Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Six science fiction novels for fans of "Westworld"

Sam Reader is a writer and conventions editor for The Geek Initiative. He also writes literary criticism and reviews at strangelibrary.com. At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog he tagged "six books loaded with the same mixture of existential weirdness, artificial consciousness, and killer machines [as HBO's Westworld]," including:
All Systems Red, by Martha Wells

In the future, the Company requires its contractors and researchers establishing outposts on colony worlds to travel with a security android, complete with a behavioral governor unit to ward off unfortunate “incidents” should the heavily armed security droid get ideas of its own. Unlike its peers, “Murderbot,” the narrator of All Systems Red, hacked its own governor, allowing it to contemplate its own existence and become more and more independent, then promptly using its newfound freedom to…binge-watch TV dramas. Systems is probably the closest Westworld readalike on this list, as its bio-mechanoid murderbot narrator spends equal time exploring its own developing consciousness and its relationship with humans,. Its organic components draw a nice parallel to the construction of the show’s Hosts, as does the way humans and the Company treat Murderbot, in that if they realized it had become self-aware, they would first question it, then strip it for parts. There’s one big difference though: Murderbot is funny as hell.
Read about another entry on the list.

All Systems Red also appears among Nicole Hill's six robots too smart for their own good.

Also see five YA books for Westworld fans and eight books for fans of HBO’s Westworld.

--Marshal Zeringue