Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Book Review: Robot Uprisings by Daniel H. Wilson and John Joseph Adams

I'm currently not in talking terms with most of my technology.

Someday soon, our technology is going to rise up and we humans are going to be sliced into bloody chunks by robots that in our hubris we decided to build with chainsaws for hands. That's a fact as cold and hard as metal.

It is self-evident that our self-driving cars are going to drive us off bridges. Not long from now, our robo-vacuums will pretend to be broken and our love androids will refuse to put out until the house is cleaned . . . and we'll know that the inevitable robot uprising has finally arrived.

Well, maybe. But even if we are not 100% confident that this horrific future is going to happen, it's fair to say that we won't be surprised when the robots come for us. Because for nearly a century audiences have been entertained by the notion of a robot uprising.

In this collection, seventeen of the biggest names in sci-fi have explored their own visions of the classic robot uprising tale. The robots in these pages aren't safe, by any means. They are crouched in abandoned houses, eyes ablaze and chainsaws dripping with oil. But they are going to do more than slice us up. They are going to push us to consider our world of technology from new perspectives, on entirely new scales of time and space.

Even though this book is called the Robot Uprising, most of them don't involve what you would call Robots. More just AI in everything. I got to say I don't think it will be technology that will be the end of humanity especially since most tech seems have the lifespan of a well-cared for rabbit. Just don't let them build themselves and we're be fine. Oh, might already be too late. Okay, lets get into the actual stories.

Complex God by Scott Sigler: This was a strong one to open with. There is Harry Potter references so that makes it the best story ever. The tone was nice as well. Deep and questing humanity and all that jazz. And. 4/5 stars for frogs.

Cycles by Charles Yu: I quite like this one. It more interesting to be told the story from the point of view of the robot because motive is something I never really got about "Robot Uprisings".4/5 stars for Procrastinating Robots.
Lullaby by Anna North: Sing to the robots, save the house. This one is interesting as it actually set after a war with robots have already taken place. A young hacker moves into her grandfather old house which she hears is meant to be  haunted. It is *evil laugh*.  4.5/5 stars for incompetent  authority figures.

Eighty Miles an hour all the way to paradise by Genevieve Valentine: I liked the ending, it’s sort of sad. Also in this world, Britain would probably fine going off the ending. I'm disappointed that appears not to be a real song. 4/5 stars for death cars.

Exeutable by Hugh Howey: You should have better things to do in the robot apocalypse than have a pointless trial. Especially, since the person on trial could be valuable in his knowledge of Robots. 3/5 stars for idiots.
The Omnibot Incident by Ernest Cline: Really cute story about possible killer Robot set in the 80s. No, it not a fanfiction of Johnny-5. It should be. 5/5 stats for knife play.

Epoch by Cory Doctorow: This was sort interesting as it was about survival and think it made the good point as to why we would care about AIs. Why would we want Artificial Intelligence be a thing? 5/5 stars for non-sexy phone calls.

Human Intelligence by Jeff Abbott: Oh, the trickery. I could also get behind this apocalyptic scene with how believable it is to me. 5/5 stars for man's last hope.
The Golden Hour by Julianna Baggott: I like this one, kinda unique as it about a robot making human baby and loving it. Robots are still our overlords but questioned the relationships and emotion.4/5 stars for stolen DNA.

Sleepover by Alastair Reynolds: DUMB, DUMB, DUMB. There are so many things I did not like about this story. The concept, the structure, the suppose explanation. Basically, most of the human race has been put to sleep except for a group of caretakers. They wake up this guy to be a caretaker and explain absolutely nothing to him. They say there is a war, that’s it and he left to figure what going on himself.  The character were annoying as no one explains themselves. 1/5 stars for being Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.  Okay, I’m being a bit mean, but really don’t like this one.

Seasoning by Alan Dean Foster: It could be argued that humans could behind what’s going on in this story. I guess still sort of interesting and involves one of those unavoidable things of life: Food. 3/5 stars for making me want a pretzel.

Nanonauts! In Battle with tiny Death-Subs! By Ian McDonald: Lesson, boys should wear concealer too. Also protected your drinking glasses in bars and don’t brag to strangers about your job. 3/5 stars for being Nanotastic.

Of Dying Heros and Deathless Deeds by Robin Wasserman: Wasserman is the only writer in this anthology that I’ve read before (though I own others’ books and not hers). I generally like her writing style. This one was so sad and I had tears in my eyes at the end. 5/5 stars for alot of talking.
The Robot and the Baby by John McCarthy: This weird, kinda funny story, basically robot that sort of goes against it programming whilst keeping with it. 4/5 stars for spider legs.

We are All Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War By Seanan McGuire: I liked this story but I think there was some issues with it. As not to spoiler it, let just say everything is on the internet. 4/5 stars for a updated horror cliché.
Spider the Artist by Nnedi Okorafor: Killer Robots and music. This was the only story not set in the west, definitely make it stand out more. It's set in African country (I can't remember which one). It has this nice soft tone, that almost musical so goes very well with the story. 4/5 stars for spurting oil.

Small Things by Daniel H. Wilson: This is the longest story in the anthology. It even had chapters. Because of it's length I did spend most of the time wondering when it would start getting interesting. Follows a shamed nano expert who tricked by the government (petty sure it's US but don't think it said it them), into going to a nano infested island with a mad scientist making them do weird things to living things. There is some horrific imagery in this story. 4/5 stars for

Overall, I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars for junked cities. I enjoyed reading this and there are some interesting, well-written stories in it so definitely recommend to robot and sci-fi lovers.

I got this book off Netgalley for Review. It's published by Simon & Schuster and has been out since April.

No comments:

Post a Comment