A collection of imaginative new stories about the impending robotic revolution and human resistance, from seventeen of the biggest names insci-fi. Including - HUGH HOWEY, SCOTT SIGLER, DANIEL H. WILSON, CORY DOCTOROW and JULIANNE BAGGOTT.
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.
Ambivalence toward technology is central to Adams and Wilson's collection of 17 stories about artificial intelligence in revolt. Sometimes the results are comic: the AI narrator of Charles Yu's "Cycles" regards its human owner with a mixture of disgust, pity, and affection, and a household robot that illegally attempts to "love" a child in John McCarthy's "The Robot and the Baby" becomes a media sensation. More often, disaster ensues when machines designed to assist humans rebel, as with computer-controlled cars in Genevieve Valentine's postapocalyptic road trip "Eighty Miles an Hour All the Way to Paradise" and intelligent children's toys in Seanan McGuire's heartbreaking "We Are All Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War." Subtler dangers threaten to end the world in Alastair Reynolds's "Sleepover" and Wilson's own "Small Things." Though a robot loves and raises a human child in Julianna Baggott's "The Golden Hour" and a woman in an African village poisoned by a pipeline teaches a robot guard to play music in Nnedi Okorafor's "Spider the Artist," most of the stories in this entertaining and occasionally unsettling anthology present a decidedly pessimistic vision of machine futures.