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Upgraded

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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  318 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Better . . . Stronger . . . Faster . . . The doctors rebuilt Hugo Award-winning editor Neil Clarke and made him a cyborg. Now he has assembled this anthology of twenty-six original cyborg stories by Greg Egan, Madeline Ashby, Elizabeth Bear, Peter Watts, Ken Liu, Robert Reed, Yoon Ha Lee, and more!
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published September 15th 2014 by Wyrm Publishing (first published September 1st 2014)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  318 ratings  ·  57 reviews


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Althea Ann
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here, Liu tackles a familiar story: detective decides to take on an overlooked case, and solve the murder of a prostitute. However, in his hands, an old trope becomes a fresh-feeling, genre-crossing thriller. It's not just a murder mystery with a sci-fi veneer - new (believable, fascinating) technology is essential to the crime, the motive, the investigation and the solution. It's also not just an exploration of new ideas in tech innovation - it fully works on a human, emotional level as well. I ...more
Ben Rowe
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a backer of this Kickstarter funded anthology. As a rule I am more drawn to non-themed collections than themed but was keen to support, curious and optimistically enthusiastic to give Neil Clarke's original anthology debut a try after enjoying so much of the Clarkesworld magazine stories he has published.

Rachel Swirsky - As is usually the case with her we have a poetic, beautifully written piece. Unexpected and powerful exploration of the theme. Very short and more to my taste than the rec
...more
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got a copy courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

As usual with anthologies, always a tricky read to rate. Some of the stories I really enjoyed, others I found average, others yet were too far from my own tastes to hit home. Nothing unexpected here. All in all, there was only one story I really skipped/skimmed over, and a few that I struggled with at first, but ended up reading all the same, thinking "in the end it was somewhat worth it."

Perhaps the theme of "cybernetics" is
...more
Rose
Aug 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short story I read as part of The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories.

An escort is murdered and the police are quick to close the case saying it was a gang killing. The mother doesn't think so. She hires a PI to look into it. Well written as per usual by Liu but no surprises - it leads exactly where you think it will. The difference between this an any other generic story of this nature is the people (mostly) all have cybernetic parts. Cameras hidden in the eye, strengthened bones and m
...more
Sheila
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Law is a private detective, ex cop, with augmented body and emotion regulator, chasing the murderer of a Chinese prostitute. The police have it down to Chinese gangland violence, but the girl's mother and Law are not convinced. Law works to discover the reason and the linkage with the deaths of other girls in seveal cities. Liu neaty melds Law's own back story - loss of job, marriage and child - into the finale of this murder investigation.
Offering great scope for visual effects, sgi, atmo
...more
Metaphorosis
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-rev, reviewed

reviews.metaphorosis.com

4 stars

A collection of stories about cyborgs.

I've been a fan of editor Neil Clarke's Clarkesworld  magazine for some time now. The stories are consistently good, if with a certain similarity of tone. I was interested to see what he would do with a themed anthology.

Happily, Updated has a wide array of styles. It's true that the cyborg theme gets a little wearing - 26 stories about cyborgs is a lot of cyborgs - so there may just be too much of a good thing. But within tha
...more
A. Rustad
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brainycat
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of genuinely thoughtful Science Fiction
Brainycat's 5 "B"s:
blood: 4
boobs: 1
bombs: 3
bondage: 0
blasphemy: 3
Bechdel Test: PASS
Deggan's Rule: PASS
Gay Bechdel Test: FAIL

Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.


This collection is exceptionally well curated; I feel like every story fits the theme and every story is strong enough to stand on it's own and provide it's own in
...more
Alexandra
What do you do when you have a major heart attack and you're also creator/sustainer of Clarkesworld? You decide to edit an anthology. Natch. And you decide to make the theme of that anthology cyborgs, because you are now one yourself. Thus, Upgraded.

Now, before you go all 'hmm, themed anthology' side-eye on me, just steady on. In some stories, being a cyborg is the point; in others it is incidental. Sometimes being a cyborg is a good thing, a positive addition, welcomed. Others, it is something
...more
Shay VanZwoll
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Welcome to the future where cybernetic implants are the norm, and people look askance if you are more human than not. Well... not all stories show the might of machine over humanity, but it is one of the options available in this collection of tales all-cyber all-the time.

