- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 26 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Iambik Audio Inc.
- Audible.com Release Date: January 22, 2013
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00B4FB040
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Machine Audiobook – Unabridged
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The story is really much, much more complex than I've described. This story addresses issues of religion, sexuality, and gender. It addresses what it means to be human. It faces sexuality - and harmful sexuality - head on. The book is all about the consequences of the choices we make - to ourselves, and to others.
This is a very sexual book, so delicate readers be warned: the graphic sexuality is scary. Don't go there if you don't think you can handle it.
What fascinated me most about Celia was her coming to terms with her existence as an android. I LOVED THAT. This book needed more of that. The pain she felt... it was so real. But was she real?
I wanted to explore the reality of Celia's existence, and all the questions raised by a sentient android. Is she really Celia? Or is she just a recording of Celia and stuck in Celia's emotions? She clearly isn't human anymore. So what does it mean to be a machine? Can she divorce herself of all her human emotions?
What I hated about this book: All the politics. I get it. The author is drawing comparisons between the fictional treatment of her androids, and modern societal treatment of the transgendered (and perhaps other stigmatized people).
I am already in agreement. As a society, we treat the transgendered poorly. There should never, ever be a circumstance where someone is discriminated against because they are differently bodied.
I just don't need to be lectured about it. And that's where the book lost me - in the lectures. I wouldn't mind, except I've heard them all before. Yeah, the lectures are correct, but I don't need to read them over and over.
In my humble opinion, the author was trying to make her point with a hammer, when all she needed was the delicate stroke of a paint brush. I know that's a weird analogy. What I mean, is that she could have dialed the political rhetoric back and I would have reached the exact same conclusions.
So I took a star away for too much political rhetoric. Otherwise I freaking LOVED this book.
Machine is a reversal of typical stories of this genre. Our Pathos begins as human, becomes inhuman, and goes to monstrous, yet somehow beautiful, lengths to accept that inhumanity.
This book is a heart wrencher that I could not put down. If you are looking for a fun, sci-fi romp, I would not recommend this book. If you want something serious, do not hesitate to purchase Machine.
I was curious along with her about her new body, and angry about her wife's abandonment, and I could see why she was disenchanted with trying to pretend to be human when she had an option.
Cecilia gets an android replacement body while her bio body is on ice awaiting treatment for a neurological disease. Sadly, when she wakes up, her wife has freaked out and left. Cecilia is left alone, or to the tender mercies of a psychiatrist, to work out who she is all over again, the way many people do after a failed marriage. Cecilia's case is just a bit more complicated.
Cecilia finds a group of other bioandroids who are transhumanist, in a way. They all fit along a continuum of modification. Some are a little tweaked, and some no longer appear human. Each of them is searching for the body that reflects their new understanding of their other-humanity.
I was mesmerized by the inventive writing and thought about what a person could or would turn off. One of the first things Cecilia selects is a tweak called "stoneface". If she had that turned on, she did not have to express her emotions involuntarily. I can only dream of being able to control my involuntary crying in some situations. I would feel so much more powerful and confident if I could get rid of that. She still felt everything behind her stoneface, until she selected other tweaks to give her detachment. She could turn her pain on and off, her voluntary motion. Cecilia had power over her body that I think many of us dream of. It was amazing.
This book is very tightly focused on Cecilia's experiences. It's not about culture or society or the bigger issues, it's very much about this one person's experience. I applaud the narrow focus that allows Pelland to explore so much.
Read if: You are interested in exploring the slightly gnostic themes of body independence. You are fine reading about dirty robot sex.
Skip if: You want a wider picture. You are not going to be ok with dirty robot sex.
Also read: Fool's War, by Sarah Zettel, for a view of bodies and consciousness back the other way.