Read Ghost Spin by Chris Moriarty Online


Sometimes a ghost of a chance is all you get.Award-winning author Chris Moriarty returns to a dazzling cyber-noir far future in this gritty, high-stakes thriller where the only rule is “Evolve . . . or die.”The Age of Man is ending. The UN’s sprawling interstellar empire is failing as its quantum teleportation network collapses, turning once-viable colonies into doomed islSometimes a ghost of a chance is all you get.Award-winning author Chris Moriarty returns to a dazzling cyber-noir far future in this gritty, high-stakes thriller where the only rule is “Evolve . . . or die.”The Age of Man is ending. The UN’s sprawling interstellar empire is failing as its quantum teleportation network collapses, turning once-viable colonies into doomed island outposts. Humanity’s only hope of survival is the Drift: a mysterious region of space where faster-than-light travel—or something far stranger—seems possible. As mercenaries and pirates flock to the Drift, the cold war between the human-led UN and the clone-dominated Syndicates heats up. Whoever controls the Drift will chart the future course of human evolution—and no one wants to be left behind in a universe where the price of failure is extinction.When the AI called Cohen ventures into the Drift, he dies—allegedly by his own hand—and his consciousness is scattered across the cosmos. Some of his ghosts are still self-aware. Some are insane. And one of them hides a secret worth killing for. Enter Major Catherine Li, Cohen’s human (well, partly human) lover, who embarks on a desperate search to solve the mystery of Cohen’s death—and put him back together. But Li isn’t the only one interested in Cohen’s ghosts. Astrid Avery, a by-the-book UN navy captain, is on the hunt. So is William Llewellyn, a pirate who has one of the ghosts in his head, which is slowly eating him alive. Even the ghosts have their own agendas. And lurking behind them all is a pitiless enemy who will stop at nothing to make sure the dead don’t walk again....

Title : Ghost Spin
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18912847
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 576 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Ghost Spin Reviews

  • Andrew
    2019-01-25 07:54

    It has been several years since the first two "Spin" books came out. Long enough for me to forget what the heck is going on and not quite be able to catch up. Sigh.Cohen, the Jewish cyber-sybarite, has travelled to Pittsburgh to commit suicide. A Pittsburgh on another planet, not Earth's Pittsburgh. As the first book was sort of set in a Welsh coal mine *in space*, this one is a run-down blue-collar steel town. *In space.*That's kind of cool; the problem is the background, which is relentlessly recapped and yet still somehow unclear. Ever since the coal mines blew up in the first book, FTL has been on the way out -- it was FTL coal -- so Earth's colonies are scrambling to achieve some kind of self-sufficiency before space travel becomes impossible. Only it's not becoming *impossible*, it's becoming... pirates. *In space.* Everyone is looking at the Drift, an area of space where FTL will either remain possible or has never been possible because of multiple universes. There are pirates there.This book would have been pretty awesome if I understood what it was about.In fact it doesn't deserve that much snark. It was pretty good regardless. Catherine Li (Cohen's wife, a human being) has to travel out to Space Pittsburgh -- via a form of cheap, dangerous FTL which either does or does not require space coal -- sorry -- anyway, she winds up forked in a quantum teleportation accident. (It took me three-quarters of the book to figure this out, but that isn't the author's fault. I was just dumb. Two alternating plot threads: two Catherines.)She winds up on both sides of a space pirate feud, while trying to find Cohen and ask him why he killed himself.This book is a serious attempt to tangle with how *different* AIs might be. Cohen is a distributed network of software agents; "death" is a disintegration, but leaves sentient fragments and shadow-Cohens all over. (In fact we meet an AI who used to be part of Cohen but seceded.) Then of course we have the bimodal Li. So this is excellent SF idea-wrangling. And the story has lots of *stuff* going on, what with the pirate captain and the blue-collar cop and the scary bad guys closing in everywhere. I just... couldn't get oriented, through the whole book.

  • Cathy
    2019-01-31 05:52

    A clever wrap up of the series, using all of the ideas going back to the first book but creating a new "spin" on them. I waited a long time for this book and I'm so glad that it finally happened. It wasn't the perfect read that the first book was, but it was a good read with a lot of interesting ideas.

