Tag: robots

Aug 14

Sad Robot Stories by Mason Johnson

Dystopian 16

Greetings, Bookworms!

You know how I’m always rattling on and on about books and how you should read them? Sometimes I actually take other people’s advice. Really. I listen when you give me suggestions, I promise. Case in point. A few weeks ago I put together an Idiosyncratic Lit List dedicated to robot stories. When I posed the question at the end of the post as to what I’m missing in the genre, I heard a loud chorus of “Sad Robot Stories!”

sadrobotcover400Available through small press CCLaP Publishing, Sad Robot Stories by Mason Johnson is a novella that will warm the cockles of even the most robotic heart. Our hero is a robot… Named Robot. Because why not? He was always uncommonly fond of humans for a mechanical being. He even came to befriend and love a human family.

Sadly, that was before the world was destroyed and humanity snuffed out. All that remain are robots, which is perfectly fine with most of the android population, but our poor Robot is heartbroken. Seeing the glimmers of what makes humanity good through Robot’s eyes is a fantastic journey.

It’s not all wistful looks at humankind, though. Sad Robot Stories is darkly comedic and filled with poignant satire. You’ll be hard pressed not to laugh, cry, and fall head over heels in love with Robot. You bookworms have never steered me wrong, and Sad Robot Stories was no exception!

I’d like to thank Monika from A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall in particular for her, uh, gentle? persuasion in getting me to read this book. You know, if you consider emailing someone a direct link to a free downloadable copy of the book gentle persuasion (you dirty, dirty book pusher, you.) That said… You can download this book FOR FREE from the CCLaP site. If you love it (and I know you will) you can make a donation commensurate with your enjoyment. OR you can just buy the thing outright. That totally works too. Go get your robot on, Bookworms!

Talk to me, Bookworms. What other gems am I missing out on? Sound off on recommendations, I’m all ears!

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Jun 27

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto: An Idiosyncratic Lit List

Idiosyncratic Lit List 12

Konnichiwa Bookworms,

The other day Hubs and I were driving somewhere when everyone’s favorite Styx song came on the radio. I share this because it’s important, and I don’t want to be the only one with the song stuck in my head. Behold:

Now that we all have robots on the brain, let’s talk about some of the coolest artificial intelligence in literature, shall we?

robotbooks

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer: Everybody’s favorite cyborg Cinderella story! It’s pretty awesome that catastrophic injuries can be overcome with scientific enhancements, but there are downsides to being a cyborg. You’re treated a lot more like a computer than a person, which suuuucks. Luckily, it’s a fairy tale, and good things can still happen to underdog cyborgs. (review)

2. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke: Sometimes young girls are mentored by androids they accidentally fall in love with. Stranger things have happened, right? To be fair, Finn isn’t just any android. He’s one of a kind and he’s got feelings. Interesting to think about just what makes a human human. (review)

3. Solomon the Peacemaker by Hunter Welles: The world’s problems can be solved… As long as a human is attached by the brain to a super computer. Peace comes at a pretty high cost if you’re the one who’s drawn to be attached to the machine. (review)

Got any more sweet robot stories for me, Bookworms? Sound off!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a commission. I’m saving up to buy myself a robot maid. By the time I have the money saved up, they might exist. You don’t know!*

 

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May 01

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Romance, Science 22

G’day Bookworms,

Remember back to Valentine’s Day when I crowd sourced a Top Ten Tuesday list of bloggers’ favorite romances? One of the suggestions that came from Sarah of Sarah Says Read was for The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clare. I made a mental note to give it a whirl, and not long afterward it showed up as a Kindle daily deal, so I snapped it up.

themadscientistsdaughterIt’s the future. Some sort of apocalypse has come to pass leaving the human race rather depleted. To make up for the lack of people to keep the world operating, science supplemented with androids. Of course, there’s going to be a rogue scientist somewhere trying to push the envelope of android manufacturing. This led to the creation of Finn, the most human-like robot ever created.

Cat’s father brought Finn home to their little cottage in the woods when she was 5. Her eccentric scientist parents weren’t keen on sending her to the local public school, so they enlisted Finn as Cat’s personal tutor.

Cat grows up with Finn as not only her teacher, but also as her closest friend. As she grows up things get… complicated. Kind of hard to have a straightforward love story when half of the equation is mechanical, you know?

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter was certainly an unconventional take on a love story. It brought up all sorts of issues to do with discrimination and the difficulties with loving someone you’re not supposed to love.

I wish I could say this book didn’t creep me out on some level, but it did. Maybe it’s just because it reminded me so much of that awful Robin Williams movie, Bicentennial Man… Maybe it’s because Finn was less engaging than Iko, the robot BFF of CinderMaybe it’s because I watched that weird episode of Jack Van Impe where he blamed “robits” for the fast approaching End of Days. LOL, nah it’s not that. Still, it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. That said, it could be yours. If you dig science fiction romance or scandalous forbidden love, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter may just be your new favorite love story.

Tell me, Bookworms. Anybody else think the last time Robin Williams was fun to watch was in Mrs. Doubtfire ? Anybody else think the sequel they’re working on sound like a horrendous idea?

 

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Jan 09

Solomon The Peacemaker by Hunter Welles

Dystopian, Science 15

Hiya Bookworms,

A few weeks back I ran across a review for a book that piqued my interest. Monika from A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall posted a review of a very cool sounding dystopian book called Solomon the Peacemaker by Hunter Welles. I love a good dystopia, so I made my way over to NetGalley to ask nicely for an advanced copy. *Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I wouldn’t dream of lying, for I fear the wrath of the robots…*

solomon the peacemakerThis book is set in the future- the world has been cordoned off into safe zones known as “nodes” for major cities as well as outlying areas of wildness. Robots known as “servods” perform household functions for the majority of families living within nodes. Sadly, none of them have the comedic timing of Rosie from The Jetsons. The peace of society as it is now known rests heavily in the hands of “the Peacemaker.” The Peacemaker is an elaborate computer program designed to predict and diffuse violent conflicts around the world. It also needs to be installed in a human’s head in order to work. Because cyborgs.

We slowly learn these facts through what appear to be psychological or criminal investigative interviews with Vincent Chell. Vincent and his wife Yael were never big fans of the whole robot industry, feelings which led to their involvement with a bizarre cult-like resistance group determined to undermine the Peacemaker. I found this narrative technique intriguing, as Chell’s memories slowly unfolded.

I was riveted by the story, but rather disappointed in the ending. I won’t be a Spoiler-Saurus-Rex, but I was left with some lingering questions… If you have any inclination toward sci/fi and dystopian fiction, I’d recommend you give Solomon the Peacemaker a try.

If you could have a robotic housekeeper, would you? I’d be all over that, because cooking is the worst. I’d get a chef robot. Dangit science, when is somebody going to get me a chef robot?!

*If you choose to make a purchase of Solomon the Peacemaker from a link on this site, I will receive a small commission… Which I intend to invest in the research and development of chef robots.*

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