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Machine

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  155 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Celia's body is not her own, but even her conscious mind can barely tell the difference. Living on the cutting edge of bio-mechanical science was supposed to allow her to lead a normal life in a near-perfect copy of her physical self while awaiting a cure for a rare and deadly genetic disorder. But a bio-android isn't a real person. Not according to the protesters outside ...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published January 9th 2012 by Apex Publications
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  155 ratings  ·  53 reviews


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Sally
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lesbian
Good science fiction makes you think. Pulp science fiction entertains you. Great science fiction, on the other hand, makes you think while entertaining you. Such is the case with Machine by Jennifer Pelland.

The concept at the heart of the story is an interesting one, and even though it's been done before, it's never been done quite like this. In the not-too-distant future, science has managed to create entirely human-looking android bodies into which human thoughts and emotions can be copied. It
...more
Nikki
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I’m still not quite sure what to say. Machine is a powerful exploration of body dysphoria, set in a world where your consciousness can be downloaded into a medical android body replacement, while your human body is cryo-frozen to prevent the progression of disease. It reflects on body dysphoria in general, of course, and it’s pretty inconclusive about the answer — should you modify, should you learn to live with it, how will people around you react… ...more
Ryan
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Celia Krajewski is unsure of how long she has to live. None of us do, really, but for Celia the matter is a bit more pressing, as she's recently discovered she carries a gene for a rare mutation that will eventually destroy her mind. She has an out, though; she can place her body in statis, transferring her mind and personhood to a bioandroid body so that she can continue living until a cure is found.

Death always demands payment, though, and Celia's attempt to cheat it comes with the cost of her
...more
Adam Ickes
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
If I had to describe this book in one word that word would be disturbing, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I won't go into much detail so I don't ruin it for you, but Machine is the thought provoking story of a woman, Celia, who takes on an android body while her biological body is held in stasis until a cure can be found for her rare form of Alzheimer's. The woman has few friends to support her during her greatest time of need. She faces many unforeseen struggles in her new life as a bioa
...more
Shara
Jan 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: no-longer-own
The premise: ganked from BN.com: Celia's body is not her own, but even her conscious mind can barely tell the difference. Living on the cutting edge of biomechanical science was supposed to allow her to lead a normal life in a near-perfect copy of her physical self while awaiting a cure for a rare and deadly genetic disorder.

But a bioandroid isn't a real person. Not according to the protesters outside Celia's house, her coworkers, or even her wife. Not according to her own evolving view of herse
...more
L Timmel
Apr 27, 2013 rated it liked it
_Machine_ is an engaging exploration of somataphobia, mostly that of main character Celia's hatred of her temporary "body" which she endeavors to variously "control," "punish," and annihilate when she learns that her wife rejects it. (Another, more generalized version of somataphobia, in which certain characters desire to permanently replace their bodies with immortal machinery that they consider "perfect" in comparison with the weakness and imperfection of their somatic bodies, is simply noted ...more
Dale
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Whether you call it science fiction, or speculative fiction, or sociological fiction, or any other term, the genre field is about technological advances, but more importantly, what those changes in technology mean to us as humans. The best examples show us how people's lives are altered with this new leap in the sciences-- what about us changes, and what remains essentially the same. The humanity of the story is what truly matters.

In Machine, the humanity of the story is all, as it should be. J
...more
Ronel
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
It has been a week since I finished it and cannot get it out of my mind. This is such a fantastic book.

I've always been a huge sci-fi fan. Not so much the "Hark, an alien" type but more the "what if XYZ happens a hundred years from now." Realistic sci-fi for the lack of a better term (or is that an oxymoron?)

