Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturn’s Children-Charles Stross

Saturn’s Children
Charles Stross
Ace, Jul 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 9780441015948

By the twenty-third century humanity was extinct leaving behind androids that were built to feel and think and even dream like mankind once did. The androids created a caste system. The Aristos are nobles who own slaves expected to obey them or else. There are also some free independent droids who are mostly impoverished manual laborers.

Freya Nakamichi was made to be a sexbot, but thanks to her sibs is free. The mysterious Jeeves offers Freya a well paying job as a courier; she accepts. Her first assignment is to go to Mercury to pick up a biological sample that she is to place in her uterus and bring it to a lab on Mars. The task seems simple and straightforward although she has no idea what the sample is and why suddenly people seem to be hunting her for her “package”. She eludes killers, thieves and an assortment of other predators as she races to Mars.

Imagine a world in which androids are the dominant species and act like humans in all respects except they cannot reproduce. Thus SATURN’S CHILDREN is about a culture the androids have forged centered on a caste system although the slaves and the free strive for a better life. Freya is a bot Lara Craft, a strong willed skilled beauty who uses brain and some brawn to think her way out of danger. Charles Stross answers the Philip K. Dick philosophical question Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? with this original look at a mirror humanoid culture.

Harriet Klausner

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