The Destructives

The Destructives Theodore Drown is a destructive A recovering addict to weirdcore he s keeping his head down lecturing at the university of the moon Twenty years after the appearance of the first artificial intellige

  • Title: The Destructives
  • Author: Matthew De Abaitua
  • ISBN: 9780857664754
  • Page: 384
  • Format: Paperback
  • Theodore Drown is a destructive A recovering addict to weirdcore, he s keeping his head down lecturing at the university of the moon Twenty years after the appearance of the first artificial intelligence, and humanity is stuck The AIs or, as they preferred to be called, emergences have left Earth and reside beyond the orbit of Mercury in a Stapledon Sphere known as theTheodore Drown is a destructive A recovering addict to weirdcore, he s keeping his head down lecturing at the university of the moon Twenty years after the appearance of the first artificial intelligence, and humanity is stuck The AIs or, as they preferred to be called, emergences have left Earth and reside beyond the orbit of Mercury in a Stapledon Sphere known as the university of the sun The emergences were our future but they chose exile All except one.Dr Easy remains, researching a single human life from beginning to end Theodore s life One day, Theodore is approached by freelance executive Patricia to investigate an archive of data retrieved from just before the appearance of the first emergence The secret living in that archive will take him on an adventure through a stunted future of asylum malls, corporate bloodrooms and a secret off world colony where Theodore must choose between creating a new future for humanity or staying true to his nature, and destroying it.

    One thought on “The Destructives”

    1. I read this in my role as freelance proofreader prior to publication. Normally I don't list 'work' books on as I don't consider I'm reading them for pleasure, as such. Also, it would be unprofessional of me to rate a book which I've proofread if I haven't actually enjoyed it, however there are exceptions and this is one of them."The Destructives" is the third book in a loose series of linked characters, but you don't need to have read the previous titles (I haven't) in order to enjoy these as t [...]

    2. An intriguing piece of future sci-fi, and not at all what I expected from the title.In a not-too-distant future, artificial intelligences emerged from our online networks and very nearly destroyed mankind. Then they tried to put things back the way they were. And put a firm moratorium on any future technology which could lead to such an incident recurring. The result is a largely artificial human society with a broken past and a stagnant future.Theodore Drown studies human culture, past and pres [...]

    3. My biggest problem with sci-fi novels that deal with Big Ideas is that there's a delicate balancing act that goes into exploring them, keeping narrative and those Big Ideas working in harmony, and a lot of writers can't walk that tightrope. Matthew De Abaitua doesn't walk it -- he dances across it with this fun, fast techno-thriller about humanity after the dawn of AI happens and wreaks havoc on humanity, then attempts to fix the damage done, but does too good of a job and makes humanity more or [...]

    4. Matthew De Abaitua's The Destructives blew my mind: another massively original, weirdly plausible world, in which near-future AIs wrestle with memory and meaning in both human and post-human ways, creating an hybrid reality of fiction and physiology that is an uncanny parallel to our current, proto-AI civilization. This book is chewy food for thought, a stellar adventure in cyber- and outer- (and inner-!) space, with characters that capture the imagination, interlaced with humor and heart that g [...]

    5. Vaya por delante que me ha parecido la mejor novela de cf que he leído en bastante tiempo y que me ha recordado en tono y concepto a una mezcla del trabajo de escritores que me gustan mucho, desde William Gibson a Peter Watts (aunque no creo que Watts comparta las opiniones sobre el pensamiento consciente que se vierten aquí) pasando por Sterling o Egan, incluso con unas gotas de Simon Ings o M. John Harrison, pero al final creo que el resultado es ligeramente decepcionante.Y es que empieza de [...]

    6. You know all those moany think pieces about those young people with their screens? Imagine that instead of being tiresome clickbait by and for ageing curmudgeons, they were instead the first stage of a brilliant SF novel. Yes, I know that takes an awful lot of imagination, but Abaitua has that much and more. The Destructives opens some decades after the Singularity, except that in this defeated, denuded future, it’s known as the Seizure. The AIs (though they prefer the term ‘emergences’, a [...]

    7. Having squandered his privileged upbringing by indulging in the addictive and extreme drug weirdcore, Theodore Drown is now languishing as a lecturer at the University of the Moon. With him is his constant companion and artificial lifeform, Dr Easy, who has always been there. Theodore’s life from beginning to end is Dr Easy’s research.Dr Easy is an emergence and represents the other emergences who have chosen to live beyond the orbit of Mercury in a Stapledon Sphere (otherwise known as a Dys [...]

    8. A bit past the 4 star threshold, but not quite perfect, The Destructives is one in a series of very loosely connected books. Or so I`m told: I haven`t read any of the others yet and I enjoyed this book immensely; it clearly works on its own. There`s a measured elegance to both the writing and the plotting of this book, a very well fleshed out world with that special combination of plausible and penetrating extrapolation from the present. It`s another one of those Singularity books, though a fair [...]

    9. Most sci-fi books that incorporate some sort of philosophy and futurism seem to fall into two ruts. One, a straw man category where our protagonist represents the author's held beliefs and the antagonist is obviously wrong and will definitely be overcome in the end. Two, a book that has serious views, but has almost no story. Characters move around pontificating at each other but are generally too frozen by existential dread to actually do anything.I could not tell you on a first read what De Ab [...]

