Waking the Machine: Behold, the King of the Machines
(Trade Paperback / Paperback)
- RRP: $24.50
- In Stock US
Half way through the second millennium the Great Energy War ends and the Common Era is abandoned. The catalyst is an 80-megaton hydrogen bomb - surreally named the Big Omega Bomb (BOB) - which self-detonates and destroys most of the eastern coast of the United States. Countless A...merican citizens are killed by the acute effects of the blast and from high doses of weaponised radiation. However almost one million 'specials' are saved and escape to orbit the earth in colossal arks, waiting in limbo while their nation withers. The largest of these ships is Lazarus, upon which the president and highest ranking officials reside. It is the first ship to return to earth after the quarantine period, crash-landing amongst the ruined buildings of Washington's Watergate Complex and ushering in the first hour of the Lazarus Era. In the years that follow a vengeful, paranoid America loans money from its allies and builds the Citadel: a city stronghold surrounding the remains of Lazarus. Soon they rejoin the Western Alliance (North America, Europe, Canada, Africa, India and Australia), and, in attempt to regain their national standing, become embroiled in the Second Great Energy War. Their opponents are, once again, the Asiatic Forces (Pakistan, Russia, China, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia). Only this time it's not just a struggle for diminished stores of fossil fuels. Instead the president is convinced that the Asiatic Forces are not only withholding Intel about the Omega Event, but are also protecting those responsible. After several small-scale attacks on the Citadel they're convinced that BOB was detonated by an amorphous terrorist fraternity the president calls the Unseen. Enraged, he and his cronies plan an invasion of Indonesia, where they believe the Unseen are hiding. Suddenly it seems as though world war is inevitable and technology is going to ignite the fires that will consume humankind. However, in the midst of this turbulent maelstrom, hope is renewed in the form of a young Chinese roboticist and pioneer of neo-sentience: Richard Chew. He has created a humanoid robot of such astounding cognitive ability and complexity that it is heralded as the first free-thinking machine. Its name is Siegfried. Enticed by the prospects of this new creation, the Citadel extends its hand to Richard in an attempt to pluck him from their enemy. It works. Richard accepts an offer that will not only change his life, but also the lives of the androids he's making. And so, as international tension mounts, Richard travels to the Citadel and joins robo-neurologist and scholar Ilja Larsson. Together they create 11 advanced, Olympus-series androids. Then, in a bid to escape the vitriolic political climate, they take these androids to an academy in the Scottish highlands and start using human counterparts to train them. Everything seems to be going well. A symbiotic relationship develops between man and machine. They read, explore and talk about space and earth and everything in between. But then their creditors begin to visit them more frequently and the Western military bears down on their program, dragging them into the Second Energy War. Soon Richard must fight to preserve his integrity, whilst also protecting his androids from the encircling flames of war. But he is not the only one being forced to make a life-altering decision. By now Siegfried and its comrades have learned enough about humans to know that their independence is at stake. And the time for defiance has arrived...
||20 Sep 2015
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