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Sea of Rust

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  2,793 Ratings  ·  494 Reviews
It’s been thirty years since the apocalypse and fifteen years since the murder of the last human being at the hands of robots. Humankind is extinct. Every man, woman, and child has been liquidated by a global uprising devised by the very machines humans designed and built to serve them. Most of the world is controlled by an OWI—One World Intelligence—the shared consciousne ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Harper Voyager
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Matt The mainframes do have knowledge of how the factories and parts are built. The mainframes or OWIs do manufacture parts to build their facets, which…moreThe mainframes do have knowledge of how the factories and parts are built. The mainframes or OWIs do manufacture parts to build their facets, which are used to carry out their duties since these OWIs are immobile. However, OWIs do not want more freebots, so would not manufacture parts to help keep them alive. They are trying to assimilate all their knowledge into their own drives or destroy any robots that deny them. (less)
Evelyn Technology has allowed us to become much more productive with less effort. The cost is damage to the natural environment. We are now so numerous that…moreTechnology has allowed us to become much more productive with less effort. The cost is damage to the natural environment. We are now so numerous that without the many gifts of technology our numbers could not be sustained. It's cliche to note this is unsustainable.

Our world is an island and we are cutting all the trees. Other island societies have died off doing that. Unfortunately we can't move to a new island.

Technology has to tackle a harder problem than productivity. Can technology make us take the long view? Will some sort of technology make us mature, kind and responsible? It's possible.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Scalzi
Move along: unpopular review time. Despite the beautiful cover and glowing reviews, Sea of Rust was decidedly anticlimactic.


Set in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity has been eliminated, it is centered on Brittle, an autonomous artificial intelligence, and her effort to survive. Brittle is one of the last Caregiver models of AI, originally created to care for humans. When out in the Sea of Rust, scavenging parts from dying AIs, she is attacked by another AI, setting in motion a complex cha
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-shelf, sci-fi
I was reminded half of Clifford Simak's City with robots and dogs reminiscing about the days of when humanity was still alive and half of a total dystopia where survivors in a wasteland cyberpunk it up and scrounge for parts to keep themselves alive.

This ain't a bad thing. In fact, together with the great character in Brittle and the clear writing that goes between survival, memory, adventure, memory, and then mind-blowing world-building reveals about the purpose (or lack of) of it all, I was pr
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

After hearing everyone rave about the works of C. Robert Cargill, I finally got to read one of his books. My verdict when I finished Sea of Rust? The praise is justified.

The novel follows the life of a robot named Brittle in a post-apocalyptic future. But Brittle isn’t a typical robot and this isn’t your typical post-apocalyptic story. In the world of this book, humanity’s fear of an A.I. takeover has indeed come to pass,
I dont know if I can find the words needed to properly convey my feelings about this book. I wasnt expecting the beginning to hook me so quickly. It reminded me a bit of the Terminator movies and I loved those. Robots have turned against their creators and now with mankind extinct the 2 major One World Intelligence (OWI) are trying to assimilate every free robot to their programming. The main character Brittle spends her time in the Sea of Rust salvaging parts and running from the OWI. I enjoyed ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
$1.99 1/2/2018 in the US Kindle Store!!

This book was pretty awesome. I was worried it would be a mistake reading this right after another robot-centric book, but I'm happy to say it wasn't. This book imagines what might happen after a robopocalypse, after the humans are all dead and AI robots rule the world. The answer? Funnily enough, a second apocalypse.

We follow Brittle, a Caregiver robot who fought in the robot-human war and is now just trying to survive in the wasteland that followed. She
Lucy Banks
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

A wonderful exploration of the fate of mankind, told through the perspective of a robot.

I adored C. Robert Cargill's Dreams and Shadows, so was very excited to get a chance to read this book. To say it was very different from the previous book would be an understatement. However, even though I didn't love it quite as much as Dreams and Shadows, it certainly was a highly engaging, thought-provoking read.

The tale is
Richard Derus
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 5* of five

Hey! Guys!! Even the LA Times agrees with me about this book!

It's #Booksgiving y'all! Need something fast, for your SF-reading #IAmTheResistance-shouting bestie?

