vN: The First Machine Dynasty

vN: The First Machine Dynasty

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780857665423
Publisher: Watkins Media
Publication date: 01/03/2017
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About 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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vN 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Mother_Gamer_Writer More than 1 year ago
vN is a very interesting, and fresh take on science fiction. At least it was for me, you know the woman who loves to watch Star Trek, Doctor Who, and tons of sci-fi movies. But let me tell you a bit more about the book before I give you my complete honest opinion and reaction. First off, vN is short for von Neumann, which is essentially a robot with artificial intelligence. Here is the thing. They were originally created to mimic humans for all sorts of wonderful things. They made models that could be nurses, field workers, really you name it. Each model was created with a failsafe so that they would never turn on the human population. In fact, seeing a human hurt would cause pain to the vN. That was until the world met Amy. A small vN that her mother had iterated with her human father. They had chosen to raise her slowly, unlike most robots who could complete their growth within a year. Her parents also chose to raise her around more humans than those of her kind. But they never told her why or more so her mother never told her why. At her kindergarten graduation Amy watched as her grandmother attacked and killed a friend. An impossible feat according to the software and fail-safe designers, but Portia had done it, and shown no remorse as she continued to pursue Amy’s mother. Without much thought, and an increasing hunger drive, Amy consumed her grandmother. It would not be the end of granny, no she would live inside of her, and every so often she would rear her destructive head, and take control of Amy’s body. After being caught, Amy meets Javier who was arrested for iterating too many vN. He is tough, head strong, and completely amused at how human this girl seems to be. When she cries it seems real, not her fail-safe kicking in or her hard drive trying to load the correct response. While on the run he iterates his 13th child, and time after time he wants to leave him behind when they get into a heap of trouble, but Amy refuses. How can someone who is a vN, and ate her own grandmother have such compassion and love? Follow along and find out! Wow… This is my first ever 5 controller review on science fiction. Perhaps it was the stellar writing, or the in-depth story the writer painted. On the other hand it could just be completely and utterly fascinating. Especially when reading the story with human eyes. I often wonder how the world would react if we had something like vN. Could we find them capable of love and trust? I found myself wondering how I would react if I were in Amy’s fathers shoes, or the shoes of one of the many doctors who created and continued to develop the vN technology. The whole kit n’ caboodle was fascinating to say the least. This book does have a lot of darker elements. One in particular is the reason these robots were actually created, and as much as it disgusts me I will share it for anyone sensitive. Essentially they were made, and often used, to satisfy pedophile urges. This was needed to tell the story, and there are no graphic details given, but I felt it needed to be put out there as a forewarning. There is also mention of death, theft, violence, and other things. So it’s best read by the 18+ crowd. BUT! It is also filled with adventure, suspense, romance, friendship, and the essence of family. I’m still not an expert on this genre, but I fell in love with Amy, the naive, sweet, vN who had her world turned upside down. All of this because her fail-safe failed… read it folks, just read it! Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Reviewer: Heather
cwreynolds More than 1 year ago
Good book. The writing and the story definitely sucks you in and makes it hard to put the book down. It was definitely nice to see modern coverage of some of the themes that Philip K Dick made famous. There were a couple of portions where the story jumped and I thought I had missed something causing me to go back and reread the previous sections. Additionally, some parts of the story seemed to take a slipstream approach. Overall, it is a good book that I would recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The reviews talked this book up so I purchased, only to find out that the minority where correct. One star for neat story only. The plot line was hard to follow at times. Characters not developed, hard sometimes to discern who was talking, the flow and purpose was lacking. I finished the book (barely) only to find that I was just as confused as when I started.
Bastett More than 1 year ago
This was a book club book and if it wasn't for the club I probably wouldn't have read it. Very good book. The first part of the book was slow but the rest of the book was amazing! Interesting concept with a great moral message.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A nice take on the classic sentient robot story.
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Ms. Ashby has created a truly sympathetic, synthetic heroine!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ashby introduces and draws out her characters very well, and the pacing is good. Considering that this isn't a very long book, a great deal of information and concept was covered in a very short space, and the crescendo to the climax didn't seem at all forced.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you're not depressed enough, this book should do the job.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be boring, confusing, and unengaging. The characters were weakly developed--I never cared about any of them (couldn't we at least have had a nice dog to lend some life to the story?). The scenes jumped about with little continuity. That the book was poorly written was too bad because Madeline clearly had some wonderful ideas. If only she could have co-authored with a writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*he sighs*
Culturedropout More than 1 year ago
Check back with me in a couple of months.