Madeline Ashby's debut novel "vN" scores awesome io9 review
|The awesome vN cover. Click to embiggen.|
Major science fiction site io9 ran a glowing review yesterday of Madeline Asby's debut novel, vN, due out in July from Angry Robot books. Calling it "the most messed up book about robot consciousness ever," reviewer Charlie Jane Anders says:
"It's a strange, dazzling look at the world through the eyes of a rogue artificial woman, who sees things in an off-kilter fashion, and becomes the most dangerous robot in the world as a result. You get drawn into the lush, disturbing world, seeing it through the eyes of a robot, and soon enough you're losing your whole sense of reality. The familiar human world will never look the same again."
Anders offers comparisons to Blade Runner and Battlestar Galactica and tips the essence of the book, which, like all great artificial consciousness stories, is really about us humans: "It's actually a pretty great coming-of-age novel wrapped inside a robot adventure."
As you have probably inferred by now, I've read this book, and think it's awesome. Ashby brings the kind of life to her vN (von Neumann) robots that only comes from keen observation, empathetic insight, social consciousness, and immense craft.
Full disclosure: I had the privilege of workshopping with Ashby and had the chance to read this in manuscript. It was one of the few times I was so totally blown away that I just couldn't find anything to critique. Artificial consciousness stories are one of my soft spots, and this just nails it. I cannot wait for book two...