vN : Machine Dynasty

  • by Madeline Ashby
  • Narrated by Christina Traister
  • Series: Machine Dynasty
  • 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks them, young Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.
Now she’s on the run, carrying her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive. She’s growing quickly, and learning too. Like the fact that in her, and her alone, the failsafe that stops all robots from harming humans has stopped working… Which means that everyone wants a piece of her, some to use her as a weapon, others to destroy her.


What the Critics Say

“Ashby’s debut is a fantastic adventure story that carries a sly philosophical payload about power and privilege, gender and race. It is often profound, and it is never boring.” (Cory Doctorow)
"vN might just be the most piercing interrogation of humanoid AI since Asimov kicked it all off with the Three Laws.” (Peter Watts)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An Imaginative Novel of Robots, Control & Chaos

A few things to know about Ms. Ashby - she's a flippin' genius, a marvelous storyteller and she's willing to pursue her ideas and stories without reference to niceties. While I think it would be fair to say she's a liberal feminist, she's way not PC. She takes it all head-on, sensibilities be hanged. She reminds me of a liberal Ayn Rand with a few important differences besides ideology - she knows how to edit, if she explores the same or similar themes, she does so in interesting and new ways; Ms. Rand tended to rehash with slight variations. Also, her are subservient to the story, not the other way around. vN explores themes tied to sentient androids and their relations to humans other vN (she invokes something similar to Asimov's 3 laws of robotics), unique issues tied to self-replicating androids (hence the Von Neumann machine reference) and a world in which cataclysmic events have destabilized our world (does she have a thing against Seattle?). "An iteration is not a copy, it is simply the next version." Ashby, Madeline (2012-07-31). vN (First Machine Dynasty) (Kindle Location 3651). Osprey Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Prior to dipping my toes below the spoiler line, however, I also want to commend Christina Traister's narration. As I typically do, I went between the Kindle and Audible versions relying on Whispersync for Voice to keep me on track. I would think this book would be a bit of a challenge to narrate. Amy needs to be young whilst quickly becoming a full, somewhat jaded woman. Javier is a Hispanic-based model. Portia is wacked. The terminology is a bit eclectic, to wit "...but her spirit was as strong as the titanium sheathing her graphene coral bones, her personal integrity as impermeable as the silicone skin overlaying the polymerdoped memristors embedded there, her wit as quick as the carbon aerogel currents wafting through and shaping the musculature of her body." Say that fives times fast. Ms. Traister handles it all with aplomb. Her phrasing and pacing are spot on. Her characters are believable and the tone of her voice matches them and their context. She is easy to understand. Lovely work. Seriously good reads; I highly recommend both books (but start with vN).
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Would you listen to vN again? Why?

no because i rember it. but maybe years after now

Who was your favorite character and why?

they all are good. amy is the main. good and crazy AI

Which scene was your favorite?

humm idk alot of them

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yea but i had to sleeep eat and work and drive.

Any additional comments?

you will like this book. if you like sifi and ai stuff

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- Robert Moranda

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-31-2012
  • Publisher: Angry Robot on Brilliance Audio