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And Shall Machines Surrender

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  24 reviews
On the dyson sphere Shenzhen, artificial intelligences rule and humans live in luxury, vying to be chosen as host bodies—called haruspices—for the next generation of AI, and thus be worshiped as gods.

Doctor Orfea Leung has come here to escape her past of mercenary violence. Krissana Khongtip has come here to reinvent herself from haunted spy to holy cyborg. But the utopi
Kindle Edition, 143 pages
Published July 11th 2019 by Prime Books
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4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  138 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Elle Maruska
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Did you hear that?

That strange faint sound?

It was me, screaming incoherently about how much I loved every word of this story.

Look I'm easy to please. Does a book take place in space? Does it have lesbians? Are there lush, tactile descriptions of a world both wet with living pulp and a hard sterile inhuman core? Are there complex relationships between women who, while carrying years worth of grudges, disappointments, rage, and contempt still manage to respect one another because the writer isn't
J. Moufawad-Paul
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got to read a final draft of And Shall Machines Surrender after it was bought by Prime and I can't wait to get ahold of the hard copy so I can read it again. This novella is probably one of the most accessible works by Sriduangkaew; it is also quick paced and cinematic. I'm working on a more substantial review that I hope to release around the time of the book release.

EDIT: Here is my review published at The Future Fire:
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Sublimely meh. Got about a third of the way in, put it down in distaste.

People, I realize that Trump has traumatized everyone, and that everyone is shocked and appalled. But the whole 'let us now paint the Americans as hideous, Bible-thumping, imperialistic villains' isn't nearly as interesting as you think it is. It's also a bit irritating given that I'm from a vast region of the country where you can't walk for an anti-Trump protest.

So there's a Pax Americana. Ho-hum. And it's evil and imperia
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been looking for words to describe why I loved this book so much. It's part that I absolutely love transhuman stories (though not without exception). It also had a queer-inclusive universe which always feels comfy to me. But it was more than those things. I enjoyed the characters who had pasts and complications. It dipped just enough into the complications of huge factions and politics to interest me without being committee-meeting boring. It has enough action to be exciting but not a ted ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A stunning portrait of a complex post-singularitarian future. Consciousness and identity at the outer limits. AIs crafting their own future, with and without humans. Two women - more or less - crafting their own futures. Breathtaking imagery, sudden stunning bursts of violence, more plot than the average trilogy and a kind of love story to boot.
Stephanie Ahn
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Favorite book of 2019 by far!! I was supposed to save it to read during an upcoming plane ride, but it literally couldn't wait, and I blasted through it in one 4-hour-long sitting.
It's an absolute masterclass in modern cyberpunk. Beautiful, gorgeous prose, a world I can only stare at in awe through the screen of my kindle, characters I literally cried over in bed at 4am, and this twisting philosophical plot that I'm so amazed Sriduangkaew managed to fit into a tidy 143 pages.
Oh, and, ahum, reall
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, kindle
Beautifully written sci fi. If you like Ancillary Justice you’d almost certainly love this. It’s perhaps less atmospheric than Winterglass but there is also more plot - AI, factions, politics, spies, intergalactic piracy.