  • Alan
    2019-02-08 07:39

    Chris Moriarty's novel Ghost Spin is the conclusion of a trilogy begun in Spin State and continued in Spin Control, both of which I read years ago, before even joining Goodreads. That long gap turns out to be an easily surmountable barrier, though... while I still wouldn't recommend skipping the first two installments, Ghost Spin stands on its own much better than many series books, and it took Moriarty only a couple of chapters to get me back up to speed again.Ghost Spin reminded me powerfully (and favorably) of Richard K. Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs books. Moriarty's protagonist Catherine Li, like Kovacs, is a hard-edged and competent ex-soldier, with dark elements in her past but a clear eye for the future. Li is, perhaps, even a little more well-rounded than Kovacs. She provides a coherent, sympathetic lens through whom we can view the dissolution of her husband, the AI Hyacinthe Cohen, and perhaps of the entire UN-controlled network of space colonies, held together as it is by a fragile web of faster-than-light jump points whose existence depends on an exotic resource—"Bose-Einstein condensate"—available only from a single source.Ghost Spin is, to a great extent, about fragmentation—Cohen, the UN-controlled FTL network, and Li herself all get pulled apart during the novel, with reintegration for any of them at best just a distant possibility. Maintaining a coherent narrative in the middle of all this chaos is an impressive achievement. It's rare for a series to conclude so well, but Moriarty manages it.That achievement is possible, I think, is because Moriarty has improved significantly as a writer—from what I recall of its predecessors, Ghost Spin struck me as a much more mature work, not just better-written technically but also engaged more deeply and thoughtfully with its subjects, willing to stretch a bit and take on some big questions in between the space battles and gunfights.One of the biggest of those questions is about the morality of creating artificial intelligences—AIs, computationally-based entities who are at least as complex as the human beings who assert ownership over them—and then using those entities without their informed consent. In their defense, the UN is in a deadly struggle with the Syndicate—space-borne clone-based collective post-humans whose cruel and sterile society appears to be more efficient than the messy original humans (and their genetically-modified but still diverse offspring on the colonies) can manage to be. The UN can only keep its edge by using spacecraft which are able to react to Syndicate attacks intelligently and at computer speeds, and human crews whose interface with their ships is just as fast. All UN soldiers, and any UN citizen who can afford it, are wired with a barely-visible network of subcutaneous circuits that provide access to streamspace, the virtual environment where that interaction happens.The UN engages in a fair amount of sophistry, splitting hairs to pretend that the intelligent systems which navigate its ships are not—quite—Emergent beings with their own rights to existence and autonomy, that it's okay to erase and reboot such systems when they become disobedient. Such nitpicking becomes increasingly difficult to maintain after we meet the personalities that run such ships, though. It may be necessary in the UN's eyes to enslave these beings, but that doesn't make it right.One of Moriarty's most realistically-portrayed character traits, though, one that appears over and over in Ghost Spin, is denial.Moriarty also teases us with the implications of superstimulus... In Moriarty's formulation, anyway—which seems entirely plausible to me—AIs are pure digital code, more labile, arbitrary entities than human beings. They have no necessary continuity from instant to instant, no physical substrate that enforces consistency.Specifically, Hyacinthe Cohen is an AI who was composed with a so-called "affective loop" that means he can become—that he wants to become—anything to attract Catherine Li's desire, love and loyalty. No mere human being could hope to match that kind of self-optimizing, Protean personality.Not that Li herself is a simple individual. When she gets "scattercast"—digitized for interstellar transport, her essence broadcast for any receiver within range to pick up and reconstitute—Catherine Li is reinstantiated multiple times, and each new version of her experiences very different realities that bring out different facets of her core personality. Alastair Reynolds has examined similar multiplicities to good effect. The most difficult part, of course, is when those personalities meet each other again and are forced to try to reconcile their differences.Ghost Spin isn't always easy to follow, and I do also have to wonder about the survival of so many 20th-Century references, names and concepts that remain touchstones to Moriarty's far-flung colonies—such as whether transplanted Pittsburghers would be so attached to their city's nomenclature that they'd name features of a squalid mining colony after the Duquesne Incline and the Monongahela River while at the same time reproducing the worst facets of the city's polluted, steel-smelting past. But those are minor concerns in the face of what is, truly, a satisfying conclusion to a complex and interesting multivolume work.The final chapter is called "The Graceful Exit Problem." It's a problem that Moriarty managed to solve, at least for me.

  • Doreen Dalesandro
    2019-01-30 05:55

    Preordered Kindle edition.

