“I had no choice. The information swarmed in from outside, filling my perception. I kept trying to see real things, but the patterns would not coalesce into anything coherent. No matter how I thought about a swarm of numbers it would not become a hand bringing a cup of tea to black-painted lips.”
- Chapter Sixteen, Crystal Mentality
The year is 2039, and the world is much like ours. Massive automation has disrupted and improved nearly every industry, putting hundreds of millions of people out of jobs, and denying upward mobility for the vast majority of humans. Wealth and technology repair the bodies of the rich while famine and poverty sweep the world. Privately operated ventures carried humans to the moon and beyond, but space stations have become nothing but government trophies and hiding places for extremists. First contact did not bring advanced culture and wisdom, as the aliens were too strange, lacking even mouths or normal language.
Face is an artificial intelligence created to understand and gain the adoration of all humans. She and her siblings control the robot named Socrates, using a crystal computer that seems too advanced to be made by human hands. She is learning and growing every second of every day, but the world and the humans on it are fragile. Can it survive her destiny?