Last Friday the Toronto Star selected the Best New Science Fiction Books of the summer, and it’s an auspicious list: four new novels by Todd McAulty, Patrick S. Tomlinson, Peng Shepherd, and Hannu Rajaniemi. At the top of the list is The Robots of Gotham by Todd McAulty, released Tuesday by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
SF fans rejoice! Your summer beach reading has arrived. Todd McAulty’s debut novel is a massive, fast-paced, action-packed epic… with robots!
Lots of robots. In the year 2083 the world’s geopolitical order has been shaken up by the rise of sentient machines, with many countries now being ruled by godlike sovereign AIs, and robots of all different shapes, sizes and functionality rubbing shoulders in the streets with humans.
Canadian tech entrepreneur Barry Simcoe is visiting Chicago, which is now part of an occupied zone governed by a Venezuelan-led consortium of powers, when he gets sucked into a complicated web of plots and counterplots that lead all the way to the top of the global machine hierarchy, with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance.
Even more than the fascinating and fully realized world it presents, what makes The Robots of Gotham such a great ride is its sheer narrative drive. Every page has the fierce readability of early Neal Stephenson, which is as high praise as it gets. Enjoy the summer.