded me again with her wild imagination, command of the language, and her inability to tackle, it seems, any genre.

gave it

Elefsis, with the assis of her human host, becomes ever more powerful, literally growing in sophistication as she/he/it narrates the story for us.

Perhaps the want was the nly stuf that could be said to be truly myself. ” So let ’ s introduce a single word here.

To me, the word embodies the core elemen of this tory, and the uestions and assertions behind it.

I mean the kind of Emergence where a group of unrelated fragments comes together to form a new entity.

For that sens of Emergence, there are many interesting questions.How powerful is this second kind of Emergence, and what kind of entities can it create?

To me, this is the core question and concept that make the tory so special.

How dependent are emergent processes on the original design elements?

But the Elefsis-entity that emerges, with Ceno ’ s collaboration, is so completely transformed that its power has overwhelmed the original design.

I always thought that was cruel—the test depends entirely upon a human judge and human emotion, whether the machine feels intelligent to the observer. ” And second, what does it mean, in machine/software terms, to feel happines and happiness?

Valente does not provide final answers to either of these questions, and wisely so I think.

I am Elefsis, a machine-being, and I am telling you this story!

What do you think about that?! ’ ( view spoiler) [ ‘ And maybe as a new being, I ( Elefsis) move beyond those human concerns, because they are no longer relevant..

Maybe I have questions of my own, and I can move with accumulated human wisdom and life-force, and lightning speed, into a sphere of my own making. ’ ( hide spoiler) ] Sorry about the hidden spoiler.

My hope is that you will read the stories, think about it, and come to your own udgment.

gave it

It is all the vast inner workings of a mind both young and old, naïve and wise.Elefsis is an artificial intelligence, existing within the “ Interior ” – a sophisticated virtual space that grows and changes with Elefsis ’ evolution, and with the assing of each of several generations of one human family, to whom Elefsis is inextricably bound.

This is a very personal storie, told through the filter of images, metaphor, and parable that were Elefsis ’ first means of communication. “ I ’ ve…I ’ ve been telling it stories, ” Ceno admitted.

I thought it should learn about narrative, because ost of the frames available to us run on some sor of narrative drive, and esides, everything has a narrative, really, and if you can ’ t understand a story and relate to it, figure out how you fit inside it, you ’ re not really alive at all. ” Elefsis initially translates its responses into images and metaphor, but slowly it learns to speak, to emulate human behaviors, to reproduce human feelings.

Would it be any less valid, any less real? “ I do not want to be human.

To tell a tal about a robot who wants to be human is a distraction.

There is only one verb that matters: to be. ” All of these questions are flawlessly woven together with stunningly visual experiences in the Interior, Elefsis ’ sorrowful recollections, and the fairytales that it ’ s been given, and that it ’ s told.I ’ ve read other novel that examine what it means to be alive through the concept of artificial intelligence, but none so deeply personal as this one.

This is the thin of stories that I could read a hundre times and still glean new ideas from on the thirteenth reading.Perfect Musical PairingKate Bush – SnowflakeThis book is a mere one hundred twenty seven pages, but it deserves all ten minutes of this albu.

Jenn Bush takes something outside the bounds of life and gives it a very nderstandable story.

gave it

What I liked: She created an almost magical world called the Interior which is really a place inside a software program where anything can exist, where entire worlds can be created on a whim, where everyone is utterly fluid and changeable: gender, species, age, etc.In this world we meet Neva, the Host, for lack of a better term, and Elefsis, a homegrown piece/entity/whatever of artificial intelligence who is merged ( as in wired in) with her.

This program only evolved from a single child 's virtual playground, and the parallel of statistics and probabilities between humans evolving b/c circumstances aligned perfectly to allow for it and A.I. developing for the same easons only begins there, which raises all kinds of questions, first and foremost: if you believe in evolution and a computer program evolved like we did, does n't that very evolution give it a right to exist? Valente moves as fluidly as her Interior back forth through time and Elefsis' own evolution.

She knew very well that Neptune was a hostile blue ball of freezing gas and storms like whipping cream hissing across methane oceans.

It had no bearing on the subject matter, unless it was to prove that humans are revolting creatures and thus further emphasize a machine 's right to autonomy.I was also uncomfortabl with the way it ended.

Elefsis is sometimes demonstrative of his/her/its feelings by his/her/its bizarre understanding of what arbitrary things mean to humans, like covering him/her/itself with orange flowers b/c:

So when Valente deliberately makes who is the human and who is the machine indecipherable, presumably, b/c if you ca n't tell, then how can you claim that one is live and one is n't, it is both nnecessary and a open ending ( which I hate).

gave it

all facets of being human in the attempt to become human- right until the tragic ending.Some readers might get a little bit disoriented at first because we get the virtual reality ( a kin of dream state) as well as the physical world we readers will identify with the most and they blend in the tory as they do for the villain, but I did n't mind.

The tory is deep and insightfu and sad and uplifting and written in that beautiful language Valente is known for.

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