vN: The First Machine Dynasty

vN: The First Machine Dynasty

3.5 17
by Madeline Ashby
     
 

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Amy Peterson is a self-replicating humanoid robot known as a VonNeumann.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother's past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny

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Overview

Amy Peterson is a self-replicating humanoid robot known as a VonNeumann.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother's past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she's learning impossible things about her clade's history - like the fact that she alone can kill humans without failsafing...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Self-replicating vN (von Neumann) humanoids face unique dilemmas in debut novelist Ashby’s robot family drama. Amy, the synthetic daughter of a mixed human/synthetic couple, is surprised at kindergarten graduation by her mother’s mother, Portia, who kills a human child despite her embedded fail-safe. Amy, who has been starved to keep her development human-paced, devours Portia and immediately grows to adult size. Hunted as a fugitive, she must also contend with a copy of Portia still running in her thoughts. Amy dodges bounty hunters with Javier, another fugitive synthetic with family problems (he’s a serial reproducer who abandons fast-grown offspring), and seeks to free her jailed parents and reach the legendary humanoid sanctuary of Mecha. Ashby manages to create real sympathy for her synthetics, but fails to detail her near-future landscape (a Pacific Northwest depopulated by an enormous earthquake) with enough distractions to cover the paucity of human characters. Agent: Monica Pacheco, Anne McDermid Associates. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"vN did not disappoint. It is a fantastic adventure story that carries a sly philosophical payload about power and privilege, gender and race. It is often profound, and it is never boring."
- Cory Doctorow

“If you have been missing the kind of thought-provoking-yet-exciting stories about artificial creatures that only come along once in a while, vN is well worth grabbing. It's disturbing and sometimes upsetting — but the ending is a giant insane weird thrill that makes the whole thing pay off.”
—Charlie Jane Andres for io9.com

"Picks up where Blade Runner left off and maps territories Ridley Scott barely even glimpsed.  (Philip K Dick would have been at home here, but Ashby's prose is better.) vN might just be the most piercing interrogation of humanoid AI since Asimov kicked it all off with the Three Laws."
Peter Watts, author of Blindsight

"VN fuses cyberpunk with urban fantasy to produce something wholly new.  Thre's a heavy kicker in every chapter.  Zombie robots, vampire robots, robots as strange and gnarly as human beings.  A page-turning treat."- Rudy Rucker, author of the WARE TETRALOGY

"Ashby's debut novel is brimming with ideas..."
-SFX Magazine

vN is a thrilling adventure story with a well-developed cast of both humans and vNs, which challenges the meaning of being a person without ever being preachy about it.”
-Steve Jones, Terror Tree

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780857662620
Publisher:
Watkins Media
Publication date:
07/31/2012
Series:
Machine Dynasty Series, #1
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
547,388
Product dimensions:
5.62(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.03(d)

Meet the Author

Madeline Ashby grew up in a household populated by science fiction fans. She graduated from a Jesuit university in 2005, after having written a departmental honors thesis on science fiction. After meeting Ursula K. LeGuin in the basement of the Elliott Bay Book Company that year, she decided to start writing science fiction stories. She has been published in Tesseracts, Flurb, Nature, Escape Pod and elsewhere. Currently, she works as a strategic foresight consultant in Toronto.

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