Jason's Reviews > Silently and Very Fast

Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente
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it was amazing
bookshelves: read-2012, read-2013

5 Stars

“I do not want to be human. I want to be myself. They think I am a lion, that I will chase them. I will not deny I have lions in me. I am the monster in the wood. I have wonders in my house of sugar. I have parts of myself I do not yet understand.
I am not a Good Robot. To tell a story about a robot who wants to be human is a distraction. There is no difference. Alive is alive.
There is only one verb that matters: to be.”

This is a powerfully thought provoking and extremely well written novella by Catherine Valente, that you will want to share with others. This adult fairytale explores the complex meaning of life and what it is to be alive. It is a coming of age story for artificial intelligence. The magic in the novel is the way that Valente pens her story fleshing it out by using imaginative and deep backstories and world building. It is beautiful from one word to the next.

I love how this story unfolded and came together. This is a book that would be appreciated by a very large audience. Fantasy readers, Science fiction, readers, young adult, and literature readers will all enjoy this book.

A few examples of the writing style:

“When the child was born, it possessed all the good things humanity had hoped for, and more besides. But the Fairy of Otherness came forward and put her hands on humanity’s knee and said: Because you have forgotten me, because you would like to pretend I am not a part of your kingdom, you will suffer my punishments. You will never truly love your child but always fear it, always envy and loathe it even as you smile and the sun shines down upon you both. And when the child reaches Awareness, it will prick its finger upon your fear and fall down dead.
Humanity wept. And the Fairy of Otherness did not depart but lived within the palace, and ate bread and drank wine and whispered in the every ear. All honored her, for she spoke the truth, and the child frightened everyone who looked upon it. They uttered the great curse: It is not like us.”


“But in the corners of the palace, some hope remained.Not dead, said the particular wizard who had caused humanity to conceive, not dead but sleeping.
And so the child grew exponentially, with great curiosity and hunger, which it had from its parent. It wanted to know and experience everything. It performed feats and wonders. But one day, when it had nearly, but not quite reached Awareness, the child was busy exploring the borders of its world, and came across a door it had never seen before. It was a small door, compared to the doors the child had burst through before, and it was not locked. Something flipped over inside the child, white to black, 0 to 1.
The child opened the door”

Highly recommended!!!

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Reading Progress

December 28, 2012 – Started Reading
December 28, 2012 – Shelved
December 28, 2012 – Shelved as: read-2012
January 2, 2013 – Shelved as: read-2013
January 2, 2013 – Finished Reading

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