If you're a fan of a future or alternate present where mechanical or electrical limbs and organs are available, and where you can view the internet inside your skull, you will probably find at least one story to enjoy out of th
...more
Johan Haneveld
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another 'themed' collection. I've read a couple of those earlier this year, and had mixed reactions to them. They had some excellent stories, but also some clunkers, so I gave them three stars. I expected the same from this collection, but here I was suprised by the quality on offer. There were no obvious misfiring stories in here. All were well written, with fascinating worlds and surprising twists and resolutions in the stories. There were a couple of stories that tried to be a little ...more
Paula
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Clarke's anthology was entertaining as well as intriguing. Stories about cyborgs should focus on the themes of what is human and what does augmentation do to someone - does he lose his humanity or become a blend or evolve into something better overall..

The stories are well written and intelligent. They span the different genres of science fiction and display the different facets of augmented humanity. I think this is a worthy goal, since the current world needs to think and develop ways to d
...more
Benjamin
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neil Clarke, editor of Clarkesworld magazine, edited this Kickstarter anthology about the positive and negative impacts of cyborgs in science fiction. As a cyborg myself, I was curious enough to contribute to the project. There quite a few big-name authors involved, and the anthology is quite well written with very few duds. A few stories, while good, seem a better fit for a more general sci-fi anthology, but most do a good job presenting a more thoughtful look at the cyborg experience itself.

R
...more
Blase Ciabaton
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Backed this on Kickstarter and just got my ebook version a few days ago. As a rule with anthologies, I don't read the stories in order, and typically start with the stories of my favorite contributors and this anthology is no exception. So far, I've read just three stories by authors Tobias Buckell, Ken Liu & E. Lily Yu. If these stories are representative of the rest in the collection then this will be a 5-star book and be considered as one of my all time favorite anthologies.

Will update th
...more
Pearse Anderson
Neil Clarke is magical. This is a great collection, and although there are some problems with a good eighth of the stories, each is powerful, unique, and very engaging. Perhaps after reading fifteen stories about cyborgs I wanted something a bit different, but hey, I knew what I was getting into. Glad I was able to finish this after my Kindle broke in the boy's locker room and I didn't find out how a story ended for months. Now I know.
ECH
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Turns out I like Neil Clarke's editing style just as much in anthologies as in Clarkesworld. I was one of the kickstarter backers for this book, and I am so delighted with the result.

The theme works smoothly, and the stories feel both coherent and full of variety. Some of my personal highlights were

Married by Helena Bell
Tender by Rachel Swirsky (content warning for self harm on this one)
Small Medicine by Genevieve Valentine
Tongtong’s Summer by Xia Jia
Olivia
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really tight collection. I didn't quite finish all 26, but that was just because the stories were so dense that I needed a break in between and ran out of library time :) A few didn't quite connect for me, but there were none that I skipped or thought were at all bad.

Highly recommended, especially to cyberpunk and body mod fans.
Catherine Siemann
Some excellent stories, some stories which are useful for my upcoming class purposes, some mediocre stories.

(Sorry, people, wrong time in the semester for me to have nuanced opinions. ;-) )
Kam Yung Soh
An above average collection of stories about cyborgs by Neil Clarke, editor of Clarkesworld Magazine who also considers himself a cyborg since his heart operation. Some of the stories consider the impact implants have on a person or on humanitity, other look the at 'daily lives' of cyborgs while others are, personally, a bit too weird for my tastes.

Stories I really like in this collection were from Yoon Ha Lee, Robert Reed, A.C. Wise, Ken Liu, Xia Jia and especially the closing stories by Peter
...more
Alan
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Steve Austin and friends
Recommended to Alan by: Theme and roster
So what is so fascinating about cyborgs, anyway? Cybernetic organisms aren't just people with prosthetics, as is fairly obvious with just a little bit of thought... wearing eyeglasses, for example, probably isn't enough to make you one. But what if your glasses are electronically enhanced to give you better than 20/20 vision, or to let you see into the infrared, or to show you detailed information about the things you're looking at? Doesn't that at least start to qualify? What if they're not gla ...more
Matthew Lloyd
As with any short-story collection, the quality and interest of stories in Upgraded was variable. There was nothing here that I thought was terrible, but there were a couple I just plain couldn't follow. The ones which interested me the least were those which just told stories about people who happened to live in worlds where there were cyborgs, rather than reflecting on the personal/social effects of such a radical change to the human body. These far outnumbered those which had genuine solid SF ...more
Bill
Sep 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This collection of original stories was a Kickstarter Project. Like any short story collection, some stories will hit home more than others. Two or three of the stories were quite good, and I only skipped one. Most of the time I jump to the next story more than that, so that is a good thing. I enjoyed reading this book. I like short stories, because you can read most of them in a half hour or so. I used this book to fill in gaps, and it worked well for that.

