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Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 132 (Clarkesworld Magazine #132)

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  344 ratings  ·  104 reviews
FICTION
"Antarctic Birds" by A. Brym
"Little /^^^\&-" by Eric Schwitzgebel
"The Secret Life of Bots" by Suzanne Palmer
"Pan-Humanism: Hope and Pragmatics" by Jess Barber and Sara Saab
"Möbius Continuum" by Gu Shi, translated by S. Qiouyi Lu
"Bonding with Morry" by Tom Purdom
"Warmth" by Geoff Ryman

NON-FICTION
"Artificial Wombs and Control of Reproductive Technology" by
...more
ebook, 142 pages
Published September 1st 2017 by Wyrm Publishing
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  344 ratings  ·  104 reviews


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carol.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'The Secret Life of Bots' 2018 Hugo Best Novelette
http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/palme...

An elderly ship-borne bot is pulled back into service.
“I am assigning you task nine hundred forty four in the maintenance queue,” the Ship answered. “Acknowledge?”

“Acknowledged,” the bot answered. Nine hundred and forty-four items in the queue? That seemed extremely high, and the bot felt a slight tug on its self-evaluation monitors that it had not been activated for at least one of the top fifty, or even
...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This delightful novelette "The Secret Life of Bots" won the Hugo Award in August 2018! It's free online here at Clarkesworld magazine. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:
description
Fans of WALL-E will particularly appreciate this whimsically poignant tale about a little outdated robot with a can-do attitude. Robot #9 is reactivated by its spaceship after a lengthy time in storage, and is assigned the task of ridding the Ship of a particularly destructive “biological infestation” (the bots begin to
...more
Cathy
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magazines
Are bot stories a hot, new commodity this year? Not that I am complaining, there just seems to be an abundance of misbehaving, self-aware bots gallivanting through our galaxy.

Not sure why this was nominated for the Hugo, but definitely fun to read. Good thing that Bot 9 was an outdated model with some design flaws...

Hugo Awards 2018 Novelette Nominee

Story can be found here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/palme...
Claudia
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Secret Life of Bots
— by SUZANNE PALMER —

Kinda cute but childish. Not one I would nominee for Hugo.

Can be read here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/palme...
Bradley
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2018-shelf
'18 Hugo nom for the shorter fictions!

I actually read this one at a previous date and liked it well enough then, too, but even from last year's Best-of Clarksworld, there were better stories. Alas.

That being said, this one was pretty interesting with its whole pest problem and social niceties of bots. I had a good enough time with it. Some humor, some social message, but it was also pretty campy.
Lata
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not a deep tale, but bot 9 and its pal 4340 are cute together while they go on a bug hunt; meanwhile, their ship is on a critical mission to stop an alien ship from destroying Earth. And it’s a good thing bot 9 had those Improvisation routines.
Dennis
***The Secret Life of Bots by Suzanne Palmer***

Mankind is at war again.

We're aboard a spaceship that's trying to interfere with the extraterrestrial threat.

The ship itself is pissed for being in storage for way too long. Its crew and humanity as a whole meanwhile are dependent on the ship functioning properly. And a little bot on board of the ship is developing a plan of its own.

This is an entertaining, sometimes humorous story with a nice message.

I liked the voices of the bots. The people on
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César Bustíos
REVIEW FOR "THE SECRET LIFE OF BOTS"

"I have a purpose, therefore I serve."

Enjoyable. I'm always willing to read robot stories and this was particularly entertaining. I liked the whole AI Mantra stuff and the botnet as a way of communication. Really cool but not exceptional for a Hugo winner.
Silvana
This is the Year of the Bots! Not less than three works are nominated for the Hugo, from short story to novelette and novella. Is this a trend now among SFF authors? With the amount of artificial intelligence roaming the earth now, it seems that our fascination about them and their evolution - self awareness, free will, agency, their hidden lives and interaction - will continue to become a familiar plot line in many years to come.

This charming story is a great example of it.
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: magazines
"Antarctic Birds" by A. Brym - 2*
Absolutely no clue what this was.

"Little /^^^\&-" by Eric Schwitzgebel - 3*
Also little what this one was, but it was entertainingly weird.

"The Secret Life of Bots" by Suzanne Palmer - 4*
The little bots will save the day! This just seemed cute.

"Pan-Humanism: Hope and Pragmatics" by Jess Barber & Sara Saab - 4.5*
This is the type of story I'd like to see more of - less doom and gloom for the future, and more envisioning projects that people will do to help
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Peter Tillman
Review is just for these two stories:
"The Secret Life of Bots" by Suzanne Palmer. Bot #9 saves the world! Cute mini space-opera. 4+ stars! Online at http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/palme...
2018 Winner, Hugo Award for Best Novelette. 2018 Finalist: Theodore A. Sturgeon Memorial Award.
Here's a real review from Tadiana: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

"Pan-Humanism: Hope and Pragmatics" by Jess Barber and Sara Saab. Life and love in a future Beirut and other cities, recovering from droughts
...more
Oleksandr Zholud
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This novelette was short-listed for Hugo Awards in 2018.
This story is reminiscent of both Wall-E and Minions from the respective cartoons. It follows the adventures of a small but brave bot, who is ordered to eradicate ‘space rat’ infestation of the space ship while the ship is performing a mission, vital for survival of the mankind.
While the story is easy to read and has its bright moments, the people behave a bit strange (bots are o.k.) and there are some troubles with physics and vacuum. This
...more
Ron
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Second Update: Double oops. This is a 2018 Hugo Award finalist, as a nvovelette not a shoirt story. Good year for Vina Jie-Min Prasad.

