It's about AIs and online communities and about software companies and it's about something even more than that, about the relationships we forge with other people and other things. His world-building is, as always, exquisite. I am still amazed by his understanding of human beings and the networks they form, even when his individual characters don't always grab me.
Also, I found an online copy of one of his best stories: Story Of Your Life.
It's about motherhood and communicating with aliens and about language and about perception. It feels real and painful and lived-in, and it handles the concept of motherhood in a way that's not creepy or gender-essentialist. I don't want to give away too much, because part of the pleasure of reading the story is watching it unfold in front of you. There's no real 'twist' to the story, but seriously, you need to read it to fully experience it.
Oh, and his short story collection, Stories Of Your Life And Others is being released on Monday, and I still kind of want to buy copies of it for everyone I know. I'm only half-joking about this.
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