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Jon Monsarrat
Posted on Monday, July 03, 2006 - 10:31 am:   

I loaned this book to a friend (who of course lost it!) and I'd like to repurchase it. Can anyone suggest the author or title? Please email me at jonmon@mit.edu.

It's a science fiction book, written around 1985-1995, by an author I don't believe I've heard of before or since. It's about a reclusive billionaire (clearly meant to be Bill Gates) and a female protagonist. She visits him on his campus and sees a series of smarter and smarter robots. Series 2 are basically cars. Series 4 and 5 are pretty humanoid.

The billionaire is bringing an asteroid into Earth orbit for mining. A bunch of his Series 5 robots are up there with explosives to stop it before it crashes into the planet, and put it into a safe orbit. But there's some problem and the robots will have to sacrifice themselves. Issues with sentience emerge.

At some point the female protagonist has to run to escape some kind of blast. That's all I can remember! :-)

I will check this message board, but would appreciate a note to jonmon@mit.edu as well.
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Jon Monsarrat
Posted on Monday, July 03, 2006 - 10:43 pm:   

I got it! So here I am lying in bed trying to go to sleep, and I know the author is somewhere in the E-H spectrum. I got it. Eric L. Harry, "Society of the Mind: A Cyberthriller". An excellent read, and I also recommend "Arc Light" by the same author.

-Jon

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