Emily Eternal

Emily Eternal

Meet Emily - she can solve advanced mathematical problems, unlock the mind's deepest secrets and even fix your truck's air con, but unfortunately, she can't restart the Sun.She's an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.S...

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Title:Emily Eternal
Author:M.G. Wheaton
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Emily Eternal Reviews

  • Blake Crouch

    Visionary. The best AI character since HAL 9000.

  • K.S. Marsden

    Emily is an artificial consciousness, programmed to read people, and help them with their problems. Threatened with the end of the world, her super-computer and her scientists are enlisted to try and preserve humanity.

    I received a free copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

    Emily is an artificial

    - not artificial intelligence. She's not really sure she can quantify the difference, but it's very important to her. She was designed by scientists to learn and replicate h

    Emily is an artificial consciousness, programmed to read people, and help them with their problems. Threatened with the end of the world, her super-computer and her scientists are enlisted to try and preserve humanity.

    I received a free copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

    Emily is an artificial

    - not artificial intelligence. She's not really sure she can quantify the difference, but it's very important to her. She was designed by scientists to learn and replicate human mannerisms, to be able to access their memories, and sooth their pain. Her program is only in the early stages, but it could be a significant, therapeutic help; especially as the world is coming to an end.

    The sun is expanding, an event that everyone said wouldn't happen for billions of years. It was bad enough when they thought they had years - but now there's only weeks left.

    Emily's talents as a super-computer are called upon, in a last-ditch effort to try and preserve some semblance of humanity for the future. But there are other people, working in the shadows, trying to hijack her plans, which will effectively doom mankind.

    I really liked Emily, she's smart and funny. She's well-aware that she's a computer, and likes to adjust her program, to choose her own personality. She develops opinions of the people around her - friendships, and those she doesn't quite trust.

    Her program is only five years old, and despite having the appearance and maturity of someone in their thirties, Emily is still very innocent. It's quite sweet watching her hold firm to her morals, because her creator did - and then because she's decided it's the right thing to do.

    The story really does examine what it means to be human, and a god (or goddess!). That people are a messy, faulty bunch; but they're generally a well-meaning group that deserve to be saved. It also looks at the lengths you could go to save them, and whether you should.

    Everything was great, and I was completely on board, until the last act. I still enjoyed it, but it was a leap too far for me.

    It was a very clever path to take, but after how systematic everything was, I felt the ending was "And so this happened. The End."

    Soooo many questions.

    Overall, this was a 4.5 out of 5 for me. I look forward to reading more of Wheaton's work.

  • Rosemary Standeven

    This book really grabs you from the first line: “It’s dark, way too dark for the middle of the day. And that’s not where the sky’s supposed to be”.

    So, apocalyptic SciFi – like it said on the cover. But, then suddenly you are inside a young woman’s head who is undergoing psychological therapy for a teenage trauma. The world is about to end, and someone is being treated for a long-ago tragic loss. Soon, five billion plus people will be irreparably traumatised – if they are not already. Why bother

    This book really grabs you from the first line: “It’s dark, way too dark for the middle of the day. And that’s not where the sky’s supposed to be”.

    So, apocalyptic SciFi – like it said on the cover. But, then suddenly you are inside a young woman’s head who is undergoing psychological therapy for a teenage trauma. The world is about to end, and someone is being treated for a long-ago tragic loss. Soon, five billion plus people will be irreparably traumatised – if they are not already. Why bother? But this is what Emily has been built for – to “empathize with mankind … to become the world’s first non-human psychiatrist/brain researcher, versed in unlocking the mind’s deepest, darkest secrets and misspent potential in hopes of bettering mankind”.

    Emily is “an artificial consciousness (AC), which is totally different from artificial intelligence (AI)”. The difference is very important to Emily. “Though still in my experimental stages, I was on track to be a real earth-shattering innovation—the first of a kind! Nobel Prizes all around!—if not for the whole ‘death of civilization’ thing”

    Emily is the narrator, and it is impossible to not think of her as a human being relating her life story. She has no actual body – she exists in a myriad of computer servers and the interface chips through which she communicates directly to human brains. People interacting with Emily can see her, and feel her – as she stimulates their neurons to accept her ‘physical’ presence.

    Emily takes her empathizing very seriously. She needs to know how humans feel, react, live … “I want to see the world. I want to be of the world. No, I need to see and be of the world. Before it’s too late”. So, she ‘washes’ and ‘brushes her hair’ when she ‘gets up’, She ‘walks’ around the campus where she was ‘born’ – even though she could jump almost instantaneously from one spot to another if there are computer connections. But, time and movement are important to humans, so they are important to Emily. She even falls in love – and I dare you to not believe fully in her (reciprocated) love affair with Jason.

