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(1942- ) Canadian author, later in US, in whose sf novel The Adolescence of P-1 (1977) the titular Computer exceeds its design specifications, evolves into a sentient AI which interestingly attempts to gain sapience and power by establishing a distributed network of slaved versions of itself through the planetary telecommunications system (see Internet), and then must decide the proper thing to do. As the title implies – and fortunately for the human cast – it moves towards adulthood. Ryan considers en passant the problem of the computer virus, as did John Brunner slightly earlier in The Shockwave Rider (1975). The novel was adapted for Canadian Television as the film Hide and Seek (1984).
Ryan should not be confused with the UK writer Thomas Ryan. [JC]
born Canada: 1 January 1942
Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls and Graham Sleight.
Accessed 15:11 pm on 7 August 2020.