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Publisher's Summary

A scavenger robot wanders in the wasteland created by a war that has destroyed humanity in this evocative postapocalyptic "robot Western" from the critically acclaimed author, screenwriter, and noted film critic.

It's been 30 years since the apocalypse and 15 years since the murder of the last human being at the hands of robots. Humankind is extinct. Every man, woman, and child has been liquidated by a global uprising devised by the very machines humans designed and built to serve them. Most of the world is controlled by an OWI - One World Intelligence, the shared consciousness of millions of robots uploaded into one huge mainframe brain. But not all robots are willing to cede their individuality - their personalities - for the sake of a greater, stronger, higher power. These intrepid resisters are outcasts, solo machines wandering among various underground outposts, who have formed into an unruly civilization of rogue AIs in the wasteland that was once our world.

One of these resisters is Brittle, a scavenger robot trying to keep a deteriorating mind and body functional in a world that has lost all meaning. Although unable to experience emotions like a human, Brittle is haunted by the terrible crimes the robot population perpetrated on humanity. As Brittle roams the Sea of Rust, a large swath of territory that was once the Midwest, the loner robot slowly comes to terms with horrifyingly raw and vivid memories - and nearly unbearable guilt.

Sea of Rust is both a harsh story of survival and an optimistic adventure. A vividly imagined portrayal of ultimate destruction and desperate tenacity, it boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, yet where a humanlike AI strives to find purpose among the ruins.

©2017 C. Robert Cargill (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Give me more Mercer

I was blown away by Sea of Rust and how human Cargill was able to make the characters, despite having different concerns to their fleshy counterparts. I would love to explore this world again, especially if we were able to follow Mercer somehow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Issac Asimov would love this book

If you like, I Robot, then you will also enjoy this book. Lots of soul searching, the meaning of life, and other universe spanning conundrums throughout, but with plenty of action and suspense to keep you reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic western

It may feature robots and energy weapons but this is a fantastic western, through and through.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Those who remain fight on

Just a damn fine book about identity and what it means to sacrifice. Narrator is excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good Sci-Fi. Becomes less interesting as you go

I really LOVED this book, for the first half or so. Great, original Sci-Fi. Then it sort of becomes a sequence of battles, and the futuristic insights and creative thoughts drop off precipitously. The sequences in which the main character's consciousness fades into hallucinations constructed from half-remembered failing memories grows old quickly. The reader does not speak in especially different, distinguished voices for each character, which makes the performance a bit dull. And the story ends without much of resolution - perhaps the writer is leaving it open for sequels. Overall, it was OK, but about halfway through I dropped my intention to recommend it to my other Sci-Fi appreciating friend.

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Riveting from cover to cover!

The story is captivating and the narration is perfect. I hope for a sequel. Highly recommended!

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A mashup of 'Robots' and 'Mad Max Fury Road'

What made the experience of listening to Sea of Rust the most enjoyable?

This is a listening experience which is highly compatible with the content. Eva Kaminsky, as Brittle, steps up to the 'tough nut' role without a flaw. She transports the audience into a terrible world of monstrous beauty beyond the existence of human civilization. A world where a vestige of human hope still flickers, despite seemingly impossible odds. C. Robert Cargill has pulled it off. The story very surprisingly gains momentum as it progresses, ultimately delivering a beating heart to a 'tin man', or 'woman'!

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Robot Mad Max

Action and adventure in a robot future. Great world building and characters! Voiceacting top notch!

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How is this book not more popular?!

I was turned onto this book because I thought it sounded like fresh idea and I was not disappointed. I loved the universe that the author created, it seems so plausible. Definitely one of a kind! Please write sequels!!!

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good robot western

good story. would make for a good prequel. liked the philosophical ideas and wish they went even deeper into those aspects.