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Guardian Angels and Other Monsters

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  294 ratings  ·  76 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse comes a fascinating and fantastic collection that explores complex emotional and intellectual landscapes at the intersection of artificial intelligence and human life. A VINTAGE BOOKS ORIGINAL.

In "All Kinds of Proof," a down-and-out drunk makes the unlikeliest of friends when he is hired to train a mail-carrying r
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Vintage
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  294 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Sylvain Neuvel
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
By page 9, I was grinning like a kid on his first carnival ride. I love everything out of Daniel Wilson’s mind — it’s fun and it’s fast — and the short story format takes it into overdrive. Thrilling, touching, funny, heartbreaking and scary as hell, there’s nowhere this rollercoaster won’t take you. Grab on to those pages and hold tight. You’re in for one hell of a ride.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The one thing that I must say about this collection of stories is how utterly PERFECT the title is. This collection of 14 short stories is Daniel H. Wilson doing what he does best, showcasing the worst parts of humanity in the best ways. He also showcases the best parts of humanity in the worst ways. Some of these stories are bleak, depressing and dark while others are just absolutely creepy. My favorite is “One for Sorrow", which stars the precious, evil, porcelain doll avtomat Elena Petrovna.
Graeme Rodaughan
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: for anyone who likes sci-fi or robots, and short stories.
Anyone who knows me knows I love inventiveness, and that's what's on 5 star display here.

Not every story in this selection is a full blown winner but most of them are.

There is a wry, dark humour in some of these stories, and unlikely courage, and often poignant sadness and tragedy as humanity collides in one way or another with the fruits of their robot/AI offspring.

There are stories here that will stay with me and I'm always thankful to find memorable affective writing.

Recommended for anyone wh
Paul Falk
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Who better to write about the potential advancement of artificial intelligence than someone especially instilled with supporting knowledge? That would be author, Daniel Wilson. He'd come well-prepared to the otherworldly gunfights with a PhD in robotics. Armed to the teeth.

I was held entranced with an impressive display of his genius that danced through the pages. A well-written narrative of swashbuckling short stories covered the soaring gamut of the author's imagination.

An eclectic array of ar
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lena by: Spells, Space, & Screams BOM
This was the best collection I’ve ever read. I will remember The Blue Afternoon That Lasted Forever for the rest of my life.

This book challenged my expectations of science fiction. It’s my favorite genre and now I’ll always want more.

Miss Gloria ★★★★★
Strong start. The story of the undying love and devotion of a nanny robot to his charge.

The Blue Afternoon That Lasted Forever ★★★★★
"We will always have the stars."
Full on heartrending tear jerking perfection. The story feels like a highly person
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I know it's an old complaint, but I do wish GR let us rate on 1/2, or even better, on 1/4 stars. For me, thIs book is better than a 3, but not quite a 4. I probably would have gone either with a 3.5 or a 3.75 if I could have. The short stories in this anthology hit on a lot of the complex emotional and physical issues that might arise as we advance in robot and artificial intelligence. None of the stories are very heavy at all into science or science fiction, but rather look at the human side of ...more
There are so many things to like about this book of short stories. The writing is amazing and each story really draws you in. Daniel H. Wilson's imagination and the atmosphere he creates (dark, bleak, depressing) is next level, I felt for the characters almost immediately - just fantastic. I was creeped out, teary eyed, horrified, and intrigued.

My favourites = The Blue Afternoon hat Lasted Forever (broke my heart), Blood Memory (creepy AF) & Special Automatic.

I would absolutely reco
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it

I really enjoyed this anthology! Many of the stories were very emotional, and it on different themes using robots to enhance the messages. Out of 14 stories there was only 1 (Blood Memory) I didn't like, which is awesome for an anthology, or collection really! The rest I loved to varying degrees, with my favorites being "The Blue Afternoon That Lasted Forever", "The Executor", "One for Sorrow: A Clockwork Dynasty Story" and "Special Automatic". One for Sorrow makes me realize I need to r
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was already a fan, and this did not disappoint! Who doesn't want a robot in tune with them to protect them? I mean really?
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Daniel H. Wilson had to go a very *very* long way to get me to love a sci-fi/fantasy short story collection, but go he did. I'm staunchly not a fan of sci-fi/fantasy, or short story collections for that matter, so the fact that I loved this book is kind of weirding me out right now. Even typing this is giving me all kinds of cognitive dissonance! These stories are super fun with lip-biting suspense and sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat tension, and there's even a bit of empathy and heartbreak braided ...more
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
This was an interesting futurism/tech short story collection. They seemed to start off a bit sentimental, but quickly went more toward Black Mirror-esque horror. Over all these were in the 2.5-3.5 star range, except for a few outliers.

- The Blue Afternoon That Lasted Forever: A physicist rushes home to his young daughter as the world is on the verge of chaos, as a specialist how do you cope with fully knowing something those you love won't understand. Really reminded me of the film Melancholia,
Dec 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on audiobook. The different narrators for each story was a good concept. I’d consider this a mixed bag. There’s some really interesting and thought provoking stories in here like “Jack the Determined,” “Foul Weather,” and “Blood Memory” but there are also stinkers like “Special Automatic.” Wilson mixes genres throughout and I respect him for that but I feel like with a writer that seems so talented, I wish I could’ve liked more of the stories but I didn’t but it’s a decent col ...more
Tim Hicks
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Dark, but well crafted. "Blue Afternoon" was particularly good.
A couple of the stories didn't work for me, but that's a pretty good hit rate for short stories.
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first novel I read by this author (a collection of short stories) and it got me hooked. Sublime writing. Excellent work of science fiction.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great collection of short stories featuring robots: creepy, sad, and engaging, with a few touches of humor.
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Guardian Angels and Other Monsters by Daniel H. Wilson is a very highly recommended collection of fourteen short stories that examine how artificial intelligence both saves and destroys humanity. The writing is excellent and the stories are well-paced, thoughtful, and emotional. This compilation starts out and ends strong. Guardian Angels and Other Monsters is an outstanding selection for science fiction and short story fans. I was captivated by the majority of the stories with the exception of ...more
Arbys Mom
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book! The characters are believable despite being fantastical, and though there’s a bit more horror than I can usually handle, I enjoyed all the stories. My favorite has to be THE BLUE AFTERNOON THAT LASTED FOREVER. I’d read it originally three years earlier when it was part of the anthology CARBIDE TIPPED PENS. One thing you will not get with these stories is a lot of happy endings, in the traditional sense. Sometimes the protagonist prevails, but sometimes they don’t. But wheth ...more
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Technology, science, and humanity collide in Daniel H. Wilson's newest, a collection of shorts featuring bits and pieces of all three of those subjects.

