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The Mountain in the Sea

A terrific look at what it might look like to start to interact with a truly alien intelligence (in this case, octopus) while the whole world is working on their AI game and trying to be the first to find and exploit this. There are a lot of storylines in this novel but the main one is about a scientist, who grew up isolated and nerdy but fascinated by other intelligences, for maybe obvious reasons. She’s sent to an isolated and nerdy outpost where it’s not clear exactly what her role is. Meanwhile, outside this location, other people are trying to hack in and figuring out how to use this new knowledge for power and dominance. This book has a bit of everything--ai, cyberspace, automatons, animals that think, cybersecurity and hacking, near-future dystopias--and yet it doesn’t feel cluttered or that it’s trying to do too much.