The Fembots Revolt
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Of all the books I have written so far, 'The Femmebots Revolt' is currently my personal favorite. It took me a while to try and imagine the social position a femmebot companion would occupy in a future society. The story has elements of Bladerunner, Bicentenial Man, Mike Hammer and a number of other genres blended together. I didn;t plagiarise - that was just how it turned out and of course there is humour.
I wanted the cover to look a little retro.
The Femmebots Revolt is a science fiction story set in a future where female robots (femmebots) with AI (artificial intelligence) are built to serve as male companions. Manbot companions are also constructed on demand for women but are less popular.
The story is a sci fi crime thriller set in a city of the future where a rogue Government Agency is involved in an illegal power grab. Underlying the main story is the nuts and blots (Ha!) of how femmebots are integrating into society (with difficulty) and their interrelationship withthe real people around them. I have discussed this subject at length on my blog www.Wordsmorph.blogspot.com as I agonised over the direction I thought the future would realistically take.
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4.0 out of 5 stars *****
Relished the Read - 22 January 2013
This is a premise I've always found very thought provoking. "The Femmebots Revolt" delves into issues of artificial intelligence and robot freedom, and while the robots can defend themselves - it's not one of those stories where robots are foolishly granted outrageous superpowers dangerous to human life that are used to drive the plot.
It can be difficult to write convincing robot rebellion stories. From a human perspective, it seems natural for an intelligent being to want to live its own life, on its own terms. But any machine must be built using valuable resources and time. If robots are able to run off and refuse to perform their function, then no one is going to want to buy any more of those robots. Plus, these robots need electricity and presumably maintenance. No one will buy or build them if they refuse to serve. Yet an intelligent being in theory is entitled to some level of protection. At the end, a solution to the issue is found.
As for the human characters, the story progresses as a far future cop drama. Almost as surreal as artificially intelligent femmebots is a fictional Police Department where the chief of police is not some ham-fisted, cigar puffing jackass who's totally lost touch with the job and makes life unnecessarily difficult for the hero cop. It almost seems perverse for the bold detective to have the support of his department and superiors as a valuable colleague. (Perhaps I watch the wrong kind of cop movies) it could almost be argued as a missed opportunity for conflict. Nonetheless, plenty of other sources for human conflict do occur, and the sexbots themselves are secondary to a seamy underworld of human greed and ambition, which leads back to the potential of intelligent robotics.
I had my doubts initially, (if the robots are misbehaving, replace them with less autonomous models) but there are enough layers of the story to prevent simplistic answers. I could have given it a higher rating if the ending was a bit less predictable, also I found much of the dialogue to be stilted and overly formal. Real people would use more contractions when speaking informally to one another. That said, though, it was highly enjoyable and I did relish the read.
Similarly enjoyable stories where robots drive human conflict would be 'But Whether Men Do', by Anthony Mahan, or 'the Holy Machine,' by Chris Beckett.
It has three realistic working 'bits'.
The femmebots are modelled on ancient film stars.
One of the main characters is a Harlow 240B.
I really like everything about this picture!