I read this book 20 years ago when I was a student at Metro State College of Denver. I saw this book in the student union bookstore and, being a fan of science fiction, blindly purchased it because the subject looked appealing.
I was sitting outside of the Auraria campus in front of the old St. Cajetans church reading it when I happened to come to the point in the story where the virtual girl, Maggie, also happened to be at the very same St. Cajetan's where I was sitting and I realized that it was more than just coincidence and that the book spoke to me on more than one metaphorical level.
I was in my last semester, had just gone through an emotional break-up with my girlfriend, and Amy Thomson's book had called to me. Her book helped me through the darkest period of my life when I truly felt lost and had given up hope. I have always wanted to share this story with the author so that she was aware that her book had somehow made a difference in an individual person's life as it did mine.
Recently, I took my wife (who is from Miami like Amy) to the Auraria campus to show her where I went to college and showed her St. Cajetans and it reminded me of Virtual Girl and I told her the story about how part of this book took place there and how it had made a difference in my life. Like the virtual character, Maggie, I had identified with and found my humanity and endured life's lessons and grew as a person from those experiences.
I know that this book will not affect everyone as deeply or meaningfully in the same way that it did for me. Most people will simply be entertained by the intriguing philosophical science fiction but I guess that it just happened to be the right period of my life when the book first came out and going through a set of circumstances and feeling the way that I did but I will always remember and cherish it fondly because of that.
Thank you, Amy.