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Description

From award winning tech-journalist and io9 founder Annalee Newitz comes a highly anticipated science fiction debut!

Autonomous will pull listeners into a dark and dirty world that feels, at times, a bit too familiar.

Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scrips for poor people who can't otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.

Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack's drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understand.

And underlying it all is one fundamental question: Is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?

©2017 Annalee Newitz (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

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  • Saul
  • 2017-10-18

WOW!!

Such a fantastic imagining of a potential future. An eerily possible future for mankind and the implications of personhood if robots do become what Newitz imagines. just wore.

3 personnes sur 3 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Platypus Man
  • 2017-10-25

Robots, future drugs, slavery, and patent reform

In Annalee Newitz's Autonomous, we see the future of 2144 and what happens when drug patents never run out and the concept of selling people into slavery was brought back into fashion after corporations wanted to create sentient bots without losing their investment.

On one hand you have the story of Jack Chen, a drug pirate trying to fight a disastrous epidemic caused by a pharma giant's newest productivity booster that she reverse-engineered and sold on the streets. She's joined by a runaway human slave who's been treated like a robot his whole life and an autonomous robot doctor who's been treated like a human her whole life.

And on the other hand (there are a lot of hands in this book, literally), you have a human agent of the International Property Coalition and his endentured bot partner whose mission is to find Jack and take her out at any cost. The bot is just starting its life and learns a lot about bots, humans, autonomy, sex, and gender.

Autonomous creates an interesting future world that is relatable enough to our world that you might be able to see it in the distance, while exploring a lot of things I had never seen done before. It combines multiple forms of slavery with a realistic depiction of artificial lifeforms and their integration into society. It features a future that is generally more accepting of differences, while still not getting rid of the old prejudices entirely (and inventing a few new ones for good measure). It shows future drugs that chill me just to think of. There are a lot of new concepts but all are worked together in a smooth and believable fashion; Newitz's strong background in both science fiction and technology really shines through here.

Jennifer Ikeda does a great job with the narration, not all voices are extremely different from one another, but the differences are there when you need them. Robots sound monotonous or emotional as appropriate and a few different characters have distinct accents.

8 personnes sur 8 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Charles Litchfield
  • 2018-01-20

Greeting Setting, Disappointing Story

Great setting and ideas but the robot eroticism is wholly distracting from the overall story.

3 personnes sur 3 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Levi Quackenbush
  • 2017-10-02

Weird AI Love novel

Not my cup of tea. The description barely touches on the details of this book. I started off intrigued! After a third way through however, it became apparent this is just basically a robot porn novel. Fifty shades of metal and biotechnology.

6 personnes sur 7 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Ming
  • 2017-10-14

Interesting premise with a weird romantic subplot

It's unfortunate that we live in an age of hyperbole...while Autonomous is most definitely not the next Neuromancer, it is a fairly decent first attempt at science fiction.

The dystopian future setting with widespread genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and very strong patent enforcement is interesting, but I feel that Newitz doesn't quite do enough with it. I found the world-building aspects of Autonomous to be the most fun part of the book but the characters and overall plot line failed to keep me invested or engaged. I ultimately found the characters to be nearly hollow caricatures (with the exception of a particular biobot) since we aren't given enough to truly root for or despise anyone. Instead of feeling connected, I simply felt like a passive observer.

The thing that bugged me the most about this book is probably its romantic twist. While gender identity might be something that is hotly debated today, the world of Autonomous has already been set up by Newitz to be comfortable and even mildly accepting of the relationship she poses. It felt like a lot of effort was put into a plot point that lacked punch.

Overall, Autonomous is pretty interesting and moderately entertaining, and while it isn't exactly great, you could do much worse.

2 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Andy Crawford
  • 2017-10-05

Thourally enjoyed it

It’s got some slower periods, but the story is fair and presents a unique view of the future and a unique set of issues to plague the characters. It also has you to empathize with the warring sides. It’s a good listen.

2 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Karen B. Gabriel
  • 2017-10-10

Boring!

Only book I really wanted to return--reader adds nothing and story is so slow, I kept losing interest

4 personnes sur 5 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • William G Carrig
  • 2017-10-10

I was expecting greatness...

First, let me say that I made it about two or three hours into the book before I gave up on it. So this is not a review based on the entire story. The narrator was not very animated and the narration droned. Monotonic does not describe it but comes very close. The authors fetish for bio-degradation was irritating after two or three hours. It seemed like she picked up on a buzz word and had to use every chance she had. Recycling would have made more sense in the future time frame this story is in. With bio-degradation you lose the materials. With recycling you save them and can reuse them. Her tech was at times perplexing. She can sequence a molecule and reproduce it exactly, but she has to painstakingly verify the molecule by direct observation? That makes no sense. If you have equipment that can do the analysis and synthesis, it surely can make a comparison for you. They have AI that can run human form robots but it can't run lab equipment? All in all, very disappointing. Just because a story takes place in the future, that doesn't make it science fiction. I am a science fiction snob. I like my science fiction to have actual science in it. Unless it is campy science fiction movies from the mid 20th century. Those are pretty awesome all on their own. The way this book was hyped I thought it was going to stand among the likes of Bradbury, Clarke or Heinlein. It is not. Not even close.

4 personnes sur 5 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Mark
  • Bettendorf, IA, United States
  • 2018-02-20

Science fiction in its truest form- challenging perceptions

I knew very little about Annalee Newitz when I started Autonomous, but became intrigued very early into the book.

I’m certain that I couldn’t hold up my end of an intelligent conversation with her about the world she is so truly a master of, but I respect her writing & look forward to whatever else that brilliant brain (bot or not) conjures up in the future. I love the way she has truly crafted something surprising and fresh! She challenges most “typical” approaches to science fiction here.

Ms Newitz, you have a new fan.

And Jennifer Ikeda gave an excellent performance across genders and sentient life forms. Fantastic job and a perfect pairing for the novel.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Lowell G. Burton
  • Issaquah, WA
  • 2017-11-15

A closer future than is comfortable

Newitz's vision of the future is impeccably grounded in the tech world she has lived and written about for years. She naturally extends patent law and intellectual property laws to a logical extreme, and grounds it in the relevant now of health-care and pharmaceutical politics. Her characters are inclusive and relatable across a wide spectrum of the human experience, and the overall shape of the book leaves both the protagonists and their opponents in a far more human state - the book ends in a gray area.

Like many works of Cyberpunk before it, Autonomous hits a little too close to home. I wouldn't have it any other way.

A note on Jennifer Ikeda's performance: it was overall very good, but lacked the flair necessary to make it a truly outstanding reading.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Elissa
  • 2017-11-06

Very creative

Well written...nicely performed. Thought provoking.

Some of the romantic tones might not have been of my liking but it was an enjoyable listening experience. Good sci-fi with an effort to be, if you can cal it, "scientific "

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente