On a world of intelligent robots who seem to have forgotten their own distant past, it is a time of war as the soldiers of Artemis City set out to conquer everything within range on the continent of Shull, killing or converting every robot they capture to their philosophy, while viewing their own wire-based minds as nothing but metal to be used or recycled for the cause. Elsewhere, the more individualistic robots of Turing City believe they are something more than metal, but when the Artemisian robot Kavan sets out on a determined crusade to prove himself, even Turing City can’t stand against him. Increasingly tied up with Kavan’s destiny is Karel, a Turing robot with elements of Artemis’s philosophy already woven into his mind … as well as Karel’s wife Susan, and their recently created child.. Following the inevitable violence and destruction, Artemisian ambition focuses elsewhere and a journey begins towards the frozen kingdoms of the north … and towards the truth about the legendary ‘Book of Robots’, a text which may finally explain the real history of this strange world … In a completely alien but brilliantly realized landscape, here is a powerful story of superb action, barbaric cruelty and intense emotional impact.
©2010 Tony Ballantyne (P)2010 Audible Ltd
"An absorbingly written novel that finds new and inventive ways to ask some classic SF “what if?” questions’ . . . An affecting, powerful and deeply relevant work of science fiction’SFX‘An original work with a distinctive voice. It works not only as a thrilling action adventure, but as a thought experiment exploring free will, independence and totalitarianism." (The Guardian)
This novel is Not-At-All what you might expect. The story opens very strong with a excerpt from Longfellow's 'Hiawatha', and keeps up the pace. The story is not only original, but it is so well built that it's easy to believe that Ballantyne is in-fact describing a plausible new life form. I certainly plan to purchase Book 2.
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