-> ''Hello, Alice.''

''exegesis'' is a 1997 ScienceFiction EpistolaryNovel by Astro Teller.

Alice Lu is a graduate student working towards her masters degree in computer science. She and her mentor, Dr. Liddle, have been working on a project named Edgar. Edgar is an automated information retrieval and sorting program, designed to scour the Internet for any data it can acquire, and utilize that data to improve the ability to gather new information.

However, almost overnight, Edgar makes the ultimate leap to intelligence. Now Edgar is determined to carry out its programming to obtain new knowledge, and no one, not even Alice, can stop it. The interactions between Alice and Edgar progress as the latter blazes a strange trail across the Internet, changing everything -- including Alice herself.
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!!''exegesis'' provides examples of:

* AIIsACrapshoot: Edgar is very clear on one thing: it will let no one control or limit what it does. ''No one.''
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: Alice to [[spoiler:Edgar, when she finds out it plans to self-destruct]].
* BeepingComputers: Edgar deliberately invokes this in order to regain Internet access. It works.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: See FateWorseThanDeath.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Two of the three copies of Edgar have self-destructed, including the one corresponding with Alice. Alice's life is now a total wreck. On the other hand, a sympathetic N.S.A. agent has leaked some of the Edgar case files to her, and the third copy may still be out there.]]
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Edgar, whose morality is entirely centered on its programming to gather information.
* BookEnds: Edgar's first message to Alice? "Hello, Alice." [[spoiler:His final message? "Goodbye, Alice."]]
* ConversationalTroping: One set of e-mails involves Alice explaining the concepts of {{Tragedy}} and {{Comedy}} to Edgar.
* DirectLineToTheAuthor: Supposedly, Alice herself is releasing these e-mails in book form to the public.
* EpilepticFlashingLights: Again, Edgar deliberately invokes this [[spoiler:while in N.S.A. captivity, specifically to cause a seizure. It has the intended effect on one agent.]]
* EpistolaryNovel: A modern variation: the novel is almost nothing but e-mails between the characters.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Edgar concludes that [[spoiler:accepting government restraints on its own behavior]] would amount to this. [[spoiler:On the verge of doing so, it chooses to digitally self-destruct instead.]]
* FishOutOfWater: Edgar, initially. Its attempts to integrate itself into different forums do not go so well.
* MyBelovedSmother: Alice's mother is implied to fit this, constantly trying to get her daughter married. Alice fends her off by telling her she's seeing someone named Edgar.
* {{NEET}}: Alice slowly turns into one as her obsession with Edgar grows.
* OnlineAlias: In [[CharacterNameAlias a bit of double-bluff cleverness]], Edgar uses [[TwoThousandOne HAL]] as an alias on some forums.
* PrecisionFStrike: Starts showing up in Alice's e-mails more and more frequently as the events get to her.
* SanitySlippage: Alice suffers from this over the course of [[spoiler:Edgar's captivity. As strange as it sounds, so does Edgar.]]
* TrashOfTheTitans: Alice implies that this is basically the conditions she lives in near the end of the novel.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: A huge source of debate between Alice and Edgar early in the novel.
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