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vN: The First Machine Dynasty (The Machine Dynasty Book 1) by [Ashby, Madeline]
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vN: The First Machine Dynasty (The Machine Dynasty Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
Customers reported quality issues in this eBook. This eBook has: Typos.
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Book 1 of 2 in The Machine Dynasty (2 Book Series)
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Length: 253 pages Audible Narration:
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Review

"Picks up where "Blade Runner" left off and maps territories Ridley Scott barely even glimpsed. (Philip K Dick would have been at home here, but Ashby's prose is better.) "vN" might just be the most piercing interrogation of humanoid AI since Asimov kicked it all off with the Three Laws."" -" Peter Watts, author of "Blindsight"

""vN" did not disappoint. It is a fantastic adventure story that carries a sly philosophical payload about power and privilege, gender and race. It is often profound, and it is never boring."
- Cory Doctorow
"If you have been missing the kind of thought-provoking-yet-exciting stories about artificial creatures that only come along once in a while, "vN" is well worth grabbing. It's disturbing and sometimes upsetting -- but the ending is a giant insane weird thrill that makes the whole thing pay off."
--Charlie Jane Andres for io9.com
"Picks up where "Blade Runner" left off and maps territories Ridley Scott barely even glimpsed. (Philip K Dick would have been at home here, but Ashby's prose is better.) "vN" might just be the most piercing interrogation of humanoid AI since Asimov kicked it all off with the Three Laws.""
-" Peter Watts, author of "Blindsight"
"VN fuses cyberpunk with urban fantasy to produce something wholly new. Thre's a heavy kicker in every chapter. Zombie robots, vampire robots, robots as strange and gnarly as human beings. A page-turning treat."- Rudy Rucker, author of the WARE TETRALOGY
"Ashby's debut novel is brimming with ideas..."
-SFX Magazine

""vN" is a thrilling adventure story with a well-developed cast of both humans and vNs, which challenges the meaning of being a person without ever being preachy about it."
-Steve Jones, Terror Tree

""vN" did not disappoint. It isa fantastic adventure story that carries a slyphilosophical payload about power and privilege, gender and race. Itis often profound, and it is never boring."
- Cory Doctorow
If you have been missing the kind of thought-provoking-yet-exciting stories about artificial creatures that only come along once in a while, "vN" is well worth grabbing. It's disturbing and sometimes upsetting but the ending is a giant insane weird thrill that makes the whole thing pay off.
Charlie Jane Andres for io9.com
"Picks up where "Blade Runner" left off and maps territories Ridley Scott barely even glimpsed. (Philip K Dick would have been at home here, but Ashby's prose is better.) "vN" might just be the most piercing interrogation of humanoid AI since Asimov kicked it all off with the Three Laws.""
" Peter Watts, author of "Blindsight"
"VN fuses cyberpunk with urban fantasy to produce something wholly new. Thre's a heavy kicker in every chapter. Zombie robots, vampire robots, robots as strange and gnarly as human beings. A page-turning treat."- Rudy Rucker, author of the WARE TETRALOGY
"Ashby's debut novel is brimming with ideas..."
-SFX Magazine
"vN"is a thrilling adventure story with a well-developed cast of both humans and vNs, which challenges the meaning of being a person without ever being preachy about it.
-Steve Jones, Terror Tree"

"vN did not disappoint. It isa fantastic adventure story that carries a slyphilosophical payload about power and privilege, gender and race. Itis often profound, and it is never boring."
- Cory Doctorow
If you have been missing the kind of thought-provoking-yet-exciting stories about artificial creatures that only come along once in a while, vN is well worth grabbing. It's disturbing and sometimes upsetting but the ending is a giant insane weird thrill that makes the whole thing pay off.
Charlie Jane Andres for io9.com
"Picks up where Blade Runner left off and maps territories Ridley Scott barely even glimpsed. (Philip K Dick would have been at home here, but Ashby's prose is better.) vN might just be the most piercing interrogation of humanoid AI since Asimov kicked it all off with the Three Laws."
Peter Watts, author of Blindsight
"VN fuses cyberpunk with urban fantasy to produce something wholly new. Thre's a heavy kicker in every chapter. Zombie robots, vampire robots, robots as strange and gnarly as human beings. A page-turning treat."- Rudy Rucker, author of the WARE TETRALOGY
"Ashby's debut novel is brimming with ideas..."
-SFX Magazine
vNis a thrilling adventure story with a well-developed cast of both humans and vNs, which challenges the meaning of being a person without ever being preachy about it.
-Steve Jones, Terror Tree"

