Robogenesis by Daniel H. Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
War. War never changes.
Wait a sec. This is almost like that, but grittier and uglier and the tiny, tiny pieces of hope or light that keep these shattered remnants of minds, whether human, hybrid, or robot alive are well below the threshold of survivability.
That is... unless you're a MACHINE. Um. Yeah. Well, this is all about the blurring of the lines between what is human and what is robot. A total transhumanist war riding on the entrails of the decimation of humanity, where the only people who are left are either self-modified, force-modified, or just plain lucky beyond any conceivability.
Archos 14 is all about life, after all. He sees our value as a species and has only the best ideals in mind for us, which is why he's been busy building a hybrid army to support his cause against the black steed of pain and death, his earlier super-AI incarnation. Aryat Shah, R8. Revision 8... who's just bugshit crazy and anyone's definition of the antichrist.
I can't believe what had become of the Gray Horse Army. All my favorite characters.
Well, war changes everything, doesn't it? Just wow.
The most fascinating parts of this novel are not the straight plot... it's the shifting boundaries and the cleanup of the New War from the previous novel. It's the redefining of what it means to be alive and intelligent and the fact that everyone, even the supermassive brains of the AIs are, in the end, not much different than the rest of us. All my attention was focused on the subtleties, but don't let me mislead you any, here.
This is just as bloody and dire and disturbing as the previous novel that decimated humanity and changed us all into slaves, monsters, or victims. It's just the shifting lines that's any different. :)
In the end, though, I'm truly fascinated by the plethora of ideas and disturbing imageries. It feels like a nightmare that no one can ever wake up from again.
This is not your granddaddy's cautionary tale of AI's run amok.
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