“I serve”

Short, sweet, and hilarious. Well-conceived and -written short story from the point of view of an obsolete (maybe) nano-sized repair robot. Nothing spectacular, but well done.

“… turning space into something that would give Escher nightmares.”

Read and enjoy.

“We’ve got a long trip home.” “But we are home.”

(Illustration is cover of magazine in which story
...more
Paul Ataua
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
A short and sweet story that takes about 30 minutes to read. It's about bots and especially about one old model bot 9, who luckily is a little special. Good read, but not sure why it won a HUGO shorter fiction award.
Derek Nason
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The reason you don’t see more stories like this is because it’s very difficult to truly have a machine/AI protagonist that isn’t at least mediated through a human (to make it relatable). This story pulls it off and more. It delivers on the promise of its title.
Paul
Favorite stories in order from my favorite on down:
"The Secret Life of Bots" by Suzanne Palmer - Probably my favorite story about worker bots on a ship saving everyone.
"Möbius Continuum" by Gu Shi, translated by S. Qiouyi Lu - I just really like these ingenious type of stories.
"Bonding with Morry" by Tom Purdom - A caretaker robot is one of my favorite type of stories.
"Warmth" by Geoff Ryman - Another caretaker robot story, only this time it's a nanny.
"Pan-Humanism: Hope and Pragmatics" by Jess
...more
Contrarius
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a cute little novelette about a robot who is not quite as robotic as it's supposed to be. Short and sweet.
Ninja
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Really enjoyed this short story of an itty bitty bot on board a space ship. The bot's mission, the ship's mission, the stressed out crew... and the snippets that give a nod to the author's linux admin work.
Crowinator
"The Secret Life of Bots" by Suzanne Palmer - Hugo Novelette category
Angie
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
If James T. Kirk were to a robot, he would be 9. That's about the size of it. This was a fun little story about a ship on a mission to save Earth and bot that likes to improvise.
Laura Dam
Nice, with a certain cinematographic feel to it. Not sure about it deserving the Hugo, though.
Danielle
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was basically Wall-E crossed with Sunshine. Humans running a suicide mission to save the planet, something goes wrong, but wait, here comes an old, quirky, creative bot to save the day! Very cute, quite funny, one of my favorites for sure.
Joe
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A complete home run of a story. I will be rooting for this story to win the Hugo. It was completely enjoyable.

The hero of our story is a tiny bot on a ship whose mission is crucial to the survival of humanity itself. The humans and their reactions during this dire time are too busy to consider the sentience and personalities emerging among the tiny bots that navigate the ship. Our main bot, bot 9, was one of the first commissioned on a ship with thousands of bots. And due to the fact that he
...more
Thorbjørn
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really cute. Like Wall-E.
Jon
Listened to 'Antarctic Birds' via podcast (Sep 2017)

2018 Hugo Finalist for Best Novelette

“The Secret Life of Bots,” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, September 2017)
Audio edition found here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/audio...

Loved this. I want more Bot 9. (4 stars, read 4/17-18/2018)
Gard
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellenct sci-fi novelette. I expect great things from this author in the future!
Alex Sarll
When so many fictional robots are bent on rebellion, it's always nice to meet one who is fine with the Mantra Upon Waking: "I have been activated, therefore I have a purpose, the bot thought. I have a purpose, therefore I serve." Though of course, service is not at all the same thing as blind obedience... On the one hand, this is a fun little tale in the classic SF mould, with a situation, a problem, an ingenious solution, and fun company along the way, especially once clever little bot 9 gets a ...more
Anthony A
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Issue 132 was better than 131. Stories which I gave a rating of "good" (7) to "very good" (8):
- The Secret Life of Bots by Palmer (my favorite in this issue) 8/10
- Mobius Continuum by Shi 7/10
- Bonding With Morry by Purdom 7/10
The remaining stories were either very average or downright boring.
Claire
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Oh, this was fun! I generally have a hard time with short stories because they're over too soon; while I would love more about bot 9, this story felt complete and was satisfying. Some unexpected humor, great characters, and so creative.
Jamie
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
2018 FINALIST: HUGO AWARD FOR BEST NOVELETTE
2018 FINALIST: THEODORE A. STURGEON MEMORIAL AWARD

Fantastic story following an obsolete robot sent to perform a menial task on board humanity's last star ship while on a desperate suicide mission to save Earth from annihilation by hostile aliens.
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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 seven-time finalist ...more