Sea of rust

C. Robert Cargill, 1975-

Book - 2017

"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 person...ality--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"--

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Fantasy fiction
Science fiction
New York, NY : Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2017]
Main Author
C. Robert Cargill, 1975- (author)
First edition
Physical Description
x, 365 pages ; 24 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

The robots won the war and 30 years later face extinction from dun, dun, dun themselves! Freebots scavenge parts from other AIs while constantly evading the all-consuming One World Intelligences. The remaining OWIs, massive immobile mainframes, war with each other using facets, robots without any personality, to find free AIs to gain more memories and experiences for their great minds. Those who won't join the One are eliminated. Brittle, a caregiver robot who fought against the humans, cherishes her freedom and individuality and will do anything to retain it. While foraging for parts in the desolate midwest desert where machines go to die, she is ambushed by another caregiver AI desperate for parts to mend himself. Brittle escapes to an underground freebot community only to learn her core has been damaged and her refuge is the next OWI target. A deteriorating memory means confronting horrific past actions as she runs for her life. Readers are in for a treat with this snarky, action-packed, postapocalyptic adventure full of speculation about what it means to be alive.--Lockley, Lucy Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In Cargill's effective postapocalyptic thriller, robots inherited the Earth after slaughtering their human progenitors; decades later, they in turn are imperiled, as the massive AIs that control the world seek to stamp out and assimilate the last of the individual units. One holdout is Brittle, a skilled scavenger who makes her living by selling parts of robots reaching the end of their operational lifespan. Damaged and dying, hunted by the implacable forces of an all-knowing enemy, and haunted by the memories of what she did during the war against humans, she joins a desperate band of refugees who set off through danger-filled badlands in search of a better future, a quest that forces her to confront her own mortality, guilt, and drive to survive. Cargill (Queen of the Dark Things) effectively takes a grim look at a war-torn future where our nonhuman successors face complex moral dilemmas, exploring what it means to be alive and aware through the trials and tribulations of Brittle and her allies. This action-packed adventure raises thought-provoking and philosophical questions. Agent: Peter McGuigan, Foundry Literary + Media. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review by Library Journal Review

Robots are sentient and humanity is extinct. Without humans to muck everything up, perhaps the world will finally become a paradise. But it turns out robots and other artificial intelligences are no better at peace, respect, or conservation than we were. Worse, not only has a lack of spare parts resulted in robot cannibalism, but the world's surviving supercomputers battle for the minds of every sentient machine on the planet. VERDICT Though brutal, the journey through this postapocalyptic world feels like the greatest of ensemble Westerns as outlaws and misfits band together for their chance at survival. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Cargill (Queen of the Dark Things, 2014, etc.) takes readers to Earth's post-human future in which robots struggle to survive and remain free of their own robot overlords. The last human died 15 years ago at the end of the human-robot war that arose from a robot uprising. The robots fought for their freedom, but it was short-lived: now the world is dominated by One World Intelligences, massively powerful AIs bent on absorbing individual robots into their ever growing hive mind. North America is the battleground for two OWIs, VIRGIL and CISSUS, with unclaimed territories shrinking every year before the OWIs' expansion. As the OWIs have seized the means of production, the robots who remain must trade, fight, and scavenge for parts to keep surviving. One such scavenger is Brittle, a former Caregiver robot haunted by memories of the war and the fates of the humans she once served, first as a nurse and then as a friend. All Brittle wants is to retain her independence and keep ticking, but some of her vital parts are failing, and Caregiver robots are rarerare enough that the only other one around, Mercer, wants Brittle's parts, too. An attack by Mercer locks both robots into a race for time, and an attack by CISSUS drags Brittle, Mercer, and other bots into a tense secret mission that may end the OWIs' hungry ruleif our heroes can survive explosions, plasma cannons, four-oh-fours (robots who have gone entirely insane), betrayal, and their own deterioration.Innovative worldbuilding, a tight plot, and cinematic action sequences make for an exciting ride through a blasted landscape full of dying robots. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.