Back of the Book Blurb:
Izzy's new job aboard a solar station orbiting Earth becomes more complicated when she begins receiving cryptic messages from a ghost. This story was a winner in the "L Ron Hubbard presents the Writers of the Future" contest, and first appeared in Writers of the Future Volume XXVI.
I picked up Brent's book months ago, but only have had the chance now to sit down and read it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had the right mix of science fiction (robots, set in space, creepy quasi-'net) with the psychological mind tricks that outstanding harder science fiction should play with your mind.
The science easy to follow after about page 4 or 5, once I managed to adjust my imagination to Knowles's particular setting. The only thing I struggled with was trying to picture the "Assistants", but I opted to picture them as quasi human-looking robots. I'm not sure if that's what the author intended, but it worked for me.
For those who are afraid to jump into harder science fiction, Digital Rights provides a good introduction. The benefit is its length. A longer story would have become too bogged down, I think. The length works in its favour.
There are books that make a reader think, "I could have written that." Then, there are books like these that make a reader sigh and say, "I wish I'd written that."
One of my favourites for 2011.