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Andrew Neil Gray

Five SFF Books Written Collaboratively

There’s something about science fiction and fantasy that encourages collaboration. Whether it grew from the years when genre writing was relegated to the literary shadows, and authors came together to support each other, or it’s simply a tradition that found fertile ground here, collaboratively written novels abound in the genre.

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Series: Five Books About…

In the Battle of Man vs Machines, Are We the Baddies?

We all know the story. First we create intelligent nonhuman life, then it kills us. It’s as old as Frankenstein (though admittedly Dr. Frankenstein’s monster didn’t actually kill him, it just murdered his brother and his fiancée; he died in the Arctic, seeking revenge. But nobody would argue it had a happy ending).

Take Terminator, for example. When the global computer network Skynet becomes self-aware, its first action is to trigger a nuclear war to try and wipe out humanity. In the TV series Battlestar Galactica, humans create sentient machines, and again, extermination is the default response. In Daniel H. Wilson’s novel Robopocalypse, Archos R-14, the powerful AI, becomes self-aware, and… you guessed it, immediately begins plotting the destruction of humankind.

What is it with us? Why do we keep making evil robots, against all the evidence that it’s a bad idea? Why is this such a compelling trope in the stories we tell ourselves about the future?

[What if we’re the baddies?]