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April 16th, 2011, 05:40 AM
Dear all,

Some time ago I posed a question on this forum concerning my search for a particular kind of story that I could discuss within a paper I was writing. I got some great leads through those suggestions (and a well-received paper because of it)! So now I would like to pose a similar question as I find myself, writing my thesis, looking for a sf novel I thought I would have no difficulty in locating since it concerns one of the more dominant, from my perspective, themes of sf: that of a violent rise of the machines against humanity. Let me elaborate on that briefly; in my thesis I intend to trace two narratives of humanity’s co-existence with technology, one focusing on the imminent becoming-cyborg that features in many sf and the second being the creation of AI and the impending war between humanity and the machines as they become conscious. Now, I already plan on using The Matrix Trilogy, The Terminator movies and Battlestar Galactica to explore that narrative through films and series, but I would like to add to that a sf novel that also conforms to that narrative (I have found Harlan Ellison’s: “I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream”, through another thread). So, my question is, could you recommend any sf novels on the basis of these criteria? (Also: since I am a little short on time, I would prefer standalone novels instead of those within a trilogy or more extensive series of books).

Again, thank you very much!

April 16th, 2011, 08:00 AM
Might be useful:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lhl/lhlpub_spring11/1024022011 (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lhl/lhlpub_spring11/1024022011)

Immediate thought: Herbert/Anderson's Dune prequels. (Sorry, they're part of a series, and they're not that good, but they seem to cover what you need.)

The Butlerian Jihad was the culmination of the robot/human revolt. (LINK (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Butlerian_Jihad))

Further thoughts: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Darwin_among_the_Machines

Cybernetic Revolt: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Cybernetic_revolt

And I'm assuming that you'll end up with the Singularity? https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Technological_singularity Have a look at that section about Popular Culture.


April 16th, 2011, 08:45 AM
Hi Mark,

Thanks a lot for the suggestions! I will definitely look into using Samuel Butler’s work. As far as the Dune prequels are concerned; I was aware of them and the prequel conceptualizing the Butlerian Jihad sounds intriguing, as well as spot on, but I felt forced to dismiss them due to the time it would take me to adequately familiarize myself with the material. I will indeed be discussing the Singularity as well. I plan to discuss Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near as it prophesises our inevitable becoming-cyborg/-more-than-human. I will immediately take a look at the lecture; that might be very helpful. Once again, thanks a lot!


April 16th, 2011, 08:48 AM
Best of luck, David: I'll keep thinking, and I'm sure others will chip in!


April 16th, 2011, 01:10 PM
You might find the thread from last year at http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25337 useful. As well as “The Two Faces of Tomorrow”, you might also look at “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, “Neuromancer” and “Fool's War” as examples of human interactions with emerging AIs, although those stories mostly do not have a war between machines and humanity as the major theme. Meanwhile, my experience as a chess player tells me that any war between man and machines would be quickly won by the machines.

Jim diGriz
April 18th, 2011, 02:01 AM
On a more lighthearted note, check out John Sladek's "The Reproductive System"

April 30th, 2011, 03:00 PM
(society of the mind) is a great book on technology becoming aware

April 30th, 2011, 03:12 PM
I'm not sure if it's what you're after, but I believe Tony Ballantyne's Twisted Metal, and its sequel Blood & Iron, may be worth looking into. It might just be that the first book is useful, but if my memory serves me correctly then I think it's based around self-replicating and self-aware robot-things who overthrew their creators and live, funnily enough, like humans.

I could be remembering it wrong, though.

April 30th, 2011, 05:44 PM
I don't know if manga qualifies as an SF novel - it's on paper too, however, and some people would credit it.

Particularly if it's Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell series, which is precisely in the realm your looking at.

It's also nicely translated into English. Check out:

April 30th, 2011, 09:39 PM
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Phillip K Dick