    However, Emily has a job to do – somehow she must come up with a plan to save the human race. The first step is to preserve a record of the genetic makeup of EVERY living human. There is a brief discussion of the ethics of doing this without people’s consent, but time is short and Emily’s moral objections (Yes! Emily has VERY strong morals, as every psychiatrist should) are satisfied, so long as only she and her mentor, Nathan, have access. While collating all the data, Emily finds a possible solution – but before she can discuss it with anyone, her lab and servers are all trashed, her ‘colleagues’ are all murdered, and Emily is on the run with Jason.

    It seems someone else also has a plan, and they do not want Emily interfering. The new plan involves selecting “Fifteen hundred allegedly genetically superior people” and blasting them into space to eventually form new extra-terrestrial colonies. Emily is not convinced of the viability – or even the ethics of such a plan: “superior according to whose standard?”. It all smacks too much of eugenics (and the Dr Strangelove Mineshaft plan). Also, “Millions of years of evolution honing a human to hunt on Earth means nothing other than they’d be completely out of place in an extra-terrestrial environment”.

    Of course, there is another worrying twist to the second plan. Which plan will win through? Can both plans work together? Is there any time remaining?

    There are some many questions brought up by this book. Should mankind be saved? What does it mean to ‘save mankind’? What makes us human? Our DNA? Our physical appearance? Our cultures, and shared civilisation? Our experiences? Love? Our ability to think, debate and create? Our advanced scientific technology?

    Emily sees her opponent as believing that “keeping them alive and breeding new generations is the same thing as preserving mankind”. Emily disagrees.

    Emily is one of the most beautifully developed and believable characters ever in fiction. In a world brought up on the “Terminator” films and their ilk, it is so nice to have computer generated entities who really do want to put humanity first – even if their methods might be inhuman.

    I can really highly recommend this book to everyone. Other excellent books dealing with similar themes and ethics are “Chaga” by Ian McDonald, and the “Bridgers” series by Stan C Smith.

    I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  • Lou

    Wow, now that's what I call one beauty of a book. It's the type of novel that gets under your skin and where you can immerse yourself so fully into a vastly different world that you feel completely changed and bereft when the journey comes to the end; it's been on my mind even weeks and weeks after finishing it, and I know this will be an epic adventure I will remember for a very long time. It's wonderfully engaging and broached profound thought-provoking philosophical questions about humanity-

    Wow, now that's what I call one beauty of a book. It's the type of novel that gets under your skin and where you can immerse yourself so fully into a vastly different world that you feel completely changed and bereft when the journey comes to the end; it's been on my mind even weeks and weeks after finishing it, and I know this will be an epic adventure I will remember for a very long time. It's wonderfully engaging and broached profound thought-provoking philosophical questions about humanity- who we are, why are we here etc and also touches on morality and ethics. Protagonist Emily is an artificial consciousness (as opposed to artificial intelligence) and with the sun due to wipe out the earth much earlier than originally thought Emily is called in to help in this urgent situation.

    It's high-octane and action-packed but detail is paid to the smallest aspects of the story too showing just how much time and effort has gone into crafting this sci-fi/speculative fiction masterpiece. The writing is lyrical, a pleasure to read and takes you to a world that is described so beautifully you can envision yourself there with the characters. Some of the science tidbits sprinkled throughout were most intriguing and really made you think about life. There are plenty of emotive, dramatic and nail-bitingly tense moments and the climax was intelligently done. All in all, this is an exciting, addictive and dangerous tale. One I will remember for a while to come that's for sure. I hope it gets the readership it deserves. Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for an ARC.

  • Maine Colonial

    I received a free publisher's review copy.

    What a great concept. Emily is a five-year old computer program intended to be an Artificial Consciousness. With special interfaces, people can perceive her as a physical presence. And she has decided to perceive herself as a physical presence and do the things humans do to get through their day—well, except when she just doesn’t have time for all that grooming and eating and drinking stuff.

    And time is what Emily has very little of. What with the sun sud

    I received a free publisher's review copy.

    What a great concept. Emily is a five-year old computer program intended to be an Artificial Consciousness. With special interfaces, people can perceive her as a physical presence. And she has decided to perceive herself as a physical presence and do the things humans do to get through their day—well, except when she just doesn’t have time for all that grooming and eating and drinking stuff.

    And time is what Emily has very little of. What with the sun suddenly looking like it’s going to go Red Giant shortly, Emily is doomed, together with all creatures on earth.

