AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Ernest Cline

This interview was conducted by Gwen Perkins.

“The Omnibot Incident” is a story about a robot uprising not placed in the future but in the past: 1983. What were your reasons for looking backward rather than forward?

When Dan Wilson first asked me if I would contribute a story to this anthology, I was still working on the screenplay adaptation of my novel Ready Player One, so I was immersed in 80s pop culture at the time. (Even more than usual). When I thought about a robot uprising, my brain immediately conjured up an image of the Omnibot 2000, the Christmas gift I always wanted and never received, because it was way out of my family’s price range. I immediately imagined an “Omnibot 2000 uprising,” which seemed like a fun story to write, and a unique take on the subject matter. Continue reading ›

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Hugh Howey

This interview was conducted by Bradley Englert.

Many robot uprising stories begin or focus on robots that are large and ominous, something like the Terminator, but you chose to start with a robot that would be more innocuous: the Roomba. Why focus your story on this tiny cleaning robot that many people use in their everyday lives?

I think the robot uprising is going to be a lot more innocuous than Skynet or the Matrix. In Executable, it’s not just the Roomba. It’s the internet-connected refrigerator and the routers and our cell phones. I’m very interested in emergent properties. When you cram neurons together, you get to a certain density of connections, and something like consciousness arises. Maybe a similar effect happens when we get enough interconnected machines with sensors and feedback loops and the ability to communicate with one another. I’m not saying they’ll come after us with malicious intent, but unexpected properties could arise from the explosion of devices like this. We’ll go from airflow to turbulence. And Roombas will certainly be involved. Continue reading ›

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Genevieve Valentine

This interview was conducted by Karen Bovenmyer.

How did Eighty Miles an Hour all the way to paradise come together as you were writing it? Did you design the post-uprising world before drafting, during the writing process, or a little of both?

I’m naturally a little wary of some of modern technology’s benevolent-dictator tendencies. People tend to discuss those issues more openly when it’s phones and computers, but to me a thermostat or lock system that you can regulate remotely is a house that can learn handle itself, and is just as creepy in that sense; it’s not a far leap to imagine what would happen if a computerized world just stopped taking orders one day. Continue reading ›

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Charles Yu

This interview was conducted by Stephanie Loree.

“Cycles” is told from the perspective of one of the robots potentially responsible for the Robot Uprising. What made you choose this point-of-view?

I was interested in what would make a robot want to rise up. It could be economic oppression, unequal treatment as citizens, denial of privileges granted to humans, or something else weighty like that. But it could also be more intimate. The grand-scale conditions of an uprising are not mutually exclusive with more personal motivations—you can stand up against injustice in the abstract and in your own specific life, you can do both at the same time. So I wanted to look at it from the perspective of just one robot, who has endured her own degradations, her own daily and mundane humiliations. Because if there is a robot uprising, it’ll be because robots became sentient, and if they became sentient, there’s a possibility that they’ll be just as miserable working for the man as we humans are. Continue reading ›

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Scott Sigler

This interview was conducted by Stephanie Loree.

At its core “Complex God” is a story about hubris. When you first envisioned it, did you know this theme as essential to the piece? Or did it reveal itself to you as you learned more about your protagonist?

I think that many of our great creators are fueled by hubris. For the people who come up with something truly revolutionary (those who are first with an idea that no one has has before) having the innate idea that you are special, unique, smarter than the average bear allows them to look beyond the accepted boundaries and limitations of what is possible. In “Complex God,” Petra has no doubt that she’s on another level. That confidence translates into dismissiveness: “they” couldn’t achieve this goal, because “they” aren’t as smart as me. So yes, hubris was essential to the piece. Continue reading ›

NEWS: ROBOT UPRISINGS’s Full Cover Flat Reveal

You’ve seen the front cover, but here’s the full cover flat in all its glory. We think it looks pretty great, and having just seen physical copies for the first time we can attest that it looks pretty amazing wrapped around the book too.

Robot Uprisings cover flat

 

 

REVIEW: Kirkus Says “Philip K. Dick Would Be Proud”

“Fun fact: According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, as of 2010 there were 8.6 million robots in the world. Fun scenario: They’re all out to kill us… This anthology neatly explores that possibility, its contributors offering widely varying takes that share only the perspective that things don’t end well for Homo sapiens… Philip K. Dick would be proud… You’ll never look at your Roomba the same way again.” —Kirkus Reviews  [review]

REVIEW: Publishers Weekly Says It’s “Entertaining and Occasionally Unsettling”

“Sometimes the [stories] are comic… More often, disaster ensues when machines designed to assist humans rebel… [An] entertaining and occasionally unsettling anthology.” —Publishers Weekly [review]

REVIEW: Booklist Says ROBOT UPRISINGS Contains “Hours of Provocative Entertainment”

“A colorful mix of cutting-edge original tales from some of speculative fiction’s leading talents… Readers who don’t mind immersing themselves in unnerving fictional worlds that uncomfortably resemble our own, gadget-infested one will find hours of provocative entertainment here.” —Booklist