Jan. 19th, 2010

foxmonkey: Robot Snowman with Flowers (Default)
I bought Robota two weeks ago, thinking, correctly as it turns out, that it would be my first book of 2010. When I bought it I thought it was a book of very cool robot illustrations, not realizing that it was indeed an illustrated science fiction story. Doug Chiang, the illustrator, is the Academy-Award-winning design director for the Star Wars prequels. The pictures are just what you want from sci fi artwork. They're gorgeous and sweeping and larger-than-life.

The book started out promisingly enough. There were just enough touches of humor to make me laugh out loud in spots, and at least one or two very interestingly written passages that made me stop and think about my own love affair with words. Here's my favorite bit:

Then the hunters emerged into sunlight. They were not men at all. They were robots, carrying long thin rifles in their equally thin arms, moving on slender legs with the grace and precision of spiders.

...moving on slender legs with the grace and precision of spiders. I. Love. That. It's such a wonderful description, equally beautiful and creepy. It's perfection.

If this were a paperback with no illustrations, its words would fill the slimmest volume; I'm a fast reader, and from cover to cover, began and finished the book this morning in a couple of hours. It was an interesting story, but ultimately it was unsatisfying. I've been thinking about it off and on, and finally realized that the book had no warmth, almost as if the author let the illustrations carry the story instead of the illustrations enhancing the story.

And then the end. ::sigh:: I'll put the rest behind a cut in case someone out there wants to remain unspoiled.

Are you kidding me? )

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