#Novel Review: vN (The Machine Dynasty #1) by Madeline Ashby | A robot becomes a godess #robot #scifi #reproduction


vN is the story of how a robot becomes a goddess.  About 160 thousand words or a 13 hour read.  Four stars, can get it in book or ebook form.

Host Body Review

It seemed to be Drexler, or Von Neuman inspired robots, similar to those in Charles Stross’s Accelerando series.  The main difference being that in vN it is extremely easy for the robots to reproduce, in fact they have to diet to prevent themselves from reproducing.

Also the vN are effectively immortal, capable of healing themselves and growing full new bodies even if they are cut up into little pieces — as long as they have food.

In that sense, they are quite the opposite of modern robots, because real robots are prone to breaking down and are extremely difficult to reproduce — you typically need a whole ecosystem of refineries and factories to make a robot.

I would thus classify this as soft scifi, even though Charles Stross may consider himself to be hard-scifi I don’t find the idea of biologically inspired nano-machine based robots to be at all realistic due to their requirements of having a liquid medium.   Even though synthetic biology is viable, it would not be much different  current biology, due to the same physical limitations — reliance on liquid medium.

I generally characterize robots as “solid-based lifeforms” to differentiate from the goldilocks-zone confined “liquid-based lifeforms” or “watersacks” for short.

Much as in Drexler’s ideas, the nano-goo or smart-matter becomes center stage in the epilogue.

World Review

Again robots are portrayed as subservient workers, with the main emphasis of this book being that they serve as good companion/sex slaves.  Otherwise they are rather surprisingly treated as equals.  While there is mention of legal limitations on robot reproduction in one state, the obvious ecological strain that would be caused by exponentially replicating practically immortal beings is not explored in this book.


In conclusion, it is an action packed romance about a “flawed” immortal robot who unwittingly becomes effectively a goddess and queen through the force of events and luck. Her main accomplishment being forging a relationship with a male willing to rescue her from the brink of death.

I give it four stars for keeping me amused for roughly 13 hours and being RPOV (Robot Point of View).

Can get it in book or ebook form.







Novel: Isaac Asimov’s Inferno by Roger MacBride Allen #robot #scifi #mystery #whodunit


New Law Robots’ desire for freedom creates a massive black market, read on as a robot species’ fate hangs in the balance. About 105,000 words or a 9 hour read.

Solid writing, lovable characters, robot perspective writing, and robots with liberty;  I give it four and a half stars.  I take off that half star for a combination of factors, including the senseless promoting of humans over robots, and because I felt mislead as to the identity of the mastermind.
I think it is a worthwhile read, especially considering the next one is Isaac Asimov’s (Robot) Utopia!
Can get it for under $10 from bookfinder.

#Game: Holy Robot Empire by Caleb Wilson #robot #scifi #puzzle #adventure


Set in a world where robots have taken over the world and established a Catholic style church.
Short and to the point, it has a few puzzles of moderate difficulty.  There are a few points where it seems rather hopeless how it can be completed, but some creative thinking can lead to the solution.
In terms of time, it’s somewhat of a short story, though the puzzles extend the time it takes to actually play through it if you have trouble figuring it out.

Can play it for free at :

Novella Review: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow #transhuman #scifi

Guy loses everything due to a combination of attachment to the past and desire for vengeance while tromping through Disney land.  About 53 thousand words or a 5 hour read.

I wish I had good things to say about this Novella.  I hope Disney pays Cory Doctorow handsome sums to write his infomercials about Disney land :-|(_blase (I feel blase)).

First couple of chapters the protagonist was a transhuman, but then he became some kind of caveman with unbridled emotion and senseless action.

I think overall it’s a tragedy, in terms of character arc. The characters start out somewhat reasonable and then just go down hill from there. None of the characters get better, or solve their inner issues. Though a few external ones are “solved”, at great personal and professional expense.

If we try to ignore the blatant advertising, there were some bits about human backups, which allow a person to restore from backup in case they die. Related to it was the ability to accept others experience, just as the initial experience was fed to the clone incarnation. Also there was the reputation based currency or whoofie.

My understanding is that in part this was a piece to show how terrible reputation based currency is. Due to the petty popularity games and rivalries that are showcased in the book.

Can buy or download it free below:


For your reading pleasure I have a modified version which replaces all occurrences  of Disney and Magic with Liberty: