New on Fantastic Reviews is Aaron's review of Watermind by M. M. Buckner. This book was published in hardcover in late 2008, and is now available in paperback.
From Aaron's book review of Watermind :
"...Watermind is Buckner's fourth novel, the first to appear in hardcover, and there is no longer any need to discuss her potential. She has arrived, a talented author fully in command of her skills. Watermind displays subtleties of characterization, description, and mood that are worlds beyond Buckner's first book."
"Watermind begins in the present day, as a new form of life spontaneously emerges from the polluted waters of the Mississippi River. It consists of a neural net embodied in a colloid or chemical solution of networked microprocessors, nano-devices, and organic waste. Buckner is quite persuasive in making the spontaneous creation of this new type of life feel plausible. Really, where better is there on earth today to find a "primordial soup" to generate life than the waters of the Louisiana delta?"
"Our heroine CJ Reilly ("CJ" for Carolyn Joan, but don't call her that to her face) first discovers this new life form in the aptly named Devil's Swamp near Baton Rouge, working on a cleanup crew at a toxic waste site owned by her high-tech employer Quimicron. CJ quickly butts heads with Quimicron CEO Roman Sacony, who wants to eliminate the colloid before he gets sued over it. Reilly wishes to preserve and study it, partly because she believes it may provide a means of cleaning polluted water--the colloid absorbs pollutants, leaving the water around it completely pure--but more because she feels a maternal bond with the strange entity, which she comes to believe is a self-aware "watermind...."
To read the entire review -> Watermind