Cover Image: Stupid Machine

Stupid Machine

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Member Reviews

How could I resist a book that has a refrigerator as a hero?!  In a not-so-distant future, interactive machines, their programmers and users set the scene for this non-traditional murder mystery.  I found this tale to be tightly written, interesting, and surprisingly unconventional.  Characters are far from one dimensional. As in real life the people are frustrating, flawed, selfish, devoted, slack and intense.  Let's not forget the fridge that drives all the action. Represented by a Hawaiian shirted avatar, the fridge just won't give up trying to reconcile contradictory data. "He" manages to help solve a murder just by being persistent in the face of the human beings alternately ignoring, blocking, tinkering, probing, lying......acting as humans.
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I’m not always a huge fan of science fiction but this is well worth reading. A solid 3.5 stars. 

It takes place in 2062. Auto-driving cars and no accidents in 20 years. Then suddenly an accident and somebody dies and the only one who knows is.... a refrigerator. 

Seriously, it sounds ridiculous but it works. I now want to read more science fiction books. 

#netgalley #stupidmachine
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Pretty good. It's told in an unusual way, and it's mostly interesting. I'm a hard scifi fan this worked for me. The author has a good imagination, and puts it to good use here. I look forward to reading more from him. Recommended.
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I loved the originality of  the format. The idea that you can create a story based on a framework of the messages and logs of machines which are part of the internet of things is truly ingenious. M2M meets epistolary novel. Around this framework the author weaves an entertaining story where the characters bring a scheming villain to justice. A delightful combination of inspiration and solid story telling.
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Hard science fiction to love. I always appreciate a strong and visionary voice, balanced with the need to entertain. Mark Niemann-Ross did not disappoint.
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There are some really good ideas here (and some funny ones, like smart appliances calling a help desk staffed by humans) and I think the description of smart devices in 50 years is spot-on.  Where the telling of the tale suffers is the long, frequent descriptions of minor technical details that don't add to the story.  Several chapters are entirely in code that the reader is expected to skim through to look for error messages, even for new characters.  That detracts from an otherwise fun conceit - what if a self-driving car kills its driver when that shouldn't be possible?

I will watch for this author's next work.
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