Celia's body is not her own, but even her conscious mind can barely tell the difference. Living on the cutting edge of biomechanical science was supposed to allow her to lead a normal life in a near-perfect copy of her physical self while awaiting a cure for a rare and deadly genetic disorder. But a bioiandroid isn't a real person. Not according to the protesters outside Celia's house, her coworkers, or even her wife. Not according to her own evolving view of herself. As she begins to strip away the human affectations and inhibitions programmed into her new body, the chasm between the warm pains of flesh-and-blood life and the chilly comfort of the machine begins to deepen. Love, passion, reality, and memory war within Celia's body until she must decide whether to betray old friends or new ones in the choice between human and machine.
©2012 Jennifer Pelland (P)2012 Iambik Audio Inc.
"Intensely provocative and deeply disturbing, Pelland’s Machine is simply an unforgettable - and potentially nightmare-inducing - read. In a word: twisted." (Paul Goat Allen)
"Machine is a solid novel that marries both lofty ideas and gritty human drama in unexpected ways. Look past the cover." (Adrienne Martini, Locus Online)
The plot in this is so simple you can describe it in a short paragraph, but that is not the point -- it is about the writing -- about what happens both to the character and with the language. Set in the not-too-distant New England it deals with a nice lady who has her consciousness temporarily moved to a perfect machine body while her "real body" is in stasis awaiting a medical cure. Simple, right?
Nope. Spectrum anxiety disorders are examined, Body identification issues, gender issues -- relationship issues. It is as though someone said: "I want something like the Matrix or inception where all of the flash is in service of some real ideas. Less fascination with the idea of the machine -- and more about the ideas related to the effects of the machine.
This is not a G-rated book. And it addresses issues that, disguised as science fiction, are right now -- as many of the great ones are.
Two other thoughts. First the narration is beyond good. People who want to narrate books should listen to this to learn. Second, even if you are inclined not to -- try this listen.
"Sex and the Machine?"
This story is about Celia who has had her mind/Brain downloaded into an android body so that her original body can go into cold storage until a cure can be found for her illness.
Unfortunately, Celia is a weak willed woman and cannot come to terms with the fact that she is now a machine and so her life tumbles down into despair and self loathing.
I found that the fall into sexual fantasy by the protagonist, rather manufactured by the author and that the constant reference to sex as a panacea to all of Celia's problems unbelievable and contrived.
All in all, this book is gratuitous, weak, contrived and unconvincing. I 'd rather read the Beano.
In my opinion, don't bother with this one, give it a miss.
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