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The Expert System's Brother

The Expert System's Brother

Scritto da Adrian Tchaikovsky

Narrato da Shaun Grindell


The Expert System's Brother

Scritto da Adrian Tchaikovsky

Narrato da Shaun Grindell

valutazioni:
4/5 (19 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
4 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jul 30, 2019
ISBN:
9781977319197
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Bestselling British master of science fiction Adrian Tchaikovsky brings listeners a new, mind-expanding science fantasia in The Expert System's Brother.

After an unfortunate accident, Handry is forced to wander a world he doesn't understand, searching for meaning. He soon discovers that the life he thought he knew is far stranger than he could even possibly imagine.

Can an unlikely savior provide the answers to the questions he barely comprehends?

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jul 30, 2019
ISBN:
9781977319197
Formato:
Audiolibro

Informazioni sull'autore

Adrian Tchaikovsky was born in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, and headed off to university in Reading to study psychology and zoology. For reasons unclear even to himself, he subsequently ended up in law. Adrian has since worked as a legal executive in both Reading and Leeds and now writes full-time. He also lives in Leeds, with his wife and son. Adrian is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor. He has also trained in stage-fighting and keeps no exotic or dangerous pets of any kind – possibly excepting his son. Adrian is the author of the critically acclaimed Shadows of the Apt series, the Echoes of the Fall series and other novels, novellas and short stories. The Tiger and the Wolf won the British Fantasy Award for Best Fantasy Novel – and Children of Time won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. This was in the award’s 30th anniversary year.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    A brilliant concept of machine intelligence needing human guidance, and vice versa.
  • (5/5)
    This was a really amazing story that kept me guessing. I read a lot if science fiction but this book really didn't follow a story plan like anything I have read before. It's a very original and well paced adventure in a strange world. Reminded me of 'The Giver' and 'the lost planet'.
  • (3/5)
    If you are at all familiar with the tropes of science fiction it won't take you very long at all to figure out that the unnamed world where The Expert System's Brother takes place is some sort of lost colony, that humans have been artificially adapted to it, and that they have reverted to a subsistence state governed by expert systems. Not AI because there is no change, growth or adaptation, just endless repetition of a "best" solution.As we follow Handry, the narrator, his life begins in a small, controlled community where everyone knows their place and works for the collective good. Those who do not are summarily exiled from the community and also stripped of the ability to eat or touch the plants and animals without violent allergic reactions. Handry himself becomes accidentally marked as an exile and the "ghosts" that run the community determine that it is better to finish exiling him than to try and help him. And so he wanders as an intelligent, reasonably moral exile through an existentially hostile world until he meets Sharskin. Sharskin is another exile, but one who has found a way to be fit and healthy, leading a group of fellow exiles as a self-styled priest with a plan to return humanity to its true, great, powerful, original and destined place, regardless of the reality of the world around them.Handry is really nothing more than the narrator, a passive portable point of view until the very end when he finally takes a meaningful action because *something* must be the moral agent and turn the tide of history away from either stagnation (the status quo) or destruction (Sharskin). As much as Tchaikovsky tries to make Sharskin a more nuanced character, those are really only flickers of character on an otherwise completely predictable priest-dictator-strongman stereotype. We're supposed to identify with Handry because we've experience everything from his point of view, and he is "honest" in recanting his personal failings while narrating. Except that he is too passive, too disengaged to really feel anything for him as a person rather than a viewpoint. Up to this point the whole story has been told in the past tense. As Handry predictably defeats the destructive dictator and overcomes the straight-jacket of the status quo, the narration moves into the present tense. AH HA! Now the story will move beyond the drawn-out preliminaries and we'll get the greater tale of how these people will overcome the challenges of this world, or the history of why so few came so ill-prepared and what happened to mire them in such a stagnant, basic society. But this is not to be. In fact the novella is abruptly done.I cannot help but think of Anne McCaffrey's Pern. Over the course of many novels she told stories of struggle and change on individual and societal levels. Over the course of several she laid out the fall and rise of a colony of ill-prepared humans on an inimical world. The Expert System's Brother ends up just being a simple morality play explaining that we should neither become complacent with a benevolent stagnation nor blinded by the fiery rhetoric of a self-aggrandizing dictator. It would have been better told as a short story. Such a disappointing novella would only rate two stars if Tchaikovsky's writing hadn't kept showing flashes of brilliance. Characters that kept trying and just failing to be more than stereotypes. Occasional great turns of phrase. Hints of a much greater backstory of how these people came to be in such desperate straits, so small in number, so ill prepared. And now that the short-term survival tools are breaking down how will they survive, or will they fail? THAT is the story I want to read and the follow-up that this novella is begging for.