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Friday, January 26, 2018

Review: Sea of Rust

Sea of Rust is a post-apocalyptic robot novel. The initial setup is very similar to Charlie Stross' Saturn's Children, except where Saturn's Children is optimistic and expansive, Sea of Rust is pessimistic, gritty, and well, apocalyptic.

The idea is that after the robot uprising that wiped out humanity, what's left of the robots are split between multiple mainframe factions that are struggling to control the entire planet and all the independent robots that still haven't been brought under mainframe control. It's an entirely illogical setup, since most likely just a few hours of earlier sentience would create an insurmountable lead for one of the intelligence involved.

The narrative focuses on one independent robot and her search for spare parts. The style is that of a single-person competent viewpoint that alternates between historical exposition and "current" problem-solving. The entire narrative is well-written, with transparent prose and made-for-special-effects battle scenes and a Hollywood-ready big climax and denouement.

Is it as deep as Saturn's Children? No. It's shallow Hollywood stuff. But it's easy to read and a perfect airplane novel, and at $1.99, priced appropriately. Mildly recommended.

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