(It has some quite explicit sex scenes. They seem less explicit because they’re so well-written but nevertheless... There are also some scenes of violence written in quite an she-who-enjoys-violence sort of a way.)
Jamie Rich
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
And Shall Machines Surrender (Kindle Edition) by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Tightly written and well received!
What happens when the very AI gods themselves are against you? And with your checkered past, it's no reason they won't trust you. Stir in some, other, well seasoned comrades-in-arms and bake until b burnt.
And that's just the easy part! For more, you need to read this book!
Mark Gronlund
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent novella from Benjanun, filled with mystery, cyborgs and AIs. What price is Orfea willing to pay to secure her safety and bury her past? Will Krissana help or hinder Orfea, having betrayed her once already? Their interactions, sometimes steamy, never boring, drive this story toward its conclusion. Must read
Eric Bullock
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
The story was very interesting, but I found the author’s writing style hard to read. It’s as if they let loose and automated thesaurus on the manuscript, which replaced every 10th word with something more erudite. This did not contribute anything to the story, and just made it more difficult to read.
Jennifer Linsky
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very odd little book. It wears the trappings of Asian society, but pretty loosely. The heart of it is really relations between humans and AI, and it handles that well. Overall, I do think I'd read another book in this setting.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the names of the AIs in this story. Names like Nataku Contemplates a Flight of Sparrows; Wonsul’s Exegesis; Benzaiten in Autumn. Some AIs go by they/them; others by more unusual pronouns. It’s treated as perfectly normal, which it should be since AIs have been around for a while now. The AIs are definitely not human, and this gradually becomes more clear and more of an issue. The depiction of artificial intelligences is fascinating. It’s also an integral part of the wider worldbuilding, s ...more
Spencer Gill
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Space opera has traditionally focused itself on the sweeping movements of space marines and glittering starfleets, the politicking of astral emperors and stellar dukes.

Ms. Sriduangkaew's And Shall Machines Surrender takes place in such a universe, one which is breathtakingly sketched in a few lines, but its focus is instead on mass politics, to use an annoyingly vague phrase which nevertheless communicates the book's emphasis well. Without delving into spoilers, it lightly tweaks the nose of the
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Orfea arrives at the Dyson Sphere Shenzhen, a utopia run by AI. She is attempting to migrate there to escape a turbulent past, but manages to enter under false pretences. She is soon contacted, unexpectedly, by an AI she knows well, and by an old colleague and lover who is a candidate for Haruspex. The Haruspex construct is a melding of a human body and an AI mind, part of a social experiment of sorts being conducted by the AIs running Shenzhen.

Ms. Sriduangkaew plays language like a virtuoso, ma
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-f, sci-fi
lots of neopronouns, very cool. author has written a (smutty) short story in the same universe featuring a 'lesbian supersoldier turbodomme' which is honestly the best string of words of i've ever seen.
Richard Von
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting book with some new concepts but several implausible situations are used to create plot twists. On the plus side the main characters are not your standard cookie cutter good guy heroes. This gives the book a somewhat dark quality. Not your average space opera.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written. I love the world presented in the story and wish to see more. I didn't expect the action scenes in the third part but when they hit, they were really tense and fascinating. Definitely going to give it a second read to appreciate the writing again in details.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, woc-authors
Wish there was more

Not as good as Winterglass, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this action packed sci-fi. Sriduangkaew has a knack for intimidating soldier lesbians. I do wish this book were a little longer.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: queer, romance, sci-fi
This was real good. Gave me big ol queer WlW Sherlock vibes. Probably deserves a second read.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it

Very tight yet expansive; there were times when a pov shift threw me off, but not enough to throw me out. Sometimes the writing was so heavy! So much lushness.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, science-fiction
Bee does it again!
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(Troligen en fyra egentligen)
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, novella
The first two-thirds or so were fine but a little slow and too straightforward, and then the last third hit and everything was fantastic.
Jonathan Lupa
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a nice short mystery, which includes a handful of very interesting characters, from ex-torturers, to spies, to artificial intelligences. I quite liked it, and while it's probably really a 4.5, we'll just give it a positive bump up there.
rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2019
Fábio Fernandes
rated it really liked it
Aug 18, 2019
Jeff Whitehead
rated it it was amazing
Aug 20, 2019
Richard Allen
rated it really liked it
Aug 31, 2019
Hardi Bales-Stutes
rated it it was amazing
Aug 07, 2019
Sean Locke
rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2019
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Science fiction, fantasy, and others in the between. Cute kissing ladies? I write those. Ruthless genocidal commanders? Got that covered too! 2014 finalist for Campbell Award for Best New Writer, 2015 BSFA finalist for Best Short Fiction (SCALE-BRIGHT). I like beautiful bugs and strange cities.