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MURDER IN SKIN CITY

Target Audience Acquired.

By Sayer, member

Oct 27, 2010: Well, I’ll start by saying that as a "robot and humans" story told from the robot’s point of view, I was already on board with Murder In Skin City.

There isn’t really a whole lot to review, but the first few installments do a good job of establishing the backstory and the general persona of the narrator (who is also the main character). My favorite parts here were his "uncanny valley" revulsion to synthetic faces and the fact that the robots "took a third option" when faced with the choice of aiding in mankind’s war or wiping them out. (I also liked the avoidance of the running amok cliche)

Thus far, it’s been hinted that the narrator has a somewhat dark and possibly violent past, specifically centering around a single incident. At the point of the last update, we’re introduced to the human apparently responsible, and he barely makes it through the chapter alive.

A couple of complaints:

My first quibble is that the narration at the beginning seemed a bit stilted and clinical (which may be explained by the robotic nature of the narrator)

Quibble the second is that it’s a bit infodump heavy. It semed that the writer had this great, big, complex world created for the characters and just couldn’t wait to tell us all about it. It’s an understandable tendency though, since there are quite a few skittish readers who jump ship immediately if they aren’t given all the backstory up front.

Either way though, I’d still be reading it if I hadn’t run out of posts 😉

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MURDER IN SKIN CITY

Editor’s First Impression

By Linda Schoales, editor

Sep 19, 2010: The first chapter is well-written, giving the backstory in a voice that does remind me of Decker narrating "Blade Runner". A hard-boiled ‘bot detective should make for some interesting twists on the noir genre.

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GOD IN THE MACHINE

Adventures in cognitive science

By paulgazis, member

Jun 1, 2009: So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. It’s hard to write stories about humans, and the bar for stories about robots who gain self awareness has been set very high by fellows like Zelazny. ‘Awake’ was a great start. The episodes most certainly met the, "Gosh, I wonder what happens next," test. For some reason I’ve been less taken by ‘Progression of Violence’, but this may just be my subjective reaction to certain types of plot devices. And I’m still quite curious what will happen next . . . 

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