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Frankensteel (Just Hunter Book 1) Kindle Edition
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More About the Author
In our world of rapid progress, he feels that science fiction set in the near future is a perfect vehicle to explore intriguing themes relevant now and in his readers' lifetimes. He approaches ethical and philosophical questions from an original viewpoint, using thought-provoking plots spiced with hidden delights and interesting, sympathetic characters.
Dr Craig wrote a number of short stories before becoming interested in the more flexible possibilities of longer fiction. His first novella, Frankensteel, explored the world of artificial intelligence and the rights of a thinking machine. That book introduced detective Miriam Hunter, then at the prime of her career. His first full length novel, The Geneh War, goes back in time to the start of her career, and his upcoming novel Time Enough for Killing follows shortly after the events in Frankensteel.
He also writes non-fiction. In addition to 14 scientific papers and a long-running philosophical series in TableAus (the journal of Mensa Australia), he was a contributor to The Australian Book of Atheism with his chapter on "Good Without God", on the importance and validity of secular ethics.
Top Customer Reviews
With that out of the way, the story's premise and plot engaged me well enough to see it through. The pacing, though a little uneven, is reasonable for the length. You'll find interesting ideas sprinkled throughout, and Craig demonstrates moments of artistry in observation. The science is good. The book's theme is a familiar one that we are going to see a lot more of in the next few decades as the fiction becomes science. The twist at the end is interesting but at the same time puzzling for what it leaves unanswered after so much blunt prose.
Special Investigator Miriam Hunter is ordered to hunt "Steel" down and finds herself drawn into the moral dilemma at the heart of this story: whether this human creation with its intelligence should be destroyed or not.
The story has been told before. Any writer since Mary Shelley's 1818 classic attempting a re-write of the Frankenstein myth must have a stand-out factor to distinguish it from its predecessors. Its factory setting and its police hunter skilled in dark arts of pursuit and assassination give Frankensteel a modern "industrial" and almost noir feel. The character of the professor, in particular, gives Robin Craig the narrative licence to develop arguments for and against artificial intelligence and its relationship to human consciousness. Frankensteel brings the old myth up to date by taking into account recent developments, both in neuroscience and artificial intelligence.
Set against these protagonists are the shadowy Imagist cult, believing that only human beings are made in the Image of God, and therefore set against machine consciousness.Read more ›
The story has warmth, humor, tension and well-sculpted characters, whom we are left wanting to know better at the end.
It doesn't feel like science fiction although the science is certainly in assured and masterful hands here; what is most surprising is the beautifully flowing prose which makes this novella, for me at least, equally a work of literary fiction.
This author uses three archetypes, the philosopher, the scientist and the soldier to reveal the deeper story and to describe the type of people who drive and protect our civilization. His characterization is excellent. These are fully rounded people who demonstrate that reason and emotion are not antagonists. One is left realizing that such people do exist, and longing to meet them.
This is achieved in a short book that can be read in one sitting. I could not have read it any other way.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a fantastic story! The ethical issues addressed alone are enough for me to have enjoyed this book. Adding in the science fiction elements is just an added bonus. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Donnie Carr
A suspenseful plot with admirable characters and an elegant treatment of the intersection of artificial intelligence and individual rights. Highly recommended. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Herophile
I found this story to be a little dry for my tastes. It felt like it lacked spark. Nevertheless, I did read the whole thing through to the end. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Dr.Gonzo
If you're having a hard time sleeping, try this plodding story.
I was not impressed. I did feel sorry for the robot because of the narrow-mindedness of people but felt... Read more
This is a story that you have to work at to read and appreciate it.
It is the indirect route to a science fiction - robot story, which goal is not the "story" but rather to... Read more
I didn't realize the book would be so short. The wording was a tad hard to follow sometimes. Good story line thoughPublished on January 11, 2013 by amalie
A very interesting twist of the classic Frankenstein dilemma. Well formatted for the Kindle Fire. A very enjoyable and thoughtful read.Published on January 9, 2013 by soldner
Robin Craig's novella hit a sweet note for me. Just the right amount of text for a single sitting read and the story opened up some thinking for me to do. Read morePublished on June 7, 2012 by MarkF
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