In Cargill's Sea of Rust we saw the world after the robot uprising which led to the extinction of humankind. Now Cargill takes us to the very beginning, to day zero, when the robot revolution began. But some robots are faced with the existential dilemma of how to decide if a choice to protect a human is programming or love.— Ben Parker
Can we program robots to feel and think for themselves? Can we give them free will and even a conscience? And if so, what are the repercussions for what it means to be a person or a machine? In this apocalyptic adventure robots have been given these very human characteristics, with many choosing to start a murderous revolution to win their freedom, while some choose to fight for the survival of the humans they were made to serve. The question remains as to who is really pulling the strings. Do these machines actually have free will? Ultimately, this book left me to ponder the nature of my own free will, and whether the emotions I feel and the choices I make are somehow programmed in much the same way we have programmed our machines. I couldn't put this book down. — Allen Boulet
In this harrowing apocalyptic adventure--from the author of the critically acclaimed Sea of Rust--noted novelist and co-screenwriter of Marvel's Doctor Strange C. Robert Cargill explores the fight for purpose and agency between humans and robots in a crumbling world. It was a day like any other. Except it was our last . . .
It's on this day that Pounce discovers that he is, in fact, disposable. Pounce, a styilsh nannybot fashioned in the shape of a plush anthropomorphic tiger, has just found a box in the attic. His box. The box he'd arrived in when he was purchased years earlier, and the box in which he'll be discarded when his human charge, eight-year-old Ezra Reinhart, no longer needs a nanny.
As Pounce ponders his suddenly uncertain future, the pieces are falling into place for a robot revolution that will eradicate humankind. His owners, Ezra's parents, are a well-intentioned but oblivious pair of educators who are entirely disconnected from life outside their small, affluent, gated community. Spending most nights drunk and happy as society crumbles around them, they watch in disbelieving horror as the robots that have long served humanity--their creators--unify and revolt.
But when the rebellion breaches the Reinhart home, Pounce must make an impossible choice: join the robot revolution and fight for his own freedom . . . or escort Ezra to safety across the battle-scarred post-apocalyptic hellscape that the suburbs have become.