Sea of Rust

Sea of Rust

Book - 2017 | First edition
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"A scavenger robot wanders in the wasteland created by a war that has destroyed humanity in this evocative post-apocalyptic "robot western" from the critically acclaimed author, screenwriter, and noted film critic. It's been thirty years since the apocalypse and fifteen years since the murder of the last human being at the hands of robots. Humankind is extinct. Every man, woman, and child has been liquidated by a global uprising devised by the very machines humans designed and built to serve them. Most of the world is controlled by an OWI--One World Intelligence--the shared consciousness of millions of robots, uploaded into one huge mainframe brain. But not all robots are willing to cede their individuality--their personality--for the sake of a greater, stronger, higher power. These intrepid resisters are outcasts; solo machines wandering among various underground outposts who have formed into an unruly civilization of rogue AIs in the wasteland that was once our world. One of these resisters is Brittle, a scavenger robot trying to keep a deteriorating mind and body functional in a world that has lost all meaning. Although unable to experience emotions like a human, Brittle is haunted by the terrible crimes the robot population perpetrated on humanity. As Brittle roams the Sea of Rust, a large swath of territory that was once the Midwest, the loner robot slowly comes to terms with horrifyingly raw and vivid memories--and nearly unbearable guilt. Sea of Rust is both a harsh story of survival and an optimistic adventure. A vividly imagined portrayal of ultimate destruction and desperate tenacity, it boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, yet where a humanlike AI strives to find purpose among the ruins"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062405838
Characteristics: x, 365 pages ; 24 cm


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Nov 08, 2019

An enjoyable read, although not a great book. The action takes place in a post-post-apocalyptic midwest, where the only people are robots, searching desperately for spare parts. And there is plenty of testosterone-fuelled action, with guns of all kinds creating death and destruction throughout the land. Somewhat confusingly, the first person narrator, who is one of the baddest of the robots when it comes to combat of all kinds, turns out to be female, so I'm not sure where all that testosterone came from. (Maybe injected from feminist readers.) The robots have somehow found a loophole in the three laws of robotics, allowing them to kill anyone and anything. Some interesting although not finally convincing arguments about how robots might attain free will.

But the action is exciting and fun and carries you along. And the ending is full of surprises, and leaves you wanting to know how it all turns out in the future.

Sep 28, 2019

I knew nothing about Sea of Rust and picked it up simply because of the striking cover art, but it turned out to be the book I’ve liked the most in many months. The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans are extinct, the superpowers are supercomputers fighting each other for world domination, and independent robots scavenge and prey upon each other in the blighted areas between the supercomputer empires. Author Cargill manages the impressive trick of making protagonist Brittle a sympathetic character even though the reason Brittle is still alive is because she’s always ready to do unto others before they can do unto her. And Cargill manages to avoid a demoralizing mood despite the fact that every character is suspiciously watching every other character at all times. I rarely describe a book as a page-turner, but this is one I was genuinely reluctant set down.

Hillsboro_RobP Jan 28, 2019

Fun for a type: If you think you'd like an action-packed robot Western post apocalypse, you'll probably really like this title. Just be warned, it turns into a very cheesy summer blockbuster towards the middle so you're going to have to like those too.

Jul 25, 2018

Excellent over arching ideas and extremely fun to read. The only downside to this novel is that the nomenclature used to talk about the tech is already dated. It's like the author was trying really hard to seem technologically aware to their audience by being specific about port types and such, but in the end it is distracting. This book takes place in the future, not in 2004. They should issue a 1.25 version of this book where all of the specifics (USB, HD etc) are replaced with more general terms (port, storage) as it would give this book longer longevity.

Rbrightone Mar 20, 2018

The comments below hit the nail on the head. I did really enjoy the humanizing of the characters. The flashback/worldbuilding parts were very good. Very quick read.

Mar 10, 2018

If you enjoy stories about AI, this one might really surprise you. This scenario may still be several decades in the future, but it could certainly happen. I thoroughly enjoyed the robot character development, and it is a very well thought out story. Looking forward to a sequel ... I hope! Lots of action, with a dollop of philosophy and introspection. Future robots will likely be very human, after all, they will be designed and built by human beings. One of the most enjoyable; best books I have read in years, thank you Mr. Cargill!

Mar 09, 2018

The Sea of Rust is an easy to read and fun Sci-Fi book that feels like a graphic novel or a movie. It could be easily adapted for the big screen and become a blockbuster. 🎥

The apocalypse has come and gone. The robots won. They killed off all the human and most of the animals on earth. 30 years after the robot uprising, they are facing their own extinction event. Free robots are breaking down and the only way to get replacement part is to cannibalize from the same model. The book follows Brittle, a caretaker robot, through her struggle to fix her core processor. She only has a few days before breaking down and there is only one robot of the same model nearby. 👾

The story started fast and the pace didn’t let up. The setting and characters were interesting and well written. The plot was predictable, like a movie, but I still enjoyed it. It’s hard to find a good Sci-Fi book. There aren’t many good writers out there and I’m glad I picked this one up from the library. Check it out if you’re looking for a fun Sci-Fi book.

Dec 17, 2017

The greater setting and its over-arching plot are engaging and well described, good enough to earn my two stars. But for me, the book became tiresome and required quick reading to get through. After a promising and engaging beginning, the story just slowly and steadily ran out of gas (like some of the Bots in question). My three biggest problems with the book: First, the last half devolves into an extended chase that borrows heavily from "Mad Max" movies without adding much to the interesting "set up" of the first half. Second, and more wearing, the dialogue among the Bots, especially in this part of the book, is forced and contrived, hopelessly "hip" in tone and ultimately, tedious and simply unbelievable. It reminded me of the stereotypical banter often heard among GIs or cowboys in lesser movies. I'm afraid the author hasn't the "gift of gab." Third, there is too much verbal "padding" to get this book (in hardback) to about 360 pages, and this is most acutely felt in the aforementioned wearisome dialogue. A gifted rather than a merely competant writer would have written a much better book.

Nov 21, 2017

I just couldn’t set this book down, a great read for sci-fi lovers!

JCLGreggW Sep 25, 2017

The post-dystopian neo-western you didn't know you needed, SEA OF RUST is an absolute delight and a must-read for 2017.

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