Sunday, September 09, 2018

Five top books that give voice to artificial intelligence

Australian SFF writers Tansy Rayner Roberts and Rivqa Rafael are the co-editors of the speculative fiction anthology, Mother of Invention. One of five books that give voice to artificial intelligence they tagged at
All Systems Red by Martha Wells

One of the most compelling POV voices I’ve read in years is in this first installment of the Murderbot Diaries. Murderbot—who chooses this name as its own identity, relishing all the associated baggage—is a corporate security droid who has developed a security glitch, enabling it to hack its own systems and ignore any orders it does not want to follow.

Murderbot hates humans, loves soap operas, and just wants to be left alone to figure out its own identity and come to terms with its history as a killer of humans who never wants to do that again.

In short, Murderbot is the perfect noir hero, solving crimes and saving the day while hating the world and wallowing in downloaded entertainment instead of bourbon. Murderbot is as snarky as a Raymond Chandler protagonist, but far more complex, and feels entirely not-human while still clearly being shaped by the expectations of humanity. I will happily read a zillion of these stories and the good news for me is that there’s already one sequel out with more on the way.–Tansy
Read about another entry on the list.

All Systems Red also appears among T.W. O'Brien's five recent books that explore the secret lives of robots, Sam Reader's top six science fiction novels for fans of Westworld, and Nicole Hill's six robots too smart for their own good.

--Marshal Zeringue