Need help IDing a sci-fi novel about the building of an interstellar transport network, a mean ship AI, and first contact with an unknowable alien intelligence
April 13, 2011 6:19 PM   Subscribe

Can you help me identify this SF novel? Female protagonist is employed overseeing the construction of a transportation network into deep space. She has to deal with the ship's AI who is trying to turn her son (also a crew member) against her. They run into a very strange intelligent creature and try to figure out how to keep from destroying it with their gateway network, while also carefully monitoring the amount of time that she spends outside of suspended animation.

Yeah, another book ID question. The science is pretty hard, there are lots of twists, and I'm finding it impossible to Google. Most of the relevant details I can remember are above (couple others: all the other crew members have died, including her mate; a lot is made of the fact that she's on a mission that Earth might have outgrown hundreds of thousands of their years ago), but I know I've read it recently and I thought it had been recommended somewhere on Metafilter (that's where I get most of my book recs, anyway). It reminded me a lot of Blindsight, the Peter Watts novel, but it's not that and I've never read any of his other books. I liked it a lot. Any help appreciated.
posted by penduluum to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Peter Watts' The Island? It won a Hugo this year.
posted by bcwinters at 6:21 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Turns out that's part of why I couldn't find it: not a novel at all. Also probably why it reminded me of Blindsight. Thanks, bcwinters.
posted by penduluum at 6:26 PM on April 13, 2011

Looks like bcwinters beat me to it by a country mile. I have to say, I read this story, and I really did not understand it. Would appreciate any insights into just what the heck was going on here! (Maybe it's just me - I tend to find Watts very opaque. Felt similarly about Blindsight.)
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:54 PM on April 13, 2011

I loved loved loved this story and am only slightly disappointed that bcwinters beat me to the best answer.
posted by Aquaman at 8:28 PM on April 13, 2011

There's some analysis/explanation in this blue thread about the story. (I also found the ending kind of confusingly written.)
posted by bcwinters at 8:28 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Finally one I know!

I read this in the collection The New Space Opera 2. Got it for the Scalzi, stayed for a lot of other excellent stories.
posted by themissy at 8:43 AM on April 14, 2011

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