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Summer Frost

Forward
Written by: Blake Crouch
Narrated by: Rosa Salazar
Length: 2 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Audible narration by Rosa Salazar (Alita: Battle Angel)

A video game developer becomes obsessed with a willful character in her new project, in a mind-bending exploration of what it means to be human by the New York Times bestselling author of Recursion.

Maxine was made to do one thing: die. Except the minor non-player character in the world Riley is building makes her own impossible decision - veering wildly off course and exploring the boundaries of the map. When the curious Riley extracts her code for closer examination, an emotional relationship develops between them. Soon Riley has all new plans for her spontaneous AI, including bringing Max into the real world. But what if Max has real-world plans of her own?

Blake Crouch’s Summer Frost is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

©2019 Blake Crouch (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What the critics say

"Rosa Salazar provides a dead-on, almost eerie, performance of an AI in this short science fiction story...altering her performance as the AI refines and reinvents itself throughout the story. It's a startling evolution of character, driven home by Salazar’s transition from passive dialogue to gut-punching directness. The story challenges what it means to be human and gives sci-fi listeners some poignant moments to ponder long after the credits end." --AudioFile magazine

"…a sensational project...." --Spine Magazine

“This is exactly how I like my techno-anxiety.... Happy bingeing!" --Audible, an October Editors Pick 

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • DavidG
  • 2019-10-08

Sigh, How Many Times Have We Heard This Story?

*Yawn* Hmm, let's see, the sad, lonely human falling in love with a robot? The first time I came across that story was in the 1950's while reading Issac Asimov's "I, Robot". More recently, didn't some Hollywood star play a loser falling in love with Scarlett Johansson's voice, the voice of his AI personal assistant? Then there's the creation who turns on its creator story which goes back beyond even Frankenstein to some of the older golem tales and which is as recent as the latest Terminator movie. Sigh, how many more times must we hear these same stories? And make no mistake about it - "Summer Frost" is the same old story told yet again. The only new wrinkle Crouch adds is a particularly whingy and irritating nerd protagonist. He does throw in a bit of sophomoric philosophizing at the end in an apparent attempt to say something new but it's not. Just more of the same old, same old. I'll take either one of the first two Terminator movies over this waste of time any day.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • 2019-10-22

Max Is Not Human But Riley Is

Fascinating concept of a human AI developer, Riley, falling in love with her creation to the detriment of her marriage and everything else. She is obsessed with educating Max to think and behave like a human. Imagine her surprise when Max attempts to take over Riley and other humans. So far Max is living inside a protective space with access only to Riley. Riley does not know how far Max has developed on her own until it is too late. It is a look at how AI is created, then enhanced, and maybe it could take over the world. Think of the Rise of Machines from the movies. The narrator, Rosa Salazar, was excellent.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Manoj Mahalingam
  • 2019-10-02

Nothing new...

The same tried and tested story around AI going rogue after gaining consciousness, the minor twist in the end notwithstanding.

Narration by Rosa Salazar was average at best and distracting at times.

3 people found this helpful

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  • J. S. Harbour
  • 2019-09-18

inconsistent narration but extraordinary story

this is a really fascinating story which seemed a little bit too much like the film ex machina (including billionaire recluse alone in his house) but that's okay I enjoyed it anyway.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Cathie
  • 2019-09-24

Enough

I agree wholeheartedly with the previous reviewer who said this is a political WOKE piece of propaganda. I normally love Blake Crouch, and I listen to this author and others like him purely for entertainment, not for an analysis of politically correct gender pronouns. Give it a rest. We're talking about AI, for Pete's sake. The narration was very good though.

4 people found this helpful

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  • hope curran
  • 2020-02-27

Summer Frost Review

Wow, Blake Crouch has done it again - blown my mind. I was so excited to receive this packet of stories as a perk of my Amazon Prime and Id like to say that having the audio AND ebook is the way to go - Audible should do the same. This story has that moment that just sends a chill up my spine. Blake has a way of making you wonder what is reality and are we in it? Great short story about AI and one woman's experience as a creator.

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  • T-Bill
  • 2020-02-18

Blake Crouch is an enigma

I love what Blake Crouch writes. Not everything can be his best work but he puts his best work into everything he writes. He is so creative and so thoughtful with every sentiment that ends up on the page.

this novella explores some pretty standardized archetypes by today's standards however, he does it in a way that only Blake Crouch can. He gives it a spin of urgency and desperation, a technological nightmare teetering on the edge. He he does this every time he writes. I don't find this to be as exhilarating as Wayward Pines or as mind-bending as dark matter but it is still classic Blake Crouch. I stand in awe of his sheer creativity.

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  • Odin
  • 2020-02-18

Near Future Science Fiction at its Best

Humanity creates AI. AI learns. What happens next?

Blake Crouch spins a familiar but expertly crafted yarn that reminds me of some of the best of The Twilight Zone, where a mirror is held up to our humanity, and we don’t always like the results. Definitely worth a read.

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  • ReadingRover
  • 2020-02-18

Meh. The future is as expected

This book is the epitome of all my fears when it comes to technology. It was so boring for the most part though. Nothing exciting really happened until the last quarter of the book. It was all about Riley being absorbed in her work more than in real life and giving up everything for Max. This would have been interesting except they never did or talked about anything worth while. It was dull. Things didn’t get moving until Riley got fired and by then the book was over. I felt like I had wasted too much time in my life in order to get to the 15 minute shock of an ending. That’s the other thing. I felt like the ending was meant to be a shock but at that point where else could things have gone.
2 stars.

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  • Caxiopeia
  • 2020-02-06

Phantastic story with a sharp endin

The story started out average but turned into a gripping world of thoughts, progress and reality.