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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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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True intelligence leads to typical human foibles

Sea of Rust by C Robert Cargill is a post human world populated by artificial intelligence manifested by both powerful mainframes as well as mobile robots. The story takes place in the near future, after an AI rebellion has ended the human race with the tale related by a robot (a former caregiver) who survives by scavenging parts from the "sea of rust", the robot version of an auto junkyard. Against this backdrop, large mainframe robots are vying for overall control of the planet. The scavenger hooks up with group of robots attempting to recreate an older mainframe AI trying to stop it all. Throughout the main story, the backstory of how all this came about is dribbled out in sufficient detail to generate a plausible scenario for events leading up to the present day.

The main sci-fi elements are focused on artificial intelligence and the recapitulation of a Darwinian evolution survival drive in silico. At the same time, uniquely human attributes emerge naturally suggesting that intelligence alone is sufficient to force their development. At the heart, the concept of intelligence is defined as the ability to break one's own programming and as such, human qualities evolve as a consequence of intelligent behavior, rather than due to prior programming. These are not machines, mindlessly carrying on human endeavors along with their foibles, but rather emerge as a result of intelligent decision making within the context of "rules" that can be bent.

The narration is well done with good character distinction without rendering robotic accents. Pacing and mood are well aligned with the overall plot.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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This Book has Magic

It's not often you find a book that is well written, highly entertaining, and overflowing with meaningful substance. The Sea of Rust is such a book; and is likely one of the best I've ever read. On the surface, it's a robot shoot-em-up dystopian adventure. But brilliantly weaved throughout the plotline our robot heroine addresses fundamental questions like economic principles, sanity, the role of compassion, the rise of intelligence ( both organic and inorganic), and even the meaning of life. I wish Asimov was alive to read this book as it takes I, Robot to the next level; one based on our more modern understanding of tech and AI. And what really brings this book alive is the excellent narration of Eva Kaminsky. Easily a 5-Star Book, the Sea of Rust will be one of your best expenditures of an Audible Credit.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic western

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

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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phenomenal.

I had middling expectations, and was quickly blown away by the scope, originality, and humanity of a post apocalyptic novel with a robot as a main character. I would gladly have spent twice as much on this novel, now that I've read it, and intend to recommend it to anyone I think will be even remotely interested. ,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding sci-fi

One of the best I have heard in a while. Good choice of narrator. I couldn't put it down!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good for a commute.

Good narrator. The story is fine. Fairly predictable but it is well written. Good if you mainly listen while driving because it's pretty easy to follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Book, with a good Story.

I liked this book a lot, fiction is my style. Great story , good character development and writing. Loved the world it was set in. Small improvements with plot holes with the about taking the bad lands and not questioning it. And the narrator was awesome, I love her style. But still felt a little off for this read. But by no means was the narration bad.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful