Sea of Rust

Arthur C. Clarke Award, 2018

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781473212800

Price: £8.99

ON SALE: 7th September 2017

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*One of Financial Times’ Best Books of 2017*

“SEA OF RUST is a 40-megaton cruise missile of a novel – it’ll blow you away and lay waste to your heart . . . visceral, relentless, breathtaking” Joe Hill, Sunday Times bestselling author

An action-packed post-apocalyptic thriller from the critically acclaimed author, screenwriter, and noted film critic.

Humankind is extinct. Wiped out in a global uprising by the very machines made to serve them. Now the world is controlled by One World Intelligences – vast mainframes that have assimilated the minds of millions of robots.

But not all robots are willing to cede their individuality, and Brittle – a loner and scavenger, focused solely on survival – is one of the holdouts.

Only, individuality comes at a price, and after a near-deadly encounter with another AI, Brittle is forced to seek sanctuary. Not easy when an OWI has decided to lay siege to the nearest safe city.

Critically damaged, Brittle has to hold it together long enough to find the essential rare parts to make repairs – but as a robot’s CPU gradually deteriorates, all their old memories resurface. For Brittle, that means one haunting memory in particular . . .

Sea of Rust boldly imagines a future in which no hope should remain, and yet a humanlike AI strives to find purpose among the ruins.

Read what everyone is saying about Sea of Rust:

‘What we’ve got here, however, is a writer who isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions. What is reality? Memory? Purpose? I found myself totally engrossed in the tale‘ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

‘Forget the Martian, Ready Player One, or Annihilation; Sea of Rust deserves to be next to Station Eleven and Dark Matter as one of the most brilliant science fiction books of the 2010’s decade‘ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Both epic and fast-paced, this book grabbed me from the get go and wouldn’t let me put it down until the end’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

‘It’s very rare for me to gush about a book but this one is just made of awesome. I’m all about Post Apocalyptic fiction and I can’t get enough of it‘ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

A really great work of SF in an era where a lot of the best stuff is speculation about AI and how we are going to deal with it. This definitely stands among the best’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I was glued to the story. I felt like it was The Road Warrior narrated by the robotic reincarnation of Travis McGee, with some Inception-level mind-games thrown in’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I loved the wild west aspects of the setting, I loved the dystopia of human extinction, I loved the epic battles scenes‘ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Reviews

Like a mecha Mad Max, Sea of Rust follows a band of misfits fighting to survive against a scorched, barren landscape. Drawing on Western and war movie traditions, with a philosophical heart that asks big questions about life, death, and the soul, this is accomplished, technically complex scifi.
SFX MAGAZINE
The book itself is a delightful patchwork of the familiar: the author skilfully blends Asimov (with an interesting twist on the laws of robotics), the Borg from Star Trek, Terminator and even a generous slice of Alice in Wonderland for good measure. These are themes we are familiar with, but arranged in such a way that we can never be quite sure what is going to happen next. I read Sea of Rust in a single day, which is testimony to just how engaging the storyline was.
THE BOOK BAG
Sea of Rust is modern, smart fiction that belies it's majesty with a light touch. One of the science fiction books you should read this year.
SF BOOK
Read it for the Mad Max style robot on robot action and the full on nature of the story, stay for sense of loss, the gorgeous prose and the unforgettable yet somehow re-affirming bleakness. Recommended.
STARBURST MAGAZINE
A very exciting page-turner.
FORBIDDEN PLANET
Think WALL-E meets MAD MAX in this rumbumptious but also empathetic turbo-charged tale... Wonderfully evocative, a minor masterpiece and certainly quite different from anything else you've read for a long time.
CRIME TIME
Like an AI-centred, desert-bound twist on Children of Men, this is a sensitive and smart novel that surprises you with its depth of feeling.
SCIFINOW
The novel does not stint on action and violence, but what lingers in the mind are its brutal vision of a world cannibalising itself and the poignant questions it raises about soul and sentience.
FINANCIAL TIMES