For openness, I was sent a copy of the book to review.
A rare book review from me. Every now and again, thanks to previously running a review site, I get asked to review stuff. In this case, it was a book of short stories titled Eating Robots and other stories, by the author Stephen Oram.
I love dystopian stories, having even written several myself in the past. For me the future is anything but bright, depending on how you look at it. One of the best representations of using this dystopian “lens” has always been the T.V. series Black Mirror from the brilliant Charlie Brooker.
Now, however, I may have a new go-to writer to satisfy my need to understand how technology is going to eventually ruin us, Stephen Oram!
Eating Robots and Other Stories is a dark and twisted, but ever so plausible look at how technology and the evolution of our species could take a turn for the worse, covering topics that are especially close to home in many cases. Predictions of homicidal self-driving cars, black market antibiotic snake oil showmen, social credit taken to a horrific conclusion and much more are all covered.
What Stephen does so expertly is to choose topics that are eerily familiar, producing numerous moments where you find yourself saying “Oh Christ, I hadn’t thought of it like that!” It almost made me long for the days before technology!
Each story can be between a paragraph and a couple of pages long, making it the perfect read for busy people, or those who prefer to consume their entertainment in bite-sized chunks like myself. That said, picking up the book for a five minute read quickly becomes twenty minutes as you are whisked away to terrifying futures.
If you are interested in technology, social media, AI, robotics, shows such as Black Mirror or just in understanding the future, I can’t recommend Eating Robots and Other Stories enough. It is a fantastic read from start to finish and one that will leave you just a little scared of the future!
If you are interested, you can get the book now from Amazon (and yes, this is an affiliate link!)
More about Stephen
Stephen Oram is one of the leading lights of British sci-fi tech culture, as 2016 Author in Residence at Virtual Futures Stephen Oram was one of the masterminds behind the new Near-Future Fiction series and continues to be a lead curator. Often collaborating with scientists, the title story, ‘Eating Robots’, came from working with the Human Brain Project and Bristol Robotics Laboratory.
Also published on Medium.