Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Eight top books for fans of HBO’s "Westworld"

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Ceridwen Christensen tagged eight books for fans of HBO’s Westworld. One title on the list:
The Alchemy Wars, by Ian Tregillis

Ian Tregillis’s Alchemy Wars trilogy is a suffusion of alternate history, technology, and magic that is, in some ways, far removed from the shiny tech of Westworld, but thematically, they’re cooking the same noodles. In The Mechanical, the year is 1926, but we are decidedly not in the Jazz Age. We know Christiaan Huygens as a 17th century Enlightenment mathematician, horologist, and astronomer who invented the pendulum clock, among many, many other things. In Tregillis’ timeline, he also builds clockwork mechanical men. Using alchemical magic, he imbues the “clakkers” with artificial intelligences bounded by geas, or hierarchical compulsions to serve humans. Though this wondrous new technology, the Dutch conquer the world, and the industrial revolution as we know it never occurs. The concept of the geas—the binding magic of either allegiance or servitude—is in some ways the pivot point of the series. Who do you live for? Who will you die for? What compels you? And what can compel you, force you to act against your will? We’re asking all the same questions about Westworld‘s hosts. It’s no accident that the most morally clean character in Tregillis’ novels is a robot; the human characters are bent on scheming and war-mongering, while Jax, the clakker, freed from the geas, revels in his newfound agency. He’s on quest for other free clakkers, a voyage of self-discovery and self-determination.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Mechanical is among io9's very best science fiction & fantasy books of 2015.

The Page 69 Test: The Rising.

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