Written on: 25/07/2004 by Harriet Klausner (18660 reviews written)
Julia and the Dream Maker
Traitor Dachshund Books, Sep 244, $13.95, 290 pp.
In the not so distant future, move people have migrated from the countryside to the cities because water rationing makes irrigating farms impractical. Many folks choose to reside in virtual reality and AI has become an accepted life form with legal restrictions outlawing the making of mutations or a new life form.
There are stiff jail sentences related to breaking these laws, but genius Steven Sumter is not concerned as he is not planning to do that. All he wants is enough money to publish his dissertation and to enable him and his girlfriend Eli to use their discoveries for the benefit of mankind. To obtain money, Steven creates an AI rabbit with human DNA and real skin and pretty soon it becomes sentient. The couple and their friend Bennie feel under siege as assailants break into their home and their work facility leading to Steven's arrest. The prosecution paints him as dangerous; he knows he will need every brain cell he has to figure how to get out of this predicament if he has any chance of becoming free.
JULIA AND THE DREAM MAKER paints a world that is intellectually repressive yet technologically advanced as scientists are allowed to legally go so far and no more. Steven is not thinking in terms of the law when he conducts research into areas never done before and cannot grasp at first how much trouble he is in until the prosecution egged on by the military wants to cage him for life. Readers will find this fascinating as Dr. Frankenstein meets big government (except instead of the law it is gold control by providing big funding grants on selected research).
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