Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill (Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist)

Sea of Rust is perhaps one of the most unique Sci-fi novels I have had the fortune to read. Its premise is a simple one, the collapse of humanity in the face of Robots and AI. So what you might say, this has been done before, Battlestar Galactica, AI and any number of books by Isaac Asimov but this time it’s different. What makes the book different is the protagonist, in fact, all the protagonists. Cargill has created a believable world without a single human being.S_Sea_Of_Rust_140X220

The novel manages to describe a post-human society that is populated by robots in a realistic manner. He manages to convey the internal angst of machines created to serve man no longer having a man to serve. What is most interesting is how closely this new society resembles the human one, in doing so this parallel has something to say about our own society, the future of mankind and the inevitability of conflict.

Cargill’s writing style is engaging and his characterisations or more than just skin deep which makes for an entertaining read. The plot rattles along and is punctuated by flashbacks to the past to illuminate the fall of mankind. Whilst some of the supposition is flimsy, I m not sure mankind would have fallen quite as easily.

The hero is likeable and her motivations robust. It was interesting to follow her journey and the world that Cargill has created and the story told in this novel is certainly open for continuation, something I would be happy to see.

You can find ‘Sea of Rust’ at all good booksellers. More information can be found at Gollancz

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