  • Peter
    2019-02-12 09:56

    Catherine Li is married to the centuries old and incredibly wealthy AI named Cohen. Not many people understand their relationship... even they don't understand it very well. But when Cohen dies suddenly, and the official reports say it's suicide, she can't accept it... in part, because death is complicated for AIs, as parts of them may still be alive. And, in fact, at least one significant part is alive, and trapped sharing the body of a pirate captain to serve as his ship's navigational computer. But there are many players also seeking parts of Cohen, and his fate and that of another AI may help determine the course of human civilization. This is the final part of the Spin trilogy, although it's a very loose trilogy, where each installment's story stands more or less alone... relationships develop and change with the characters who recurr, and that might make it difficult to recommend the second or third part as a "standalone", but if you only remember the characters and not the plot (as sometimes happens with me), you're usually fine jumping in to any of the sequels without much of a refresher. It's not just the plots that change, it's also the type of story it is, and, to a certain extent, the type of universe it exists in. What I mean is, things like how FTL is done and what technologies are available change from book to book... not so much in a "they didn't remember their continuity" way (although there are a few blips that I felt I had to just "go with"), but one of the rarer things in science fiction series, a world where science hasn't "stopped" and major advancements continue in between books. Not "they developed a super weapon that's top secret or otherwise doesn't affect anybody but the main characters" but more "okay, because that old way doesn't work anymore, now people travel like this, which has a different set of problems." It's a refreshing change although in a few instances jarring. Similarly, some of the callbacks to previous books where I might have preferred to not see what happened to certain characters because it conflicted with how I saw them.The story itself worked really well, if a bit more confusing at times, which has to be expected with multiple versions of the same character running around, but I was kept interested in seeing where it would go. A few time jumps also weakened the book for me as I wanted to see stuff that happened in the in-between time, where it didn't feel natural that nothing would happen. Compared to the other books in the series, I don't think it's as solid as the second book (although, where I said in my review that that book wasn't always exciting but was relentlessly interesting, this book managed the balance a little better). I liked it better than the first book, but I don't think it's as cohesive a story and I could see other people might not agree... it just hit on different buttons that worked better for me. I really enjoyed it, but at the same time I could see other people not. Still, ratings are personal, and overall, I'm quite happy I finally got around to buying it, and was sad to discover the author's been somewhat quiet in the last few years... I do want to see her return to science fiction, as she's a real talent for the more hard variety (while still centering it with good character work) and we need more writers with skill at both.

  • Zeta Syanthis
    2019-02-08 08:49

    This has wrecked me for two solid days. I love this book... all of these books, but I can't stop crying for what was lost. >.<

  • springsnotfail
    2019-02-04 07:40

    SPOILERS BELOWSo this was the third of the 'Spin' trilogy. I still stand by my high recommendation of the first two, but I've got to say, I struggled with this one. The characterization was still great, and I still really was interested in the elaboration of the theme of posthumanity - in this book, the main character, through some kind of weird quantum effect, became several people who all had their own plots, which I don't think I've ever seen happen before and which she did really well - and there was a fairly cool space piracy/military SF plot - but ultimately I just could not follow what was going on.Part of that was the way Moriarty went with the AI worldbuilding - I think they* wanted to have their cake and eat it in having these still be code-based creatures but also somehow also inhabitants of this higher mystical plane, and the way it worked out just didn't feel believable to me. I just couldn't believe in the 'cat herders' (great name) who were part coders, part psychoanalysts? and in the AI Cohen's memory palace stuff. I also did not understand what the Datatraps were, which was a big part of the plot. Part of it was the elaboration of the quantum physics stuff from the previous books, which got a bit philosophical and extensive, and I just didn't really understand or care. So, this book was a bit of a disappointment, but maybe on a re-read I'd get more out of it. There's also a lot of memory continuity between the two books (organizations referred to by only their acronyms and not re-explained, for example) which asks quite a lot of the reader. They're very dense, complicated, interesting books, and maybe deserve more energy than I'm able to give them right now.BUT also I found the ending a bit disappointing; I wanted more resolution for Avery and Llewellyn, I wanted the political stuff to be more clearly explained (I totally couldn't understand what the expected outcome was with the Syndicate and the mine planet), AND I wanted Caitlyn to get with Dolniak, who I thought was sweet. But I thought the resolution of the Catherine/Caitlyn split wrt Cohen was interesting.