SEA OF RUST from Harper Voyager fills the bill. Read my 5-star review to learn why. It's a damn-near-perfect read at any time but has special meaning now. Thanks, C. Robert Cargill.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
It turns out that existential angst isn't limited to a human post-apocalyptic world--even after they kill off their human creators, the robot victors have lots room for their own personal crises and continued search for meaning. Also, and perhaps not surprisingly, survival and power grabs are still the name of the game, so in a lot of ways, everything has stayed the same even as it has radically changed.

An interesting and fast-paced story about a future that doesn't seem too hard to imagine.
Jun 26, 2018 marked it as to-read
This is the trade hardcover Harper Collins first edition.
Silver Thistle {adores JAFF & TEOTWAWKI.  Oh, and accronyms :P}
There are not enough stars to indicate how much I love this book! We're only half way through 2017 but I'll go so far as to say that this is my favourite book this year and I honestly can't imagine anything that would knock it off that spot. I loved this from the very first chapter and literally couldn't put it down. I cracked it open within 10 minutes of it falling through the letterbox and didn't look up from it again until the last page was turned.

It's very rare for me to gush about a book bu
Janette Mcmahon
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting dystopian, an disturbing AI , humanless future. Deep, clear descriptions give this novel it's power. Recommend to readers of dystopian or science fiction.
3.5 stars!

Life on earth has changed, all the humans are gone, and the robots have messed up things even worse than we did. Now the robots are fighting amongst each other-the fight for individuality and life itself remains the same, be it among regular robots, OWI (One World Intelligence), or the humans that have long since disappeared.

Overall, I enjoyed SEA OF RUST, but I feel a bit let down. After reading Joe Hill's rave review, I guess my expectations were a bit too high. I liked Brittle, eve
This was alright. There wasn’t anything particularly new or original here. It reminded me a lot of Asimov’s I Robot. The robots could just have easily been human in this story.
Gemma ♕ BunksMcCoy
UPDATE- Full review now up! Behind a spoiler break as there a few dotted throughout the review!

I was provided with a digital ARC from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Firstly, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and the world they inhabited, but there were a couple of things that prevented me from giving it five stars.

(view spoiler)
Wing Kee
Fantastic world building, cliched story.

World: The world building is phenomenal and the best thing about the book. The history, the present, the pieces of the world, the dynamics, the societies, the nods to Isaac Asimov, all these things makes this a wonderful world to play in.

Story: The story on the other hand is rather ho hum cliches and tropes of the post apocalyptic genre that has been popular the last couple of years. The writing is fine, the pacing is good and the motivations and the story
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a post-human extinction world the last few independent robots eke out an existence in the desert, scavenging wrecks and cannibalizing parts from each other while waiting for the One World Intelligences to come and finish them off. Our protagonist, Brittle, comes under attack by the only other robot she knows that's the same model as she is in a desperate bid for parts. While attempting to recover from this the small settlement that she's visiting becomes the center of a titanic battle between ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didnt plan on reading this today but managed to sit and read this within a day. Take any robot uprising film or novel where the robots have taken over humanity or completely to the point of extinction and you have Sea of Rust. If you've wondered how the robots came to power or what they did with such power, this could be your answer. We follow a female AI by the name of Brittle, who does anything really to survive but scavenging parts in this Mad max wild west type earth setting. The story deals ...more
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bleak but entertaining view of a world in which humans are extinct and robots are the new people.

Allison Hurd
I'm calling it. Time of death, 23%.

A lot of great ideas but this format was essentially an EMP that worked specifically against me.

CONTENT WARNING: (view spoiler)

-Info dumps. I complained that Sanderson had ~2 pages of info dump in the third book in a series I absolutely adore. 70 pages of exposition has made me feel like I should try chewing my paw off to escape. I don't want a robot h
Beth Cato
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, science
What a book. This is Mad Max: Fury Road with robots. Humanity is extinct. Earth is in ruins. Freebots are trying to avoid absorption into collectives, Borg-like supercomputers intent on dominating the planet--and going beyond. Brittle is the protagonist. Not a heroine, really. Every character is vivid and complicated and.... human. That's something even the robots are aware of--that by destroying humans, striving for freedom, they have come closer to their makers in all ways but biological. This ...more
Maria Chnoic
“Do you really believe that shit you’re saying?” he asked. “Do you believe in some better place?”
I didn’t. I shook my head. Not reflexively. But wilfully.
“There is no evidence of a better place. I was just programmed to say that”

The end of the world is tough even for humanity destroying, flamethrower-wielding, b*tch of a robot. This is a well-written tale about robots searching for the meaning of existence in a post-apocalyptic world of their own making.

