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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Saturn's Children

Copyright 2009 by Charles Stross

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this on the 31st December 2010.

The humans are gone but the robots live on. They grow and prosper, colonizing the solar system and launching starships to Tau Ceti, as mankind had once wished.

They also live down to the example set by humanity, democracy is a whispered subversion - Our new robotic order is a society of slaves and slave owners, the few free robots jealously and desperately guard their freedom. Quirkily they do it by legally owning themselves.

Now there is a fearful rumour. Some robots living on the edge of this solar society have recreated a real human.

Many view this as insanity. Our robotic offspring are conscious, pretty much the same as the humans they mimic in so many ways. But there is one potentially disastrous difference. Built into the core personalities of the vast majority is the essential command: to serve, obey and adore humanity,

At the sight of a single human these robotic citizens would fall swooning to their floor and worship, instantly enslaved to their new master. That single human could rule the entire robotic society Other robots believe that if they could control that human, they could instead bind all of the solar system to their desires.

And so the race is on.

Our young centenarian Freya Nakamichi-47, a sexbot built for humans, but awakened to a world empty of the ones she desires, is thrust into a battle against the mighty powers of the this robot regime.

I don't know how Charles Stross is able, time after time, to churn out such refreshingly enjoyable novels to his avid readers (with me among those, of course). This isn't his best book and I probably didn't do it justice by reading fifteen minutes here and twenty minutes there over a week of Christmas 2010 celebrations, but it is worth reading and it's great fun.

Loaded on the 22nd April 2012.
Cover of Saturn's Children
Cover art by Joe Williamsen