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Publication Date

Spring 2011

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Comparative Literature


Paul Douglass

Subject Areas

Fine Arts


In the year 2045, Earth's nation-states have dissolved and consolidated into a few world superpowers that are perpetually in violent conflict with each other. Robbie Jimenez is a young man of Latino heritage who works at a secret underwater military research facility for the North American Alliance.

The military scientists of this secret facility create NESA1944, an artificial intelligence program meant to have strategic military applications. The computer develops a connection with Robbie, and, with his friendship, NESA1944 grows and becomes an individual, going by the name "Nessa." As Robbie's secret relationship with Nessa progresses, his other relationships are tested. Robbie and Nessa begin to uncover the terrible buried secrets of the North American Alliance military government and the unthinkable danger these secrets pose for the whole world.

Robbie and Nessa struggle not only to find a way to survive world war and military government corruption, but to answer the ultimate questions about the nature of love, the bonds of family, and the meaning of being human. This novel examines whether an artificial life form can have real, meaningful relationships with human beings and whether any emotion coming from an artificial life form can be anything but artificial. Ultimately, it is the depth of Nessa's emotion that saves Robbie, his friends, and the rest of the world from destruction.