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vN: The First Machine Dynasty

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vN: The First Machine Dynasty Cover

ISBN13: 9780857662620
ISBN10: 0857662627
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

Religion turns to science to provide for those left behind in the coming end times, resulting in self-replicating humanoids for humanity's use. Set in a near-future Pacific Northwest sparsely populated after an enormous earthquake, this robot family drama follows the growing pains of Amy and her psychotic clade-type of Stepford wives. Artificial Intelligence and its evolution — and mankind's relationship to it — is explored in this fast-paced adventure. A visit to the Virtual Reality Museum of Seattle's Pike Place Market is one of the more interesting stops during Amy's escape from bounty hunters and the government.
Recommended by Brian W., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Amy Peterson is a self-replicating humanoid robot known as a VonNeumann.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother's past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she's learning impossible things about her clade's history — like the fact that the failsafe that stops all robots from harming humans has failed.... Which means that everyone wants a piece of her, some to use her as a weapon, others to destroy her.

Review:

"Self-replicating vN (von Neumann) humanoids face unique dilemmas in debut novelist Ashby's robot family drama. Amy, the synthetic daughter of a mixed human/synthetic couple, is surprised at kindergarten graduation by her mother's mother, Portia, who kills a human child despite her embedded fail-safe. Amy, who has been starved to keep her development human-paced, devours Portia and immediately grows to adult size. Hunted as a fugitive, she must also contend with a copy of Portia still running in her thoughts. Amy dodges bounty hunters with Javier, another fugitive synthetic with family problems (he's a serial reproducer who abandons fast-grown offspring), and seeks to free her jailed parents and reach the legendary humanoid sanctuary of Mecha. Ashby manages to create real sympathy for her synthetics, but fails to detail her near-future landscape (a Pacific Northwest depopulated by an enormous earthquake) with enough distractions to cover the paucity of human characters. Agent: Monica Pacheco, Anne McDermid Associates." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Picks up where Blade Runner left off and maps territories Ridley Scott barely even glimpsed. (Philip K Dick would have been at home here, but Ashby's prose is better.) vN might just be the most piercing interrogation of humanoid AI since Asimov kicked it all off with the Three Laws." Peter Watts, author of Blindsight

Review:

"vN did not disappoint. It is a fantastic adventure story that carries a sly philosophical payload about power and privilege, gender and race. It is often profound, and it is never boring." Cory Doctorow

Review:

“If you have been missing the kind of thought-provoking-yet-exciting stories about artificial creatures that only come along once in a while, vN is well worth grabbing. It's disturbing and sometimes upsetting — but the ending is a giant insane weird thrill that makes the whole thing pay off.” Charlie Jane Andres for io9.com

Review:

"VN fuses cyberpunk with urban fantasy to produce something wholly new. There's a heavy kicker in every chapter. Zombie robots, vampire robots, robots as strange and gnarly as human beings. A page-turning treat." Rudy Rucker, author of the Ware Tetralogy

About the Author

Madeline Ashby grew up in a household populated by science fiction fans. She graduated from a Jesuit university in 2005, after having written a departmental honors thesis on science fiction. After meeting Ursula K. LeGuin in the basement of the Elliott Bay Book Company that year, she decided to start writing science fiction stories. She has been published in Tesseracts, Flurb, Nature, Escape Pod and elsewhere. Currently, she works as a strategic foresight consultant in Toronto.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

timothycward, June 8, 2013 (view all comments by timothycward)
Iā€™m very impressed with this debut novel from Madeline Ashby. She excels at making her A.I. robot perspective feel real, sometimes in humorous ways, sometimes in scary ways and most enjoyably through their struggle to experience love, freedom and responsibility over loved ones. The layout for how the robots iterate (make copies) appeals to the love of technology upgrades and creating superpowers, reminding me of an adventure through a video game and leveling up my characters, but in a story that also touches the heart.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780857662620
Subtitle:
The First Machine Dynasty
Author:
Ashby, Madeline
Publisher:
Angry Robot
Subject:
Science / High Tech
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-High Tech
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.46 x 5.51 x 0.99 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Adventure

vN: The First Machine Dynasty New Trade Paper
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Product details 416 pages Angry Robot - English 9780857662620 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Religion turns to science to provide for those left behind in the coming end times, resulting in self-replicating humanoids for humanity's use. Set in a near-future Pacific Northwest sparsely populated after an enormous earthquake, this robot family drama follows the growing pains of Amy and her psychotic clade-type of Stepford wives. Artificial Intelligence and its evolution — and mankind's relationship to it — is explored in this fast-paced adventure. A visit to the Virtual Reality Museum of Seattle's Pike Place Market is one of the more interesting stops during Amy's escape from bounty hunters and the government.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Self-replicating vN (von Neumann) humanoids face unique dilemmas in debut novelist Ashby's robot family drama. Amy, the synthetic daughter of a mixed human/synthetic couple, is surprised at kindergarten graduation by her mother's mother, Portia, who kills a human child despite her embedded fail-safe. Amy, who has been starved to keep her development human-paced, devours Portia and immediately grows to adult size. Hunted as a fugitive, she must also contend with a copy of Portia still running in her thoughts. Amy dodges bounty hunters with Javier, another fugitive synthetic with family problems (he's a serial reproducer who abandons fast-grown offspring), and seeks to free her jailed parents and reach the legendary humanoid sanctuary of Mecha. Ashby manages to create real sympathy for her synthetics, but fails to detail her near-future landscape (a Pacific Northwest depopulated by an enormous earthquake) with enough distractions to cover the paucity of human characters. Agent: Monica Pacheco, Anne McDermid Associates." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Picks up where Blade Runner left off and maps territories Ridley Scott barely even glimpsed. (Philip K Dick would have been at home here, but Ashby's prose is better.) vN might just be the most piercing interrogation of humanoid AI since Asimov kicked it all off with the Three Laws."
"Review" by , "vN did not disappoint. It is a fantastic adventure story that carries a sly philosophical payload about power and privilege, gender and race. It is often profound, and it is never boring."
"Review" by , “If you have been missing the kind of thought-provoking-yet-exciting stories about artificial creatures that only come along once in a while, vN is well worth grabbing. It's disturbing and sometimes upsetting — but the ending is a giant insane weird thrill that makes the whole thing pay off.”
"Review" by , "VN fuses cyberpunk with urban fantasy to produce something wholly new. There's a heavy kicker in every chapter. Zombie robots, vampire robots, robots as strange and gnarly as human beings. A page-turning treat."
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