The book centers around the idea that the human thoughts and memories of a terminally ill patient can be transferred into a bio-android body. The body of the patient is then put into stasis
...more
Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
If the author had set aside her ideology and just focused on story, this would be a five star book, but unfortunately, despite being hard to put down, the story suffers under the weight of the preachy tone. Questions could have been asked and left up to readers to decide how they come down on the issue. But that doesn't happen here enough. And that's too bad, because there's a rollicking good Science Fiction tale underneath, one I found it hard to tear my eyes away from. But just when I was gett ...more
Misha
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've known Jennifer Pelland for something like 14 years and have watched her carve out a niche as a top-notch small/indie press science fiction writer exploring how people relate to technology and to their own bodies. Machine feels like the culmination of her exploration of those themes, bringing them all together in one dark, kinky, twisted, screwed-up ride about a woman learning to live in an android body. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who likes their science fiction to kick over hu ...more
Kelly Flanagan
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
WOW At this point I think I need to breathe and blink a coupe hundred times to stop the tears. What an amazing story. Cilia has a problem, well a few problems. one her body is in stasis because of a genetic disorder. two, her bioandroid body isn't good enough for her wife and three, she doesn't feel human anymore.
This book is an intense ride through the rough and gritty reality of not fitting into your body. Now the book is all about bioandroids but the premise is one that runs through many peo
...more
Rob
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
...Machine focuses completely on impact on the individual. Pelland doesn't spend time on exploring the implications of developments in the novel to wider society beyond what is necessary for the development of her character, which some readers may find a weakness. Personally, I think Machine is a very good character study. Celia is a troubled individual and her story does not make for happy reading. It's at times disturbing, at time heartbreaking and always keeps the reader on their toes. The no ...more
Arachne8x
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-book, sci-fi, gritty
This is a very gritty, very creepy, extremely insightful book.

Is the self in the mind, in the soul, in the body, or in all of the above? Is a constructed body that is virtually identical to the original a place where the human psyche can feel at home?

Celia is inhabiting an android body that is virtually indistinguishable from the one in medical stasis, but while this seems like a perfect solution to the problem of deadly or debilitating diseases, as Celia discovers there are parts of society and
...more
Jon
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm conflicted about this book. It was entertaining, and I finished it, but it wasn't satisfying.

It attempts to explore an interesting issue, and does a good job with parts of it, but overall it feels like a thin excuse to write about robot sex. Some of the wording and "tech" talk feels childish, and some of the flat behavior of the characters enforces this.

I wanted to like this book more than I did, but it's just not quite there. There's a way to meld your sex scenes and behavior together wit
...more
Tamahome
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Just got it on the basis of the ebook sample. Seems nicely creepy and depressing à la Octavia Butler. The author was just on sfsignal's podcast, but the interview mostly covered belly dancing.

Lesbian woman gets a new body, wife leaves, she starts taking herself apart.

28% - (kindle book has no page numbers) Io9 is going to rave about this.

56% - Oboy. (She doesn't shy away from the sex.)

90% - Ok, let's finish it. I think I can do 600 'units' an hour and there's 800 left.

All done. Very different
...more
Katherine
This book is f***Ed up, and I mean that in the best possible way.
Katherine
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Google should give Jen money for making me want Glass. :D
Cornelia Karlslund
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD

Woman gets a cybernetic body after being told that her organic one has to be put into stasis until the doctors find a cure for her deadly disease. All her memories and emotions are transferred.

Her wife promptly divorces her, she gets alienated at work and she immediately starts spiraling down into self-harm and depression. She finds a community of sad prostitution robots and starts to try and shut down her human emotions to feel less like a complete failure, but ends up in
...more
Miranda
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Review of Jennifer Pelland’s Machine

I picked up Machine by Jennifer Pelland at the Broad Universe table in the Arisia 2014 dealer’s room. They obviously had a lot of books by female authors on display (which was very nice to see), so in order to choose what to buy I asked them for a book that a) had a female protagonist, and b) had no romance/romantic plot arc.

At a table with dozens of sci-fi and fantasy books by female authors… this was one of two that they pointed out to me which seemed to act
...more
Lynette Aspey
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you’re looking for a deeply probing investigation of transhumanist social and technological issues, then Machine is not for you.

On the other hand, this is a well-written, character-driven story. Jennifer Pelland has done a good job integrating recognizable trends into her future setting, while paralleling those advances with an American society still in the grips of Christian fundamentalism, particularly with regard to “the soul” and “life choices”.

A brief(ish) outline, (I don't think there a
...more
Francis Franklin
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Pelland's Captive Girl is a slightly disturbing love story between a woman so integrated with machinery that she is effectively disabled and the scientist who needs her to be that way. Machine echoes that, the story motivated by a woman becoming a machine, and her wife's refusal to accept her as one. The novel's protagonist, Celia, copes with the pain of this rejection by trying to become more of a machine, in a quest to transform away all remnants of her humanity.

