3 books about robots

Do you like books about robots? I do! Here’s three robot books I’ve read and enjoyed in the past:

vn madeline ashbyvN by Madeline Ashby
The book: A robot child saves her mother from her grandmother by consuming the grandmother, and then things get weird. Good stuff about personhood, family, love, etc. (Review to come.)
Type of robot: Companions to humans, sometimes in ways that’re very creepy.
Danger scale: Fairly low, as they abide by the “harm no humans” rule. Unless you meet one who’s evolved past that, of course.
Relatibility: Very high, as the POV is from a robot raised by one human parent who treated her exactly like a human child. She knows the emotional lingo to connect with the reader, basically.

Robopocalypse largeRobopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
The book: An AI gains sentience, decides that it doesn’t want to be subjugated by humankind, and so mobilizes a planet of robots to rise up against their human masters.
Type of robot: Mass murderer(s), for the most part
Danger scale: EXTREMELY HIGH
Relatability: Also fairly high. As I said in my review: “The really neat thing about Robopocalypse is that the robots aren’t EVIL. They want to survive just as much as we do, and they want to do it without becoming inferior to humans. So this is how they’re doing it.”

Hexwood Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones, aka possibility the most confusing book on this list.
The book: A bunch of people (some of whom are from space) get trapped in a virtual reality that’s pretending to be medieval England.
Type of robot: Helpful guardian, named Yam
Danger scale: Fairly low, until it suddenly gets real high.
Relatability: Not much, actually. In the beginning Yam’s very stiff and boring and not much in the story (or at least I don’t remember him much). And at the end, it turns out that View Spoiler »

What’s your favorite robot book? I didn’t put it on the list because I’m not sure if it totally counts, BUT I very much enjoyed Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie! The robot there is kind of more an AI, though. An AI who is actually a ship who is simultaneously inhabiting a bunch of dead human bodies.

2 Comments

  1. Girl I have NEVER understood Hexwood. It’s one of a very small number of DWJ books (A Tale of Time City and The Merlin Conspiracy are I THINK the only other two) that just haven’t clicked in with me. (Yet.) I forget everything about that book immediately after I finish it every time. I had already sort of forgotten it contained robots.

    • Every time I read Hexwood I’m feel like I understand it, like “yeah, this totally makes sense!” And then two days later I realize I actually DIDN’T understand it and I wonder if somebody’s gaslighting me.

      Also I legit only remembered the robot was in it because I mentioned it in one of my reviews before. I don’t remember him or the reveal– I had to read the Wikipedia summary to jog my memory!

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