Image of Sea of Rust: A Novel


Image of Sea of Rust: A Novel

For a book with absolutely no human or organic characters, Sea of Rust will truly make you question your humanity, your mortality and your consciousness while following around a wisecracking scavenger robot. Brittle, a caregiver bot-turned-soldier tells her story of survival from the first-person perspective, letting readers learn how human an AI consciousness can be — despite her constant reassurance she is very inorganic. Cargill’s worldbuilding immerses readers in an Earth where only robots roam, giving a balanced amount of philosophy, action, melancholy and humor that makes Sea of Rustan essential for any sci-fi fan.

The last human died decades ago. The world is a desert. Parts are running out, and robots are breaking down slowly as they erode. Brittle does what she can to survive — picking parts off decommissioned robots isn’t much, but it’s a living. A normal scavenging trip goes wrong when Mercer, the only other bot with the same specs as her, tries to capture her for parts. Brittle’s knowledge of the wastes — the Sea of Rust — kept her alive, and another Simalcrum Caregiver Model with a sniper rifle isn’t about to stop her. But her knowledge makes her a target — for both the imperialistic mainframe intelligences of the world, and the rebels who aim to stop them. Brittle has to fight against the ticking clock on her processors to do what’s right — despite all the wrongs she’s committed before. (HARPER VOYAGER, Sep., 384 pp., $27.99)

Reviewed by: 
Alyssa Duspiva