  • Ryan Viergutz
    2019-01-30 01:52

    Well, I have at last finished Ghost Spin, a book I've probably waited the longest to read of anything I've read possibly evar.It's also one of the few books that I've read within months of its publication.That said, Ghost Spin is a thoroughly complicated, complex and difficult to describe book. Like in its two precursors, there's a lot of quantum mechanic referencing and parallel universe examination in here that I didn't completely comprehend. I'm going to be toying with what all of it meant for a while and what was actually going on.The basic plot isn't too hard to grasp. The ancient Emergent AI Hyacinthe Cohen commits suicide (in the first chapter!) and his lover (on a very deep level) Catherine Li tries to put the pieces back together.She isn't the only one after him: a pirate captain named Llewellyn, the hard-as-nails commissioned captain Astrid Avery, the psychotic, ruthless AI hunter Holmes, the corporate-controlled Syndicates and possibly the spymaster Helen Nguyen want to find him, too.The stakes are centered around the Drift, a section of space that exists right between the human-led UN and the Syndicates. It's pretty mysterious (so much that I can't remember what it all amounts to) and the Datatraps, huge, alien devices that exist in a whole TON of different universes at the same time. Yeah, you got that.All of this ends up actually coming together, believe it or not, and it even largely works as a conclusion to the trilogy as a whole. I have the impression Chris had a challenging time trying to juggle all of the parts of the plot, and that she has a LOT more planned for further books, if not in the same series than the setting.I definitely can't wait for more. Like the best large-scale science fiction Ghost Spin feels like there's an overwhelmingly massive universe around it, and trying to fill in those gaps will keep my imagination going for just as long as the first two books.

  • Ryan
    2019-01-27 08:55

    Probably a little too complex and weird for many people's tastes but a hell of a blast for me. Lots of deep musings on the nature of identity and consciousness and the strange consequences the quantum nature of the multiverse. Not often we get to jump between the POVs of diverging duplicates of the main character!It amused me that I had earlier had the same thoughts Caitlyn did when contemplating Nguyen's demise - a necessary evil for a dying UN?Half a star off for the silly and perfunctory happy ending. (view spoiler)[I particularly wish he'd done more with the two Catherines meeting. (hide spoiler)]Another half off for the really shaky astrography of the Spin universe. (I recognize that for most people this is at best Fridge Logic quibbling). First, there's just not enough room in this world's overall timeline for humanity to have colonized quite so widely, much less for the UN to have spread their Bose-Einstein network so far[1]. The quoted distances at the end really didn't seem plausible to me. Second, If there's enough commerce zipping back and forth in the Drift to support ongoing piracy, and enough Drift-reachable civilization to justify large-scale warfare, (view spoiler)[how is blowing the New Allegheny relay useful as anything other than a short-term stopgap measure? Wouldn't the UN and the Syndicates just dispatch more Drift ships, especially since the Syndicates were completely unaffected by Cohen/Ada's cyber-tantrum? (hide spoiler)][1] Since condensate has to travel via sublight, at least initially. I don't recall that it's ever explicitly said whether you can send condensateviacondensate - such recursion to me is aesthetically displeasing anyway.

  • Matt
    2019-01-28 04:48

    This was quite the book: conceptually intriguing enough to hang with it through the complex plot structure and difficult ideas. In my mind, the book is about the nature of personhood: how our past shapes us, and how our present circumstances alter us. This is explored through the characters of Cohen, a massive AI character who "dies" by being splintered into smaller, sometimes sentient, fragments; and Catherine/Caitlyn, who "scattercasts," i.e., travels through space by having her information broadcast, resulting in (at least) two recovered/reconstituted persons. These two persons, who share the same history, experience a very different reality and end up on opposite sides of a conflict. What a fascinating way to explore how alternate circumstances might alter a person!Needless to say, this is heady reading, but it rewards the reader with likable characters and interesting settings. I read this book without realizing it's a "stand-alone" 3rd book of a trilogy; this probably made it even more difficult. Regardless, definitely recommended!A favorite quote from the book:"What is this place?'The same thing every other place is, inside me or elsewhere. Memory. That's all any place is the second after you leave it."

  • April
    2019-01-23 07:51

    Ghost Spin is a third installment in the Cohen trilogy, about a time past Singularity, where a supercomputer named Cohen who was once a person on Earth, has become a super AI, one called an Emergent. At the start of the novel, he kills himself, saying it is the only way to save him and the insane AI Ada. The rest of the long book is taken up with his (human) wife trying to find fragments of him and reconstruct him. There are also subplots about the human war against the Syndicate, evil higher ups in human world who are deadly and terrifying but all too human, and the partnership between Cohen's wife and his favorite computer (who had separated himself from Cohen after a disagreement) Router-Decoder. Moriarity gives good descriptions about how the computers might see the universe as opposed to humans. And he keeps up an very complex but interesting plot all through 550 pps. I found it hard at times to complete the book because I had to keep putting it down (life intervening) and picking it back up again. Still, I thought it was well done, both on a philosophical and on a technical level.