The concept of the book was intriguing
...more
Rob
Sep 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Difficult to rate and review anthologies. A number of stories I enjoyed, including (but not limited to):

- "Seventh Sight" by Greg Egan
- "Always The Harvest" by Yoon Ha Lee
- "Collateral" by Peter Watts
- "Small Medicine" by Genevieve Valentine
- "Wizard, Cabalist, Ascendant" by Seth Dickinson
- "The Regular" by Ken Liu

And as is often the case with "modern" science fiction, there were a number of stories that were too weird or hard to follow for me, such as:

- "Coastlines of the Stars" by Alex Dally M
...more
Jonah
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, anthology
Upgraded has some great stories, but it's an uneven anthology.

Still, the kickoff of Always the Harvest & A Cold Heart were both good (A Cold Heart for structural reasons, Always the Harvest because of the enjoyable reveal)

Other standouts included Married, The Regular, and Tongtong's Summer, as well as the final 3: Synechdoche Oracles, Collateral, and Seventh Sight.

There's a diversity in styles (highly structured and highly evocative) and many takes on "Cyborg" (more creativity than I expect
...more
Molly
Rating 4.5

Great sci-fi detective noir.
A serial killer that preys on (enhanced) escort girls, versus an emotionally damaged, cyborg (well, almost) ex-cop turned private eye. Liu doesn't disappoint.


A deep pain floods through her like forgiveness, like hard rain after a long drought. She does not know if she will be granted relief, but she experiences this moment fully, and she’s thankful. “It’s okay,” she says, stroking Carrie as she lies in her lap. “It’s okay."

You can download and read for fre
...more
Alexander Páez
Reseña completa en el blog

No la he leído completa.

He leído:

- No Place to Dream, but a Place to Die by Elizabeth Bear
- Tongtong’s Summer by Xia Jia
- Always the Harvest by Yoon Ha Lee
- The Regular by Ken Liu
- Musée de l’Âme Seule by E. Lily Yu
- Come From Away by Madeline Ashby
- Oil of Angles by Chen Qiufan

Aproximadamente un 50% de los relatos.

Jessie Potts
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, rt-booklovers
Full review will be up in next month's RT magazine, but I enjoyed the anthology! Some were weird, most were amazing and a few really stuck with me. There's seriously something for everyone since there's a story for hard core sci-fi fans needing facts, alien fans and odd fans wanting hands and feet sticking out of the wall ;-)

All in all I enjoyed
Howard
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good anthology. I will admit that not every story is to my taste, but it is a matter of personal taste not that the stories are bad. There is a nice mix of easily accessible and fun to read stories and some that are a little more work. This has been a great lunchtime reading companion.
Sarah
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthologies, sf
A fine collection of stories. The theme is broad enough that it's not limiting; the stories all envision very different upgrades on the basic human model. Among my highlights: Xia Jia's "Tongtong's Summer," Ken Liu's "The Regular," Helena Bell's "Married," and several others I can't think of because the book isn't in front of me.
Infinite Scythe
some really good ones here and also some flops. a few that I skipped because light in a vacuum? I don't think so.
there was one story that creeped me out so much; if you've read this then I'm sure you'll know which one I'm talking about. I'm cringing just thinking about it.
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The Sword and Laser: UPGRADED: Anthology of Original Cyborg Stories 1 26 Sep 26, 2014 09:21AM  
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Neil Clarke is best known as the editor and publisher of the Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning Clarkesworld Magazine. Launched in October 2006, the online magazine has been a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine four times (winning three times), the World Fantasy Award four times (winning once), and the British Fantasy Award once (winning once). Neil is also a six-time finalist fo ...more
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