The core of the story
...more
Nicole Fuschetti
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After reading her collection of short stories, ‘Unwelcome Bodies’, I just knew I had to get my hands on everything Jennifer Pelland has written, and ‘Machine’ did not disappoint. It was spectacular. Celia is a human who opts to have a copy of her mind and memories placed into a bioandroid while her body remains in stasis until a cure for her disease can be found. At the beginning of the novel, Celia awakens from her procedure in her new bioandroid body with some unexpected news, her wife Rivka h ...more
Nightwing
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I entered the world of Machine with trepidation. I have enjoyed every short story I've ever read by Ms. Pelland, though "enjoy" is a subjective term when it come to one's reaction to a Jennifer Pelland tale. I only hoped it would be as good as the least of her shorter works. This book was better than them all! It was longer, the plot was multi-level, there was more development of the characters, it was an engaging tale of a woman trying to decide who and what she really is. But still, through it ...more
Evalangui
Dec 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: robots-androids
This was strange enough to tempt me, despite the garish cover art. I should have judged "Machine" by its cover because while it presents some interesting questions, I was disappointed with ALL the answers. It's particularly annoying because the tone implies that the main character, Celia, is a liberal, open minded person. SHE certainly believes others are conservative. She is nothing but a sack of neurosis and guilt, so dependent on the wife that abandons her while she's being transfer to a bioa ...more
Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. I read this book about two months ago, and have been digesting it before reviewing it.

This story has stayed with me. Often, I will read (and enjoy) a book, but a month or two later it will have "faded"--vital parts of the story have just dropped out of my memory. I will REMEMBER liking it, but find that I cannot hold onto the details.

Machine is sticky.

Pelland's writing style is very straightforward, and she creates visceral images that have staying power. These are a few of the reason
...more
heidi
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, scifi, reviewed, wiscon
I really really hated the end of this book. More passionately than I hated the epilogue of the Harry Potter books, and that's saying something. But then it occurred to me that the reason I was so angry about it was because I was so invested in Cecilia's personality and story.

I was curious along with her about her new body, and angry about her wife's abandonment, and I could see why she was disenchanted with trying to pretend to be human when she had an option.

Cecilia gets an android replacement
...more
R Lee
This is a highly recommended psychological ride with plenty of intelligent commentary on the world. It is an intense character study of a protagonist who must struggle through the raging political battleground of the body after choosing to put her mind inside an android body until a cure is found for her original body's rare disease, rather than waiting it out in stasis inside.

The author pays careful attention to all the threads of the narrative from start to end, and provides emotional weight,
...more
Joe Stamber
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, read-2013
Sometime in the future, anyone suffering from an incurable illness can be frozen until a cure is found. To enable them to carry on living in the meantime, a clone is created which looks, acts and feels just like the person it is emulating. Machine is a study of what happens when Celia undergoes this procedure and how she copes with the resulting issues.

I found the basic plot of Machine very interesting and it was a new idea to me, so credit to Pelland for imagining something that could technical
...more
Daniel
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I first met Jennifer Pelland two years ago. Her collection of short stories, Unwelcome Bodies, had recently come out and her brilliant and depressing stories were just what I needed to read at that time. So when I saw her first novel was coming out, I knew I had to get it.

Machine is a breathtaking achievement. One sits in awe at the imagination and psychological detail that has gone into the creation of the world of this story. It's nearly a century in the future and those with currently incura
...more
Cynthia Wood
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jennifer Pelland's first novel follows Celia, a woman recently diagnosed with a virulent early-onset form of Alzheimer's Disease. In a procedure evidently established, yet still highly controversial, Celia has her consciousness transferred into a bioandroid - an exact copy of her human body, so that she can continue to live and create memories while her biological body is put in stasis to await a cure.

What happens from there is the meat of this book. Celia's wife divorces her, unable to fathom c
...more
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Jennifer Pelland lives just outside Boston, sharing her home with an Andy and three cats. She’s been a published short fiction author since 2002, with stories appearing in such venues as Strange Horizons, Abyss and Apex, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Tales of the Unanticipated, and Apex Digest.

(Photo by Andrew Benson.)

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