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The Stories of Ibis

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  917 ratings  ·  110 reviews
In a world where humans are a minority and androids have created their own civilization, a wandering storyteller meets the beautiful android Ibis. She tells him seven stories of human/android interaction in order to reveal the secret behind humanity's fall. The story takes place centuries in the future, where the diminished populations of humans live uncultured lives in th ...more
Paperback, 422 pages
Published April 20th 2010 by Haikasoru (first published January 1st 2006)
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300713: this made me think of another favourite read earlier this year i enjoyed this one more in the star trek mode of science fiction than the star wars mode of sci-fi in that book. that is to say, as a postmodern interrogation of typical sf tropes on a more intellectual plane...

good sf can examine what it is to be human through representations of the other-than human, as aliens or as androids in this case. this sort of story, here represented by the s
Jason Seaver
Jun 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Hiroshi Yamamoto has come up with a clever framing device for compiling several of his short stories into a novel, presenting them as stories one character reads to another. He quickly acknowledges that this is not an original gimmick, name-checking "1,001 Arabian Nights" right away, but it allows him to connect five stories that are otherwise only related in theme, add in a longer story that nudges us toward the big revelations, and then hit us with the sort of post-human characters who can oft ...more
Edward Rathke
Jul 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Essentially, this is a short story collection framed by another story to make it cohesive, a novel of surprising power.

This is a world where humans have become the minority and machines rule it. There is great fear and anger carried by the humans and they hate the machines, who've become to advanced as to appear human, to act human.

The novel's narrated by a storyteller. He travels between colonies to tell stories, to share movies, as the human world is a much smaller place, sort of stuck in the
Boy Blue
Dec 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fan, sci-fi
It seems that Yamamoto had the kernel of a really good story and just couldn't quite bulk it out enough to make a novel, so he decided to encase it in several layers of short stories instead. The concept actually works quite well and he managed to weave the short stories in such a way that they augment the effect of the main story at the end. In many ways this is like a tightening spiral, where you slowly wind towards the core of the novel. Each turn around the issue you get closer to what the a ...more
the importance of fiction, as a lens to reshape reality; the power of stories, as a reflection of ourselves, as our dreams and ideals; humanity's technological achievements as our dreams made manifest; our constant striving to reshape the world to better align with those dreams, to be better than our species specs allow; our fundamental loneliness and desire to connect...

good stuff.
Miz Moffatt
Jul 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
The Stories of Ibis offers a sparkling, fresh stance on man vs. machine science fiction, proving that the lines between both camps are not so simple to discern. Quite enjoyed the more heady philosophical debates on the role of machines in human lives and vice versa, how both parties rely on one another for companionship, purpose, and evolution. In particular, the idea of death as discussed between the nameless Storyteller and the android Ibis is a compelling one that will linger long after the b ...more
Abner Rosenweig
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book in the library, having never heard of the title or the author, and was immediately captured by its clear prose and lucid imagery. Yamamoto does a superb job of transporting the reader into a gorgeously sensual future world. There are seven stories. Some of them are somewhat childish and nearly caused me to stop reading, but I'm immensely glad I stuck with the book. At its best, Stories of Ibis contains vivid, sophisticated speculations about the future and I have never read ...more
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
7 fantastic stories wrapped in an intriguing shell. I especially loved "Black Hole Diver" and "The Day Shion Came", both of which I think will stay with me for a very long time. There's no shortage of robo-apocalyptia fiction out there, but this one is easily one of the best and most satisfying takes on the subgenre. ...more
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
*Score: 8.5/10*

In the far future, robots become more in numbers than humans, with humans relegated only to small spread out colonies. The main story is about a boy who is a storyteller that moves between colonies, and harbors hostility to robots like most humans. One day he encounters Ibis, a robot that he confronts and tries to defeat and destroy, only to fail miserabely and get captured by her. Surprisingly, the robot only wants to tell him stories, and the boy pushes back to avoid "machine pr
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book isn't fast-moving--one of the stories, for instance, is about an AI caregiver learning her job at a nursing home--but it is a tremendous book. Being written by a Japanese author and translated into English, I quite enjoyed the genuinely Japanese setting for the stories. The stories were thoughtful ruminations on the interrelations between humans and artificial intelligences in subtle details, including the nuance and shapes that might take. The book works against the stereotypical stor ...more
This was a very uplifting and optimistic sci-fi collection, which is very welcome and unusual for the genre. A mix between a collection of short stories and a novel, there were definitely particular stories that I liked better than others. "The Day Shion Came" was by far my favorite, and I would perhaps recommend just that story over the entire book. I tend to prefer sci-fi that focuses on the human story rather than the mechanics of the technology itself, and this book definitely did just that ...more
Feb 13, 2019 added it
Shelves: science-fiction
Seven short stories framed within one larger narrative. Each on their own are amazingly well written and powerful but combined they follow the well known pattern of the whole being greater than the sum of it's parts. I loved each story and the overall story was fantastic. Both ideas, environment and characters were all described in loving detail which has easily made me decide this is one of the best books, of this type, I have read in a very long time. ...more
Sidsel Pedersen
A very mixed bag

For the first 75% this is basically a short story collection with a frame story. Some of the stories are good while others are just sweet. The last part of the book binds the stories and the frame together.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow ..
Extremely interesting view of human-machine relationship integrated into several stories.
César T
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A worthy collection of stories about robot-human relationships and virtual reality. Good science-fiction work which stories invite us to reflect about our human nature and the possibilities of the artificial intelligence. My favorite story was "The Day Shion Came". ...more
Daniel Stafford
Jun 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever felt like you could fall in love with a book? That is exactly what I felt like after reading The Stories of Ibis.