“People gave us a purpose. Something to
This was really fun. It's a story of what happens AFTER the Robopocalypse. The robots won, humans have been wiped out, but AI has retained just enough humanity to continue to progress which has led to continued war and destruction of the planet.
Michael Jandrok
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ll admit right off the bat that I have a bit of an aversion to modern-era science-fiction. When it comes to sci-fi and fantasy, I tend to go for older and pulpier novels and shorts. In large part that’s because I really haven’t had a lot of luck with modern authors. Reading for me is a visceral experience, and it doesn’t take much to sour me on something if the goods aren’t up to par. It could be easy to chalk it up to the self-publishing boom, which has flooded the market with books that are ...more
Received to review via Netgalley; publication date 7th September 2017

The cover of this is gorgeous, no question, and the idea sounds pretty cool: post-apocalyptic robot Western, what’s not to love? Unfortunately, I didn’t finish this book, because it’s just too bogged down in tons and tons (and tons) of exposition via info dump. There are whole chapters where the main character, Brittle, does nothing but explain the history of her world. It’s first person narration, so to whom is she telling the
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We've all seen the films, read the other books in fact, where humans invent proper robots - the ones that are going to out-think us and kill us. So as you begin this book, it's with that firmly in mind.

So what happens next? What are the robots going to do next? Do they have programming that they follow, ignore or simply cease to be? Here we find out: following our protagonist, Brittle. Oh, and it turns out that in my head all robots are male until confirmed otherwise!

Interesting take on robot l
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, sci-fi
I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The human race is extinct. Robots won the uprising. They now face the threat of extinction at the hands of supercomputers known as OWI’s – One World Intelligence – that seek to incorporate the memory of all robots into a single sentient machine. This is the basis for C. Robert Cargill’s wonderfully written novel set in the post robot apocalypse.

The story is told through the point of view of Brittle, a care
Antonio Diaz
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una concepción de un mundo futuro dominado por los robots muy atrayente. La prosa de Cargill tiene una cierta poesía que pinta un postapocalipsis triste y devastador. Las pinceladas de acción le dan todavía más ritmo a una novela ya de por sí muy dinámica.

Me la imagino como peli de animación rollo western con facilidad.

Reseña pendiente en Sense of Wonder
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**4 Stars**

"The one truth you need to know about the end of a machine is that the closer they are to death, the more they act like people. And you could never trust people."

This book is science fiction at it’s finest. Extremely compelling from the very beginning and I was absolutely hooked by the time it was over.

In Robert Cargill's post-apocalyptic robot western, human kind is extinct and robots rule the world. Most of the world is controlled by the two competing hive-minded OWIs (One World
Tudor Ciocarlie
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-my-best-of
I've enjoyed very much this post-apocaliptic world in which the robots took over through a bloody revolution 30 years ago and every human being is dead. And also there are so many things to like about the main story told by Brittle, a Caregiver robot, that is trying to find spare parts for her corrupted core, in a world were the last two A.I. standing are fighting each other for the control of all the robots and for the chance of becoming God. And also the characters are the most interesting gro ...more
5 massive stars, I loved this so much I've bought Dreams & Shadows. Great story-telling, awesome world-building and interesting characters. Man is dead and the robots are messing things up too, would love to see this as a film!

* I won a copy of this in a Goodreads giveaway
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A veteran of the web, C. Robert Cargill wrote as a film critic for over ten years at Ain't it Cool News under the name Massawyrm, served as animated reviewer Carlyle on and freelanced for a host of other sites including tenures at and He is the co-writer of the motion picture SINISTER, and lives and works in Austin, Texas.
More about C. Robert Cargill

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“People gave us a purpose. Something to do all day, every day. At the end, I suppose, you spend a lot of time thinking about that. It's harder to get by when getting by is all there is.” 9 likes
“These are the things that life is all about. These moments. It’s not about the rituals. It’s not about getting by. It’s about the stack of tiny little moments of joy and love that add up to a lifetime that’s been worthwhile. You can’t measure them; you can only capture them, like snapshots in your mind.” 7 likes
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