In the opening tale, "Miss Gloria", a robot does its utmost best to save the child it's been created to teach and protect. In "Helmet" a boy learns the all too horrific truth about the electronic monsters that plague his world. "Parasite: A Robopocalypse Story" brings us back to the world of Robopocalypse and "One For Sorrow: A Clockwork Dynasty
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent collection of short stories with robots - computer and steampunk variants - as a unifying motif. Thoroughly enjoyed the scene setting and various incarnations of artificial intelligence. Worth a second read for the finer detailing.
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved the first story so much that I wanted to buy the book for a friend. But as I progressed through, it started to feel like a slog. I didn't give up on the book because some of his ideas are so interesting to me, so this gets 3 stars.
Shirley Cagle
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have not enjoyed a book of short stories as much as I enjoyed this collection in a very long time. Loved them all!
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Goddamn this motherfucker. Goddamn him to hell. I'm so insanely jealous of this guy's talent, it's ridiculous. What's funny is that I didn't expect this book to be that good. Mind you, I've read three of Wilson's other books and loved them. But I didn't think this book would surpass them. But goddamn, it did. "Miss Gloria" was about a robot named Chiron who was designed to take care of a little girl named Gloria. Apparently Gloria's dad is some rich dude with a lot of enemies so he builds Chiron ...more
As with all short story collections, some are better than others, but I've always had and always will have a weakness for stories about the evolution of AI and it's evolving place in our lives.

Miss Gloria **
Maybe not the best story to start with - it's a little slow despite the danger inherent in the kidnapping story line, and the robot never really developed any personality traits other than "devoted to Miss Gloria." But it could have been a good exploration of how the rich will use AI and robo
Dec 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
You know how it is with any short-story collection – there are ups, downs, the “what the heck even??” stories. The over all tone of this futuristic sci-fi collection was fairly AI-themed and dark. Not surprising, given the title, but it started off with the lighter stories, and I got fooled before it shifted tone. Overall, I’m afraid I’d give the collection one star. Many of the stories were too crude for my taste. Some of the stories seemed needlessly obtuse; I’m all for mystery and mystique, b ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Daniel H. Wilson delves into fractured science fiction with this assemblage of short stories. Each entry finds a unique way of looking at the powerful impact of technology on humanity, creating hauntingly individual worlds. The opening tale, “Miss Gloria,” sees a robot bodyguard download itself across the city to save its young charge from kidnappers. A black hole event swallows everything during “The Blue Afternoon That Lasted Forever,” and the first mechanical man is unveiled in “Jack, the Det ...more
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read 'A Clockwork Dynasty' last year and really enjoyed it, so when I saw this short story collection at the library I had to pick it up. I'm really glad I did, because I was invested from beginning to end. I actually forced myself to stop about 2/3 of the way through the book because I didn't want to end so soon. (I also went on BookOutlet to see if any of the author's books were available, and I managed to snag one of the last three copies of 'Robopocalypse'.)

These sci-fi stories take place
Galley provided by publisher

I have to say, Daniel H. Wilson is probably one of my favourite science fiction writers ever. And definitely my favourite author of those kind of futuristic robot apocalypse kind of stories. Ever since I read Robopocalypse and Amped, I've struggled to find someone who matches up to him.

All the stories in this anthology are based around that kind of futuristic view. A few don't contain robots as such, but instead a vision of possible technology. And all bar one (All Ki
Guardian Angels & Other Monsters represents my first foray into Daniel H. Wilson's work, and after having gone through Jo Walton's Starlings s I'm beginning to see a pattern: I spot books I might like to read but don't quite have the time to at present, and instead I end up reading short stories by the same author since I can polish them off between essay submissions and group projects and work and bed. Having not yet found time for Robopocalypse , and yet knowing it's likely now to be boo ...more
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
This collection of 14 stories is a mix of alternate realities, apocalyptic environments and near future possibilities. All of the stories involve technology in some way, with many focusing on robotics or artificial intelligence (the first story, “Miss Gloria” is an impressively creative account of AI following its protocol). And, in the fashion of Black Mirror, most of the stories have dark endings – and some are dark pretty much the entire time (“Helmet” is a good example).

Overall, this is a we
James Roberts
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read Clockwork Dynasty earlier this year; didn’t think it was great but Wilson’s writing is fun and entertaining enough so I thought I’d give this collection a try. I loved it. His shorts resonate with energy and fun and he knows how to pack a punch with the short form. Most of the stories are robo-centric but the few that aren’t really showcase Wilson’s abilities as a writer. Blood Memory is especially haunting, even if it’s just a riff on King’s The Jaunt, and God Mode packs a surprising emo ...more
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A Cherokee citizen, Daniel H. Wilson grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He earned a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He lives in Portland, Oregon.