ROBOPOCALYPSE by Daniel H. Wilson

ROBOPOCALYPSE by Daniel H. Wilson tells the apocalyptic story of a near future when one machine gains true intelligence and determines to honor life by wiping out human civilization. The machine intelligence takes over the robots that are central to civilization; the automatic cars, the robo-nannies and cleaning bots; all of them become the enemies of humanity. Most of the few people who survive are herded into concentration camps where some are surgically altered to become part machine. Needless to say the machine parts are all under control of the original rebellious machine. Robots start evolving, building new robots in response to human resistance.

June 26, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Speculative (Beyond Reality)

YOU ARE NOT A GADGET: A MANIFESTO by Jaron Lanier

YOU ARE NOT A GADGET is a passionate and thought-provoking critique of Silicon Valley from behind its ramparts, and a must-read for anyone interested in the ways technology is affecting our culture. In his first book, Jaron Lanier, a visionary leader in the development of virtual reality technology (and the man who popularized the term), sounds the alarm: our humanity is under digital attack as the software that increasingly governs our lives impoverishes what it is to be a person.

April 18, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Non-fiction

ANDROID KARENINA by Ben H. Winters and Leo Tolstoy

ANDROID KARENINA is one of those everything but the kitchen sink science fiction tales (robots, telepathy, strange creatures, threats from outer space and time travel) with the added benefit of being a literary mash-up. Ben H. Winters has transplanted the characters from Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel ANNA KARENINA into a culture dependent upon technology to serve their every need.

September 30, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Speculative (Beyond Reality)

THE WINDUP GIRL by Paolo Bacigalupi

Unlike much of the world, the Thai Kingdom had avoided inundation by the rising oceans. It had avoided pandemic decimation of crops and population. It had kept the global agri-corporations from accessing and either exploiting or destroying its vast and precious seed banks. It had taken drastic, isolationist steps to preserve itself while most of the rest of the world faltered into massive contraction and potential extinction.

The white shirts of the Environment Ministry enforced the official policy of the Child Queen’s regime, burning fields and villages if genetic blight or plague struck, conducting customs inspections of the expensive goods imported on dirigibles and confiscating and destroying even items supposedly protected by large bribes. And, “mulching” any windups they discovered.

May 14, 2010 · Judi Clark · 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Hugo Award, Nebula Award Winner, Scifi, Speculative (Beyond Reality)

GENESIS by Bernard Beckett

Anaximander (Anax), a young female historian, is the main character and narrator of Bernard Beckett’s novella, GENESIS. She has been called before a panel of Examiners at The Academy. She expects to defend her interpretation of the life of Adam Forde, 2058-2077, as a precursor to being asked to join this prestigious group that governs her civilization. Adam was a nonconformist in the twenty-first century Plato Republic. Adam, assigned as a Soldier guarding the Great Sea Fence, committed a treasonous act and instead of drawing the normal death penalty was imprisoned to serve as a “companion” to an android named Art.

May 28, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Reading Guide, Speculative (Beyond Reality)