Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Favorite Man Vs. Machine Stories

I don't like robot stories, as a general rule. I have absolutely zero interest in the Terminator movies, and the easiest way to make me not want to read a book (other than telling me it's written by a televangelist) is to use the phrase "robot uprising." Seriously... robots just don't do it for me.

Saga is a comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I recently read all three currently existing graphic novel volumes as part of my goal to read everything Vaughan has written before meeting him at NY Comic Con. It's about a huge interplanetary war, mainly between the home planets of the two main characters you see up there on the cover. You may notice they have a baby with them. This is why both their homeworlds want to hunt them down (extreme fraternizing with the enemy).

You may be saying, "Alex, I know you said you don't much care for robot stories, but you still should be talking about a robot story here." Well, one side of the war has joined forces with the Robot Kingdom. Prince Robot IV is one of the major pursuers of the family, and he looks like this:

So while the "man" in question is a family consisting of a women with wings, a man with horns and magical abilities, and their hybrid daughter, they are certainly up against a formidable machine.

It's always my favorite weeks when I get to tell you about books that I've never told you about before.

I love Crichton.  I mean, I honestly don't think I've read anything by him that I didn't like.  This was probably my least favorite book by him and I still REALLY liked it.  Long story short, humans create nano-bots and these nano-bots get minds of their own and start taking over everything.  They become a threat in a way that only Crichton could make them.  

I like it because while it is the classic man vs. machine, cautionary "be careful what you create" tale, it's not preachy.  And it's fascinating and thrilling and has you on the edge of your seat constantly wondering, "Oh, my God, are they going to die?  Are they next?  No, Crichton, YOU CAN'T KILL HIM!!  I LIKED HIM!!"

Really, Joss Whedon has nothing on Crichton.

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