  • Jo(Mixed Book Bag)
    2019-01-25 08:31

    Ghost Spin is a strange story with a strange story line. It is Science Fiction. It is set in the far future when an artificial intelligence named Cohen kills himself. This is unexpected. AI's don't kill themselves. I kept reading this even though it was confusing at times. There are parts or Ghosts of Cohen that appear in the story. There is Cohen's wife Catherine. In her quest to find out if Cohen really did commit suicide she ends up sending copies of herself across the galaxy. As a result we have Caitlyn and Catherine, the same character but not the same.Parts of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland are woven into the story and provide clues to what is happening. Ghost Spin is a well written and well thought out story filled with interesting characters. Don't expect it to be a quick read and don't expect all the loose ends to be tied up. At time it can be confusing as it moves from the present to the past and back. Don't quit. Do expect a interesting and challenging read.

  • nicole
    2019-02-22 01:34

    I should have reread the previous two books and it had been long enough that I only really vaguely remembered Li and Cohen's storylines. But I had been waiting so long, I burned right through it in less than a week. I love her character development and ideas but this one felt a little jumbled. Plot discoveries happening twice due to the structure, sometimes inconsistent references to the character names toward the end; just small things that break me out of the story. But it still had me engaged all the way through and found myself puzzling over it while showering etc, generally a good sign! Would recommend refreshing your memory of the first 2 books and I may be reading them again myself soon.

  • Josh
    2019-01-29 03:40

    I guess I like this book the least of the trilogy. I was really intrigued by the opening that seemed to be opening up an almost sherlockian mystery, why'd the super-intelligent AI kill itself, but as the story went on the thrust to discover the answer disappeared. In fact, as the story went along I found the entire thrust of the story to disappear. About three pages in, it felt like all the momentum of the story had gone away and I began to wonder why is this story still going. It picked up a little near the end, but I just feel relieved that this was the end of the series because I don't know if I have any interest in reading about these characters anymore.

  • Heather
    2019-01-26 06:32

    I didn't realize this was part 3 when I started reading, but it stands perfectly well on its own, and I plan to read 1 and 2 to see how this all came about! His concepts of post humanity are very interesting and makes you wonder just when the next dominant species will take over, or has it to started already?

  • Liviu
    2019-01-23 07:31

    may reconsider sometimes but while I really loved the first spin book and liked the second one, I have moved away from them and this one had no appeal on a fast browse; would have been awesome maybe 4-5 years ago but in the meantime a lot of sff subgenre/books/series became a bit obsolete for me as I read enough similar new ones as what was once special is now common

  • Colin
    2019-02-17 01:36

    A fantastic sci/fi book with a blending of different universes. Unfortunately, I hadn't realized that it was part 3 of a trilogy so I still have to read 1 and 2. But it works even as a standalone novel - although there are some points where I likely would have understood the character's motivations had I read the first two.

  • Betsey
    2019-02-14 02:51

    I really loved the first 2 books of the series, but I felt like this one fell short. It had some thought-provoking bits, but overall was less compelling than the first two. I think the subject matter that the plot focussed on just wasn't as fascinating to me as the other two. Still a 4 because Li rocks and the supporting cast was good.

  • Tim Haley
    2019-02-17 02:49

    Just finished this book. I read her first two books and remember quite enjoying them, so it was nice to see something new after the long absence. I was not disappointed. This is well-written and nicely paced.

  • James Ward
    2019-02-22 06:43

    A difficult but very rewarding conclusion to the Spin trilogy. I found the book difficult to follow in the early pages but eventually was entranced by the complex world-building after some patient persistent re-reading. Beautifully and carefully written.

  • Zkarcher
    2019-02-06 08:51

    Space pirates, quantum physics, AIs debating the nature of love, and some of the freshest, most intense writing since Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. Maybe it won't appeal to *everyone*, but I was spellbound. Fave book of the trilogy.

  • Garve Hays
    2019-02-16 01:44

    I have verbally recommended this trilogy and continue to electronically! I stayed up late finishing it.

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-11 06:44

    Even better than her previous books.

  • Gabriel Kent
    2019-02-12 01:56

    Got a bit preachy at times... But overall good book. Recommended.

  • Leigh
    2019-01-23 05:41


  • Lisa
    2019-02-16 02:55

    Amazing hard sci-fi, for the most part. Unfortunately, the ending was rather weak. I'd suggest reading up until 95% or so and then making up an ending of one's own.

  • Sina Bahram
    2019-02-04 05:48

    I wish 3.5 to 3.75 was available.

  • Christy
    2019-01-22 07:30

    Haunting story that worth the wait. I look forward to her next book.

  • Foxwine
    2019-02-19 05:47

    It would have been good to know that this was basically book 3 of a series before starting to read it. The blurb really didn't make that clear.