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Peter Watts - MalakFor reasons mainly to do with my brain, and what's current in it, I'd like to point you to Peter Watts' story Malak. Malak is a drone. More so, it's an autonomous drone, and is being trained (there seem to be software upgrades, and neural networks, and general tinkering in play) to make its own 'moral' decisions. All in the name of removing slow, fallible, guilt-stricken, hesitating humans out of the equation. Because it's so much easier to have machines make our dirty decision for us, never mind do the dirty work...

The drone here is called Azrael (after the angel of death...), and we experience the story through its 'eyes'.

I'm not gonna spoil your enjoyment of the story by giving away more. If you know Peter Watts then you know that what he shows is realistic, rarely very edifying (especially when humans are involved) and mirrors the complexities of the real world.

The picture on the right is of a drone called Azrael (I don't know if that's inspired by this story, or a parallel development), built in Lego, and posted on Flicker by a user called [MIXBRIX]. Recommended soundtrack to reading this: Drones, by Muse. Obviously.

Links: Peter WattsMalakFlickr - [MIXBRIX] - Drones

 

 

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Liz Williams - Empire of Bones

 

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Charles Stross - The Atrocity Archives


Andy Weir - The Martian

 

Ian Sales – Adrift on the Sea of Rains

 

Somtow Sucharitul – Starship & Haiku

 

Tricia Sullivan – Occupy Me

 

Peter Watts – Maelstrom

 

Somtow Sucharitkul - The Throne of Madness

 

S.P. Somtow – I Wake from a Dream of a Drowned Star City

 

Lavie Tidhar - Central Station

 

Thomas Pynchon – Gravity’s Rainbow

 

Peter Watts - Blindsight

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