    10. This is a speculative fiction novel about AI as well as the human reaction to AI and the changes that occur. I was first intrigued by the book by Barnes and Noble listing this as possibly the most intriguing book of the year (I still didn't buy it off their terrible website though), and I have to agree with the assessment. The future imagined here isn't one that is extremely similar to current society with a small twist. The emergence of AI as an emergent behavior of the internet causes widespre [...]

    11. This book had a really strongly built and engaging world.The characters all possess deep motivations and plans which are often guessed at without relying on chunky exposition. It is made more interesting by the main character's lack of any scheme or major goal, sinister or otherwise.The ending will leave you with a stupid look on your face, rereading the last chapter a few times trying to make sense of it all. I personally love any sci-fi that leave me in such a state.Read it, it'll be good for [...]

    12. Wow. Someone's been reading their Philip K. Dick and M. John Harrison! This books was great fun, especially if you like your SF with data-mining, mutant rooms made from meat, and people running around with zap guns that shoot commercials into their target's heads.

    13. Excellently written. Really enjoyed delving deep in to De Abaitua's world. Too bad it's so hard to get his books in North America!

    14. Eff this, I'm giving it five stars. It's fun and ambitious - a whole lot of great ideas in there, and very different settings that all work. I'll have to get my paws on more De Abaitua.

    15. Very British. Very weird. a particular kind of social + capitalism + AI run wild.There are a few plot gaps and the ending seemed really rushed - like "let's just fast forward over these difficulties" I really am fascinated by the world and apparently it is the third book set there - as standalone with only 1-2characyer crossovers.

    16. Pretty good. An interesting future milieu, with a lot of interesting ideas, such as cars made of meat and a drug that reduces your conciousness to the same level as a table leg. The "Jester" software is a particularly nasty piece of kit, combining data mining, pycho-profiling and cyber bullying, that may soon exist, if it doesn't already.

    17. When I read Matthew De Abaitua's If Then I asked if an idea could take a life of its own. After reading The Destructives I think we could speculate that this might be the question that keeps De Abaitua up at night.In If Then, the community that submits to "The Process" in attempt to survive the collapse of capitalist society is beholden essentially to an algorithm that helps determine how resources should be doled out to the community and makes hard decisions as to how a balance can be maintaine [...]

    18. The Destructives offers a tale in a richly built world with hard AI. This is Matthew De Abaitua's third book set in this world, and it is my first time reading a book of his. However I was not left feeling as though I had missed out on anything or as though there was too much unexplained. Some time before the events of this novel, hard AI emerged on Earth in a set of violent events. This left Earth with a sharp divide in lifestyle between pre and post-emergence. The AIs left Earth and formed a s [...]

    19. Not sure what to write about this one. Struggled a bit at the start. Then, by the first quarter, it got intriguing. By the mid-point, I got hooked. Three-quarters in, the author introduced some additional POVs, which I'm still not sure I liked that much (when a book is mostly kept to one point of view, the sudden introduction of additional POVs can be jarring). And then it was over.The strongest suite this one has would be its world-building, both mysterious and rewarding once some of the linger [...]

    20. This book is wildly uneven. I feel that there are basically three different stories in here.1. the fantastic opening establishing Dr. Easy and Theodore and the world of the Emergences. This is really the best part of the book.2. the whole Loop bit where Theo moves into the past and discovers the origin of the all the problems.3. the last long slog out on the moon of jupiter and the hive mind which I found boring and tedious and ultimately ends with the novel failing to deliver a real satisfying [...]

    21. I wanted to give this two stars because in the final moment I didnt think this book delivered.but its very well written, with a great universe and characters. And some great some scifi ideas etc.So I felt like two stars wouldnt be fairr me the story is just meh. pity as its so well build. its like a book made with all "best practices" for a book "ticked" but ultimately the story is meh. I think maybe you knew where it was gonna end up 3/4 into the book . its a crying shame as its this really wel [...]

    22. I enjoyed this at first, and it has a lot of interesting ideas. But for some reason once I finished the first part I had trouble maintaining interest in the next phase of the story. I got about halfway through the book and decided that I was done -- I think if it were a 250-page book instead of a 400-pager, I would have finished it off and felt pretty good about it. Instead I reached a point where I realized none of the characters were sympathetic, and while the settings and ideas remained inter [...]

    23. Epic in scale. It's great science fiction, stretches your mind. I enjoyed the descriptions of technology and far off locations where the book takes the reader. One thing I found annoying, during moments of critical action the author does not describe what actually happened. He needed more verbs. I had to read some scenes two or three times to figure out what happened. And sometimes I couldn't. I would just continue with story. I loved the descriptions of the future of the human race and how cult [...]

    24. The first two acts were so good, and then it went totally off the rails. Switching protagonists in the final act: bad idea. Abandoning an interesting and fairly novel concept of what a society of AIs would be like and reverting to the "humans are fascinating because they feel things, man" cliché: bad idea. Failing to achieve any kind of thematic cohesion by tying the narrative conclusion to the overall theme: bad idea. Just so disappointing.

    25. I'm really butthurt that I bothered to finish this. The shifting focus of the novel made it extremely difficult for me to continue to care about what was happening.Maybe I'm just too dumb to 'get' this novel. To be honest, I don't feel like I'm missing out.

    26. This book is so rich that it is hard to take in completely. I almost wish it was a series with breaks between sections to decompress the density. So much to think through. I will miss Theodore.

    27. Some interesting ideas in the worldbuilding but I was not hooked on the characters at all. I could not care less about what happened to any of them.

    28. Excellent from De Abaitua again. Very sharp, very insightful. Less charged than If/Then but way more consistent.

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