A deeply realized space opera, sci-fi comes to life with Dustin Nguyen’s illustrations and Lemire’s creative vision and keen ear to strong dialogue. Many tales have contemplated the role of Artificial Intelligence in future society, from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? to Startrek: the Next Generation, from 2001: A Space Odyssey to The Matrix. All point to a conflict arising . . .
An Artificial Intelligence apocalypse decimates a nine-planet United Galactic Counsel when each of the planets is simultaneously attacked by its own planet-sized robot, called a Harvester. Then, the fleet of Harvesters leaves as quickly and mysteriously as it came.
Ten years later, and life in the UGC is still picking up the pieces. One very major change has occurred, none of the planets rely on androids and robots anymore. After the unprovoked attack on carbon lifeforms, the humans and aliens allied in a genocide against their societies’ robots despite no evidence of a connection to the Harvesters.
A few robots manage to survive. One in particular, Tim-21, is a confused likable protagonist with innocence in spades. While the Harvesters were attacking the core planets, Tim-21, a child companion with a human “brother,” was in sleep mode during a disaster on a far-flung mining moon that killed all of the humans. Tim-21 awakens ten years later to find his “family” dead and robots reviled. His built-in empathy for humans makes him as vulnerable as a ten y.o. child, but his unique robot codex makes him valuable . . .
The interplay of AI and life with multiple factions and fronts keeps this tale engaging with much room for development. The various alien species have yet to as richly distinguish themselves, but I expect that’s coming. The series is recommended.
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