About the Author

After meeting Ursula K. LeGuin in the basement of the Elliott Bay Book Company, Madeline Ashby decided to start writing science fiction stories. While immigrating to Canada from the United States in 2006, she could not work or study and joined the Cecil Street Irregulars a genre writers workshop founded by Judith Merril instead. Since then she has been published in Tesseracts, Flurb, Nature, Escape Pod and elsewhere. She has a master s degree in Manga and Anime and writes on such matters for i09, Tor.com and BoingBoing. Currently she works as a strategic foresight consultant in Toronto.
www.madelineashby.com
twitter.com/MadelineAshby
Author hometown: Toronto
"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 409 KB
  • Print Length: 253 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Angry Robot; 1 edition (29 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008QZ1BHC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,646 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can suspend belief pretty easy from most scifi but Ashby was asking for too much. Her basic story idea is okay and the big details are fine but it is in the little things that she lets the reader down. Amy Peterson is a Von Nuemann machine, a self-replicating humanoid robot that looks, sounds, feels like, talks, and in just all and every action, duplicates that of a human - except when it comes to eating. While she normally eats vN chow which resembles to some degree human food, it's really metal that she eats. Give her a metal recycling bin and it's Christmas dinner. So how does she digest metal? How does her body turn inorganic metal into organic cells? How does she devour her grandmother android in one go? Where and how does it all fit inside her? Don't ask me, I've only read the book.
And then through interaction with another vN, she can start photosynthesizing,which is how plants turn sunlight into simple sugars. Great, so why does android girl need simple organic sugars when she's living off inorganic metals.
You start pulling on that one loose thread and it all falls apart and that's the problem with this book. With 20 pages to go, I put the book down a month ago and have zero desire to pick it up and finish it.
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Format: Paperback
I've started and restarted this review about a half-dozen times. Not because I don't have anything to say about vN, because I assuredly do - when do I not? - but rather because I don't know where to start. There is so much to say about vN, from the characters to the basic premise, to the writing and the power of the story, it's hard to begin. So I'll jump in at the shallow end, my shallow end, and comment on the gorgeous cover. I'd already read the blurb for vN and I thought it sounded rather interesting and then I saw the cover and I knew I wanted to read it. How gorgeous is that cover?

The premise of vN, that of a humanoid robot whose fail safe against harming humans fails and her flight and consequent search for her identity and a place of safety, was intriguing from the get-go. The idea and execution of the von Neumann machines is amazing and utterly enthralling. I fell in love with their idea of self-replication, or iteration as it is called in the book. The fact that they are born with certain in-born traits and abilities, but can and will be taught other skills by their parent, plays with the idea of nature versus nurture. vN's aren't born as blank slates, they have certain things, such as their mother tongue or special vocational skills, programmed in, but have to be taught certain other facts of life, such as the failsafe. For the children from a human/vN relationship this means that a lot of their character can be imprinted not just by the vN parent, but by the human parent as well. However, the question remains whether vN children can develop their own characteristic regardless of programming and parenting, a question which I had to ask myself several times about Amy's development. Because Amy is definitely more than the sum of her parts, both physically and mentally.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know what to make of this book. It was ok I guess, Vague it parts, not so much in others. For example in one part of the story the male hero resuces the female hero. Both have been captured and just in the nick of time he is there to rescue her, but there is no explaination as to how he was planning on escaping, or how he does it during his escape, or even how he did it after the scene had past. All you got was he is suddenly there, made the rescue and the story moves on. It felt like the author had an idea and couldn't get the words down fast enough, so much so that she left bits out.
This is a constant theme through out the book. The discription of the areas they were in were lacking, and disjointed, for example, a scene would open explaining they where in a large building, as they traveled through the building you felt like you had missed a page or two as the scene changed. They had arrived at the building, no description of them entering it, but they suddenly on a bridge then the next thing they are in the ocean. What happened to the building? where did the bridge come from?
On the plus side I loved Amy, Javier, and Junior, Grandma was totaly nasty and you really wanted to see her get her come-uppance. It had its sad points and its exciting points. Over all I gave this book three stars maily due to its vagueness, and waiting for something to happen.
I will probably read the next book with a view of hoping that it is a better book
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Format: Paperback
I have had vN on my reading pile for a few months now, and decided to finally crack it open after a good run so far of reading and being wonderfully surprised by Angry Robot's publishing choices. I'd heard good things, and was hoping for more of them. I got ... some of those good things. I prefer my glass half full. That said, I was a bit underwhelmed by the overall result, as I will attempt to explain...

First, the good points. I was fascinated by Ashby's creations, the vNs themselves. The idea of self-replicating androids seemed like an interesting, slightly creepy take on robots. It is interesting - and also creepy, but mostly interesting. Amy Peterson's take on the world, and on herself and others like her, was a convincing mix of human, thanks to her upbringing, and not entirely human (because, y'know, robot). The presence of Portia, her 'malfunctioning' hard-line grandmother, provides most of the creep factor I mentioned, and helps to throw Amy's innocence into clearer relief. Likewise, her friendship with Javier, another vN who is driven to iterate (self-replicate) as often as possible, provides an intriguing relationship as Amy goes on the run.

All of these things were interesting, but to raise my main point against the book, they were only interesting. They didn't leap off the page and seize me by the imagination; there was no moment while reading this book that I got lost in the story, unable or unwilling to put it down. After some thought, I suspect this is due to how difficult I found it to really connect with Amy as a character - or, as is probably fairer to say, as a relatable human character. If I'm being honest I found Javier more realised, more engaging, than I found Amy.
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