Aristide, a semi-retired computer scientist turned swordsman, is a scholar of the implied spaces, seeking meaning amid the accidents of architecture in a universe where reality itself has been sculpted and designed by superhuman machine intelligence. While exploring the pre-technological world Midgarth, one of four dozen pocket universes created within a series of vast, orbital matrioshka computer arrays, Aristide uncovers a fiendish plot threatening to set off a nightmare scenario, perhaps even bringing about the ultimate Existential Crisis: the end of civilization itself. Traveling the pocket universes with his wormhole-edged sword Tecmesssa in hand and talking cat Bitsy, avatar of the planet-sized computer Endora, at his side, Aristide must find a way to save the multiverse from subversion, sabotage, and certain destruction.
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Computer scientist turned wandering swords-man Aristide travels the accidental spaces in the artificial universes of a postsingularity existence in which memory backups are standard and a matrioshka cluster of computers runs the worlds’ workings. On Midgarth, where he has been traversing a desert full of common spiders and ants, he discovers a group of priests involved in a plot that could take down all civilization because of one man’s existential crisis. Williams takes on the artificial-world topos with great style and characterization, enlivening it with spectacular philosophical conversations between Bitsy, avatar of one of the matrioshka brains, and Aristide. Between the implications of living in a world in which death is a minor inconvenience but the loss of time can change relationships forever, and the implications of the theory upon which the yarn’s impending doom depends (a take on the nested multiple universe concept) and the ways in which different experiences can change a person, even starting from exactly the same baseline, Implied Spaces is a thoughtful work of world building and an engaging mystery. --Regina Schroeder
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