I'm looking for the name of a trilogy I read some of a few years ago.

The first book started with a woman in a futuristic greenhouse and bad things happened to her. Then another woman rescued her, and I think one of these two had a name like jane-256 or judy-327 or something like that. Then it was revealed that the two women were uploaded humans in a simulation created by bad people who did bad things to uploaded people for fun. The second woman was a space policeman who rescued people from simulations like that, and the first woman was a copy of one of the first people to be uploaded, and there were thousands of copies of her that had been rescued from bad simulations all over the galaxy. The second woman got them out of the bad simulation and I think she arrested some of the bad people who made the bad simulation they were in. Then she showed the first woman what things were like in the real world.

Later — I'm not sure if this was still in the first book or if it was in the second — the two women met one of those bad people who did bad things to uploaded people for fun. He had another copy of the person the first woman was a copy of as a slave, and she thought he was cool because he had brainwashed her.

Later, in the second book, there was a guy who flew a shuttle to a remote planet. There was some kind of anomaly there which made these things called BVBs appear. They looked like black velvet bands, but they kept shrinking unless there was something in the way. They couldn't be stretched or broken at all. So if, for example, you got one around two of your fingers you'd never be able to move those fingers apart ever again. I think the anomaly turned out to be some kind of alien tree, and the second book ended with a sort of "oh shit" moment when some of its seeds landed near some big important planet or space station.

Also, I remember the author wrote another trilogy about robot people that spun their brains out of special wire on a planet where all life was robotic rather than organic.


If you had just mentioned the black velvet bands I'd say it was Tony Ballantyne's trilogy Recursion, Capacity and Divergence. The BVBs do indeed appear in the second book of the trilogy as you say, but your description of the first book doesn't match my (admittedly vague) memories of Recursion. I wonder if you've mixed up two different trilogies, or maybe the black velvet bands appear in unrelated books.

  • based on the wikipedia entry to Recursion, the simulation and copy elements are present. So this should be it – C. Tomm May 6 '13 at 10:49
  • Capacity is the book I read - the stuff I thought was from the first book seems to be the first half of Capacity. Thank you very much for finding it for me – user14291 May 6 '13 at 11:58

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