alexvb's review

Go to review page

3.0

(I recieved this as an Arc from netgalley.)
This book has lots and lots of robot uprising short stories and each and everyone was interesting in different ways; be it the robots having emotions or it being suspenseful and a fearful story or just simply you wanted to know 'how the heck were these characters gunna survive?!'
For me, it was a bit long and maybe that's because it was my first short story collection read. But never the less, thoroughly enjoyable and I assume, more enjoyable if you take your time reading it rather than all together without a normal book break in between.

jmoses's review

Go to review page

4.0

A good mix of stories. A couple standouts, and a couple that were forgettable, just like any anthology. Adams does a great job putting these together, and the overall quality was high.

squidbag's review

Go to review page

4.0

A completely fun collection of short stories about robots run amok, ranging from the thought-provokingly philosophical to the fun, to the comepletely creepy. A great collection for any science fiction fan, has stories from Wilson, Doctorow, Foster and Cline, plus a couple of real gems hiding between the names you've heard of. Very enjoyable.

HAIL OUR NEW ROBOT MASTERS.

doingdewey's review

Go to review page

3.0

Summary: There were some awesome ideas in this collection, but many of the stories felt under-developed or incomplete.

I don't read a lot of sci-fi any more, but it's one of the genres I read the most in high school and I still often love it when I pick it up. So, even though short stories aren't always my thing, I thought there couldn't be much better than a collection all about robot uprisings. I also recognized the names of a number of authors in the collection, including Nnedi Okorafor, Ernest Cline, and Cory Doctorow. 

As you might have guessed from my intro, there is a 'but' coming. The topics and the authors made me think this had to be good, but it was a bit of a disappointment. Short story collections by multiple authors are typically hit or miss for me, but this book had exceptionally few hits. As you can see from the plot of my ratings below, I'd only give 5 out of these 17 stories a rating of 4 or 5 stars. I also handed out a lot of 2's - not a rating I use often!

 



I can only conclude that the editor for this collection doesn't share my short story pet peeves. Many of these finished just as they got to the interesting bit; had great ideas that weren't fully fleshed out; and/or left me hanging instead of resolving the interesting situation they'd drawn me into. A few didn't explain enough to even make sense. There were a ton of great, unique ideas here though. Stories were told from the perspectives of both humans and robots. Robots took over in subtle ways or with guns blazing. Robots experienced emotions or were pitiless machines and had motivations from concern for humans to a desire for revenge. Many of these stories, even those I gave poor reviews, had ideas I'd love to read more about. These authors were just not, in my opinion, very good at writing short stories.

Since I think all of the stories I disliked are summed up pretty well above, I'll wrap up with some short reviews of the stories that did win me over.

  • Genevieve Valentine's Eighty Miles an Hour All the Way to Paradise - I really enjoyed this story. The way the humans fought back in this world was something I'd love to see in a movie. The people story was engaging and while the end still left some plot points unresolved, I felt that gave this story a haunting , melancholy feel that I enjoyed.

  • Cory Doctorow's Epoch - The AI in this story had an awesome personality as did the sys admin he worked with. I loved the quirky, geeky, pop culture references. I thought both the writing and the plot were quite clever. I'd still have liked a slightly happier, more resolved ending, but that didn't keep em from enjoying fun, fantastic, well-thought out story.

  • Jeff Abbott's Human Intelligence - I initially didn't like this story, because the main character was a stereotypical, macho, ex-law-enforcement officer and the author didn't make him at all sympathetic. He also used acronyms I didn't think we catchy enough to be believable. That makes me even more impressed that he managed to garner my only 5 star rating for a fantastic twist.

  • Julianna Baggott's The Golden Hour - There wasn't much to the plot in this one, but the way the robots' experience of emotion was described was unique and beautiful.

  • Alastair Reynolds' Sleepover - The idea for this story wasn't as unique as some of the others, but the implementation was much better. The details of the world the author created were unique and the plot and action sequences were exciting. They'd make for a great movie. And the author managed to deliver a complete story, unlike so many others. I'd read more about this world, but appreciated that the story itself felt like one, complete episode.

  • Honorable mentions for Nnedi Okorafor's Spider the Artist, which evoked the feel of African mythology, and Anna North's Lullaby, which was like a sci-fi haunted house story. Both of these were too short to get more than three stars from me, but they've stuck with me and I'd read more by either author.


 This review was originally posted on Doing Dewey

halfmanhalfbook's review

Go to review page

3.0

There seems to be a lot of books coming out now with the theme of robots rising up and taking over some or all of the world. This book of short stories has this terrifying theme at its heart too, with the different authors developing a range of different ideas, from all out war, to the children’s toys taking them away from the adults, to nanobots that are capable of modifying the actual genetics of people.

As with all collections, there are the good and the bad. One of my favourites was the one by Alistair Reynolds, and one of my least by Alan Dean Foster. But what really came across was that startlingly different and frightening dystopian futures that these authors could imagine with the rise of AI and robots. Solid set of stories, and worth reading it you want to be ever so slightly scared by the future.
More...