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Godlike Machines

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  111 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Sentient. Intelligent. Extraordinary.

An SFBC Original Event.

In science fiction, nothing says sensawunda like a Big Dumb Object--a colossal, extremely powerful machine of unknown purpose and origin. It's that feeling that editor Jonathan Strahan was after when he asked six of today's finest authors to write for Godlike Machines. And they succeed brilliantly!

• Alastair Reyno
Hardcover, 476 pages
Published 2010 by Science Fiction Book Club
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(showing 1-30)
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Tudor Ciocarlie
Apr 26, 2011 Tudor Ciocarlie rated it it was amazing
I wish we'd have more novella length stories. Its the the perfect length for a SF story.
Jun 17, 2013 Scott rated it it was amazing
Simply the best collection of novellas I've ever read. The least of these stories is outstanding; the best are masterpieces. An absolute must-read for any fan of hard SF.
Praveen N. Jayasuriya
Had this urge to read a science fiction story involving a mega machine type galactic intelligence :D This fit the bill perfectly! read the first story. Love it. Will post a full review when done.
Jan 08, 2017 Nikoli rated it liked it
I liked the stories from Reynolds ("Troika"), Baxter ("Return to Titan"), and Egan ("Hot Rock"). The other two were a little lackluster.
Mouldy Squid
Oct 02, 2011 Mouldy Squid rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A above average collection most notable for the the Egan, the Reynolds and the Reed.

Sean Williams' "A Glimpse of the Marvelous Structure [and the Threat it Entails]" is interesting but not particularly entertaining. Doctorow shows his penchant for fantastic ideas and also his weakness in crafting an actual story or breaking beyond his typical boy-meets-girl-boy-loses-girl-boy-gets-girl-again-boy-is-betrayed-by-girl motif. His ideas are intriguing but they cannot do all of the work. Baxter some
Benjamin Atkinson
Feb 28, 2015 Benjamin Atkinson rated it really liked it
Shelves: novella, anthologies
I am always a bit mystified when so many fans of science fiction criticize a work because it contains a "Big Dumb Object." Please correct me if am wrong, but Rendevous with Rama, by ACC and Pushing Ice by Alistair Reynolds are great science fiction, no? I am not the biggest fan of Ringworld by Larry Niven and certainly not the sequels but still, they are all-time classics and set the stage for numerous other authors to use current discoveries in science, copy people like Arthur C. Clarke's ideas ...more
Brian Steele
Apr 18, 2012 Brian Steele rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, anthology
What a brilliant theme for an anthology of novellas! As Strahan explains in the introduction, this was all inspired by a book cover he had seen in his youth, and years later sought to expand that particular concept into something special. While the idea of "The Big Dumb Machine" is nothing new to Science Fiction, the drastically different takes presented here really allow our imagination to explore the idea.

I especially liked how Strahan set this up as a handful of novellas instead of what could
Nick Scott
Apr 08, 2015 Nick Scott rated it it was ok
Out of the 5 stories, I liked probably two and a half of them.

'Troika' was an interesting story about cosmonauts encountering a strange vessel out in space and the political and mental ramifications upon returning, which I liked quite a bit, and enjoyed the twist at the end.

I also enjoyed the Cory Doctrow story about environmental rebels trying to help nature reclaim the Earth and the mech-suited hero trying to find his way and himself.

The story about the Harry Poole expedition was one I didn't
Lord Humungus
Nov 16, 2014 Lord Humungus rated it it was ok
Overall I felt the narratives in the majority of the stories here took a backseat to the 'hard' science. I'm all for getting the impression my science fiction is accurate enough. But I really don't care for long technical explanations about how it was possible for X-based lifeforms to evolve on planet Y; or when the whole story hinges on the characters knowing some arcane biological/physical/chemical minutiae.

I realize it's often what makes the story 'science' fiction, but having the characters
George S. Walker
Oct 15, 2015 George S. Walker rated it liked it
I loved the first story, "Troika", by Alastair Reynolds. It includes an alternate history of a Second Soviet instead of Putin, a cobbled together space mission that uses Soyez-Progress technology, and a giant mysterious object in space, the Matryoshka (Russian doll, because of its layered shells). I liked the technical details and sympathized with the characters. Clever twist at the end. (He later published this as a standalone novella, which is what led me to this book.)
Unfortunately, none of t
Dec 02, 2010 Rob rated it really liked it
A great collection of short stories of science fiction. Authors of the stories in order of enjoyment:

1. Alastair Reynolds
2. Greg Egan
3. Robert Reed
4. Cory Doctorow
5. Stephen Baxter
6. Sean Williams
Oct 26, 2010 Karina rated it really liked it
I'm not a fan of short story format, and it usually takes me much longer to read a collection of short stories than a novel of the same length. However I was rather pleasantly surprised by this particular collection of stories, and it didn't take me a long time to read them.
John Maxwell
Aug 15, 2013 John Maxwell rated it it was amazing
Enjoyable collection of variations on a theme. Powerful machines that challenge the concepts of meaning, power, and change. May have to reread a few in order to make sure I really understand them. Good work.
Peter Tillman
Jan 04, 2016 Peter Tillman rated it it was ok
Shelves: lost-interest
My Reaction: meh. None of the stories were great. None were awful. I might read the Egan again sometime, but it's nowhere near his best. Book isn't a keeper.

Too bad. I was looking forward to this one.
May 22, 2011 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, my-collection
What a wonderful collection ! I particularly enjoyed Alistair Reynold's beautifully crafted contribution, which left me with a lasting sense of sadness. BDO's have had a special part of my heart since I read "Rama" for the first time as a young adult.
Bradley Farless
Jan 30, 2011 Bradley Farless rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
This was a really awesome collection of short stories. Each one was very thought provoking and exciting!
May 25, 2013 Jenny added it
Shelves: abandoned
ohhhh that's why I don't read sci-fi. I liked the premise behind the anthology, but my brain just isn't geared to enjoy this.
Sean Matthew Conner
Jun 26, 2014 Sean Matthew Conner rated it it was amazing
An excellent series of short stories, incredibly interesting and varied -- I still think about them.
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