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Monday, October 13, 2014

Sci-Fi Review: Sexbot by Patrick Quinlan

With a title like Sexbot, and a cover like the one to the left, there's probably not a lot I can say about this that will surprise you. It's an interesting tale with a nice combination of sci-fi espionage and action-thriller, kind of like an early Michael Crichton adventure, but it's all played rather loosely, with a lot of flash and flair, but not a lot of substance.

Patrick Quinlan has crafted a decent story here, and has some really interesting ideas. His sexbots are highly advanced android companions for the filthy rich, advanced enough with the latest model to not only move and speak naturally, and almost fool you into thinking they have a personality. The prototype for the ninth generation model is even more advanced yet, but there's only one of her, and she's destined to serve as a very important guinea pig.

As the story begins, Martin and Susan, the company geniuses behind Suncoast Cybernetics' latest project, are being marked for death by company executives, all to keep them from revealing their mind-blowing discovery. Before she dies, however, Susan successfully manages to upload herself into that ninth generation sexbot, making for a very successful guinea pig indeed. That's where the story starts getting good, but also where its flaws begin to show. Quinlan does a decent job of portraying the conflict between human and machine, with the sexbot's erotic programming fighting to override Susan's more intellectual needs, but he doesn't nearly go deep enough. Also, besides escaping the assassins and saving her life, Susan doesn't really have a motivation here - not revenge, not justice, and not even fulfilling her life's work and revealing that secret of immortality.

On the flip side, there's not one man in the tale who doesn't think with the appendage between his legs, or the big guns that compensate for it. They're either mindless soldiers who simply follow orders and march to their death, or horny bastards who want to own Susan/Nine and who either help or hinder her escape out of a lustful desire for possession. As for the one decent man who shows up at the end of the story, he's so easygoing and willing to accept the insanity that Susan brings into his life that you have to assume he's blissfully high on some sort of end-of-life painkilling drugs. Mr. Blue is a somewhat interesting character, an assassin who finds love, but he's almost wasted here, and certainly never explored to his full potential.

Having said all that, the science is really interesting, and the science fiction is quite fascinating. The how and why of harnessing a person's essence and downloading it into sexbot actually makes a good bit of sense. As well, the action is very well done - assuming you're okay with the mindless violence of a good thriller - and there are a few good twists along the way. Sexbot is by no means a must-read classic, but it's an interesting diversion.


ebook
Published July 29th 2014 by Smashwords Edition

2 comments:

  1. While tempting, think I'll pass on this one.

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  2. This isn't really my sort of book but sounds like an awesome read! Great review :D

    ReplyDelete