    Emily spends her time as a sort of therapist, until the whole Red Giant thing means that she and her sort-of boss, Nathan, decide she should shift to somehow trying to figure out how to make a record of the genomes of all humans, in hope that the record can be used . . . elsewhere. But when marauders hit her lab, she’s on the run with the man she loves, Jason.

    Yup, Emily has a love affair with Jason, and it’s not even a little bit silly. This is a novel of Ideas with a capital I; ideas about what it means to be human, what is humankind, civilization. But it’s also a novel of characters and emotions. It’s just a beautifully inventive and touching story.

  • Bookphenomena (Micky)

    This was an unpredictable sci-fi about a suddenly changing earth in the face of the sun turning red giant and an artificial consciousness, Emily. Emily is the protagonist and she’s spent a few years adjusting to humanity, trying to become as human and empathetic as she can.

    Emily grew exponentially from a cog in a wheel, a team player in a university scientific department, to working independently for the good of humanity. Her decisions and actions were sometimes questionable and I never knew wha

    This was an unpredictable sci-fi about a suddenly changing earth in the face of the sun turning red giant and an artificial consciousness, Emily. Emily is the protagonist and she’s spent a few years adjusting to humanity, trying to become as human and empathetic as she can.

    Emily grew exponentially from a cog in a wheel, a team player in a university scientific department, to working independently for the good of humanity. Her decisions and actions were sometimes questionable and I never knew what was around the corner. The side characters were enjoyable elements, especially Jason and Nathan.

    This was a gripping story from the beginning with the occasional moment of craziness where I thought, where is this going? Then, the penny would drop, jigsaw pieces would fall into place and I’d have an ah-ha moment. It was a clever plot, most of which was reasonably easy to follow. There were some out there moments in the last 10% as the story reached its culmination, but overall this was a satisfying read that I would recommend to all sci-fi fans.

    I voluntarily read an early copy of this book from Hodderscape.

  • OutlawPoet

    This is a unique book.

    It's an SF novel featuring a main character who is an AC (not an AI) - an artificial consciousness.

    It's a book about the meaning of humanity and what happens when humanity accidentally creates a God.

    And, finally, it's a romance.

    It's very much a romance novel, which surprised me. The romance is a unique one, at times disconcerting, but saved by a main character I loved - artificial or not.

    I liked this one. I loved the ethical and moral quandaries, was surprised more than onc

    This is a unique book.

    It's an SF novel featuring a main character who is an AC (not an AI) - an artificial consciousness.

    It's a book about the meaning of humanity and what happens when humanity accidentally creates a God.

    And, finally, it's a romance.

    It's very much a romance novel, which surprised me. The romance is a unique one, at times disconcerting, but saved by a main character I loved - artificial or not.

    I liked this one. I loved the ethical and moral quandaries, was surprised more than once by the directions the author took, and was delighted by the ultimate conclusion.

    Glad I read this one.

    P.S.

    I should add that, weirdly, it's also a coming-of-age tale...for our Artificial Consciousness.

  • Liz Barnsley

    I loved this. Something different and highly engaging but also randomly thought provoking on many levels.

    Emily may be virtual but she reads as entirely human, she loves the human race and learns every day about the nuances of that existence. On a dying world where humanity is about to be wiped out Emily lives, grieves, falls in love and just possibly comes up with a way to save human kind.

    The writing is beautiful, fully immersing you into this world and the plot is considered yet pacy and addict

    I loved this. Something different and highly engaging but also randomly thought provoking on many levels.

    Emily may be virtual but she reads as entirely human, she loves the human race and learns every day about the nuances of that existence. On a dying world where humanity is about to be wiped out Emily lives, grieves, falls in love and just possibly comes up with a way to save human kind.

    The writing is beautiful, fully immersing you into this world and the plot is considered yet pacy and addictive. The science geekery is wonderfully fascinating and whilst speculative still entirely believable on the page.

    I devoured this in short order, plenty of emotional levels and edgy moments, a cleverly exciting and intelligent finale and some memorable characters not the least of which is Emily herself. Brilliant.

    Recommended.

  • Kate

    Very entertaining and original take on the Apocalypse, featuring a delightful Artificial Consciousness, Emily, who wants nothing more than to save the human race that she loves so much. I think the ending is a bit 'out there', hence four stars and not five, but nevertheless this is an enjoyable science fiction romance. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.

  • Figgy

    Review to come.

    In the meantime...

    This was the first book that pulled me in after the traumatic loss of my dog, so that's definitely a factor in it's favour.

    I felt invested in Emily almost immediately, and she made me laugh and kept me reading.

    The book kept me guessing, and I definitely didn't see the last 20% of the book coming.

    Will definitely be reading more books by this author in the future!

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