So far, since starting my reviews of books, I have fallen for two other books. One being White Noise and the other is Kafka on the Shore. Though as much as I enjoyed and could relate to those two, I had this preternatural feeling that Stories of Ibis was written for me and only me.

Yes, I realize that is not the case. Believe me when I say that I may be a tad absurd at ti
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First published on my blog: A Colloquy on Books

I was completely surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I got this book from my library on Valentine’s Day a part of their Blind Date with a Book event. The only thing I knew about the book prior to checking it out was: androids. I did end up reading the blurb before I read the book but it was vague enough that it gave nothing away. The way the book started off, I was immediately intrigued. However after reading the first story I was confused. I
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nutshell review: Mr. Yamamoto has written an excellent collection of stories that looks forward and back at the poverty of discrimination. Using androids as a foil, the author asks us to reconsider the many ways in which we oppress based on exigencies such as skin color, gender, age, or anything else that most consider unchangeable.

Like many before him, Grant Morrison, Bill Willingham, Warren Ellis, Mr. Yamamoto believes in the power of fiction to change the world. The book is structured in the
Sep 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
DNF on page 128. This is a collection of hard sci-fi stories relating to AI with a superificial overarching narrative linking them. I had really high hopes for this collection, but did not get on with the writing style at all. It's written really colloquially and isn't polished. There is an unvaried use of vocabulary, so the same word will be repeated in back to back sentences. The stories themselves seem more concerned with the technology described in them than in plot or characters. I also fou ...more
Kyle Muntz
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
a deeply humanistic novel, maybe too sentimental for my tastes but mostly very powerful. there are elements of the hard-sf yamamoto was working with in mm9, but much more subdued this time. yamamoto is a smart guy and seems to be deeply aware of sf as a field; also, for once, i agreed with pretty much everything that was being argued in this novel, which didn't hurt. in the end i think i liked mm9 better but this is definitely worth checking out too ...more
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not a fan of short story anthologies but The Stories of Ibis is proof that I can be lured into reading (and liking) them by putting them in a single wider story.

This is dystopian/utopian. It's got sentient machines, tolerably annoying characters, and intriguing world building. I read it some time back and life offline gives me reason to think of it fairly often. By that measure alone I'd say this book is well worth reading.
Kelly Spoer
Very very interesting. Almost, Bladerunner-y (movie. not Do Androids Dream....) I liked it, but ultimately felt like I knew where the book was heading. Although, seeing how this is an English translation, I don't know what got lost. ...more
Lord Nikon
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-the-best
Probably the finest anthology of sci-fi AI stories I've ever had the absolute pleasure of reading. Gorgeously realized, and cleverly assembled, this book actively CHANGED what I thought about humans and AI interacting. Amazing. You OWE it to yourself to read this book. ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book! Really touched me! I can't get enough of recommending this to so many people. The story just grabs you in. Beautifully told and just splendid! I adore this book ...more
Stiltzkin Vanserine
Have you ever read a book you loved so much, you didn't want it to end? For me, The Stories of Ibis is that book. Imagine shifting One Thousand and One Nights to a futuristic setting, transforming Scheherazade into an android along the way; what you get is The Stories of Ibis.

The Stories of Ibis, written by Japanese novelist Hiroshi Yamamoto, is a book about robots. In a near future where robots have dominated the planet and built their own society, humans have become a minority, living precario
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's a very unusual and odd story in the genre of people and robots. Seems very related to the Isaac Asimov's Robots stories in general concepts, but the history of the human-machine interaction is unique here. The are sometimes stories in the stories, which Ibis tells us, in this story. All of them are about helpful and caring robots, but who don't always obey the Three Laws of Robotics if they choose so. Are those real or fiction? Does it matter if fiction also typically serves the purpose of ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Good content, but the writing sometimes gets in the way of the ideas the author is trying to communicate. It suffers from a typical sci-fi problem of presenting WAY too many technical details that add little to no important information to the story. Reminded me of Ready Player One at times when the author would ramble about references to manga or other pop Japanese culture.

However, this presented interesting philosophies about AI and how they would act toward humans, and I greatly appreciated it
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
This is a collection of short stories woven together by themes (AI, VR, loneliness, society and its decay) and by a frame story in which they are "told" -- a rather 1001 Nights approach, which is specifically acknowledged at one point in the text. I found the stories to be interesting and mostly all too plausible ventures into the near future, with enjoyable metanarrative strands and a number of moments that were quite moving as well. Fans of manga & anime, fanfic communities, MMORPGs, and robot ...more
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
IMHO this book is overrated. Some of the ideas are interesting, but most of them aren’t new. Sometimes I had the impression I was able to say what book or movie served as the inspiration for a particular idea/situation. The worst thing though is the writing. The first half of the book felt like a student project. Some of the stories were incredibly naive. I would recommend this book for a hardcore sci-fi fan, that reads fast. Otherwise skip. There surely is a better book on this topic out there.
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Hiroshi Yamamoto(山本 弘) was born in 1956 in Kyoto. Began his career with game developers Group SNE in 1987 and debuted as a writer and game designer. Gained popularity with juvenile titles such as February at the Edge of Time and the Ghost Hunter series. His first hardcover science fiction release, God Never Keeps Silent became a sensation among SF fans and was nominated for the Japan SF Award. Oth ...more

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