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  • gilwilson 4:22 PM on January 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: clockwork, , robots, , , terminator   

    “The Clockwork Dynasty” By Daniel H. Wilson 

    32670125The Clockwork Dynasty
    By: Daniel H. Wilson
    Narrated by: David Giuntoli, Claire Coffee
    Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
    Release date: 08-01-17
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    Take a little bit of Steampunk, mix it in with some mythology, maybe a hint of the Terminator, then take out the steam and use clockwork and you have yourself a new form of sci-fi created by Daniel H. Wilson in “The Clockwork Dynasty.”  Okay, I’m not 100% sure he created this new genre, but, until listening to this audiobook, I had never heard of the premise.

    The story jumps back and forth between present day and the 18th century telling the tale of a “race” of beings created to maybe help mankind.  I say maybe because some of the even further past events that are visited to me seem a little blurred.  I’m hoping this is because Wilson is planning on writing more books in this world he has created.  Each Automaton has a word which guides their actions and even creates some of their personality.  That word is built into their animus that serves as their soul.

    June, a scientist specializing in ancient technology carries an animus with her that her grandfather found after being saved by an automaton on the battlefield in Russia.  While working on a 300 year old doll June soon discovers the underground world and war between the automatons.  She is soon swept into the this world with Peter who once served the Czar.

    The narrators swap chapters depending on what time the action is taking place.  Claire Coffee narrates the modern day events while David Giuntoli narrates the past events and the life of Peter.  The two create a time travel experience through the different voices so the listener is never lost as to when is being discussed.

    Closing out this review, I have to say that the action in this book ranges from robotic sword fights, to a “Come-with-me-if-you-want-to-live” action sequence that makes this book a great adventure.  After rolling through this book and feeling like I had been on the adventure with the two main characters, I had to look more into the world of the author Daniel H. Wilson.

    What first attracted me to the book was the author.  I had read some of his robot books before (e.g. Robogenesis) and knew they were full of adventure.  But what I found out this time around was that he holds a PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as Masters degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.  Now that’s pretty serious background work.

     

    Publisher’s Summary

    An epic, ingenious new thriller from the New York Times best-selling author of RobopocalypseThe Clockwork Dynasty weaves a riveting path through history and a race of humanlike machines that have been hiding among us for untold centuries.

    In the rugged landscape of Eastern Oregon, a young scientist named June uncovers an exquisite artifact – a 300-year-old mechanical doll whose existence seems to validate her obsession with a harrowing story she was told by her grandfather many years earlier. The mechanical doll, June believes, is proof of a living race of automatons that walk undetected among us to this day. Ingeniously hidden inside the ancient doll is a lost message addressed to the court of Peter the Great, czar of Russia.

    Russia, 1725: Peter and Elena, two humanlike mechanical beings, are brought to life under the watchful guise of Peter the Great. Their struggle to serve in the court of the czar while blending in and to survive amid those who fear and wish to annihilate them will take Peter and Elena across Russia, Europe, and, ultimately, the centuries, to the modern day.

    The Clockwork Dynasty is Daniel H. Wilson’s masterful new novel. It seamlessly interweaves past and present, exploring a race of beings that live by different principles from humans but ultimately value loyalty. As June learns more about these beings, she is quickly drawn into a fierce battle that has spanned the centuries and will ultimately determine the survival or extermination of this ancient race. Richly drawn and heart pounding, Wilson’s novel expertly draws on his robotics and science background, combining exquisite characters with breathtaking technology – and unmatched action. The Clockwork Dynasty is a riveting breakout novel.

    ©2017 Daniel H. Wilson (P)2017 Random House Audio
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  • gilwilson 3:14 AM on April 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: laws of robotics, plainclothesman bailey, r. daneel olivaw, robots   

    “The Naked Sun” By Isaac Asimov 

    The Naked Sun1590158
    The Robot Series, Book 2
    By: Isaac Asimov
    Narrated by: William Dufris
    Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
    Release date: 07-15-14
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    I absolutely love the Robots → Empire → Foundation books written by Asimov. The story from beginning to end is simply genius and a great representation of the possible future of humanity. Any chance I get to revisit these books I jump on it. This time around I found that the books have been re-issued as audiobooks and that just gives me the excuse to get lost in the stories again.

    The narrator, William Dufris, delivers the characters of Plainclothesman Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw to match exactly what I had pictured in my mind when originally reading these books. The frustration of Bailey and the precision of Olivaw are perfect and make this audiobook even more rewarding.

    In this book, Plainclothesman Bailey, from Earth is called upon by Solaria to investigate a murder on their planet, the first one in hundreds of years. Solaria was colonized by humans centuries ago, along with other outer planets in the galaxy. Earth is now reduced to underground cities (caves of steel), where people live in fear of open spaces and the Sun. Colonists who move to other planets are far superior in terms of military and technology and Earth men live in perpetual fear of these spacers.

    Solaria in particular has made superlative advancements in Robotics. The ratio of 1 human to robots in solaria is 1:10,000. There are only 20,000 humans in Solaria who own large and self sufficient estates, with armies of robots to fulfill their every whim and fancy. Over a period of time human interaction has become minimum on Solaria, people seldom view each other and almost never see/meet. They use some advanced 3-D/television technology to interact with each other without ever meeting in person. On the other hand, Earth is over crowded and human interaction is a necessity, for this reason a detective from Earth would do a much better job of investigating a murder then a Solarian.My favorite aspect of the robot books by Isaac Asimov is that he came up with three laws of robotics which his stories generally revolve around and some feel would actually be imbibed into Robots when the time comes. Basically he creates detective stories with the following rules to go by:

    1.  A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
    2.  A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    3.  A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

    Even though these rules sound full proof, and there would be no way a robot could harm humans, but human ingenuity coupled with human machinations can lead even the incorruptible robots to do things which their makers would have never anticipated. Thus making the twist to the detective story only Asimov could write.

    Publisher’s Summary

    A millennium into the future, two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the Galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. On the beautiful Outer World planet of Solaria, a handful of human colonists lead a hermit-like existence, their every need attended to by their faithful robot servants. To this strange and provocative planet comes Detective Elijah Baley, sent from the streets of New York with his positronic partner, the robot R. Daneel Olivaw, to solve an incredible murder that has rocked Solaria to its foundations. The victim had been so reclusive that he appeared to his associates only through holographic projection. Yet someone had gotten close enough to bludgeon him to death while robots looked on. Now Baley and Olivaw are faced with two clear impossibilities: Either the Solarian was killed by one of his robots – unthinkable under the laws of Robotics – or he was killed by the woman who loved him so much that she never came into his presence!

    ©1957 Isaac Asimov (P)2014 Random House Audio

     
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