More Human than Human: Stories of Androids, Robots, and Manufactured Humanity

Edited by Neil Clarke. Night Shade, $17.99 trade paper (672p) ISBN 978-1-59780-914-6
The best of the stories gathered here by five-time Hugo nominee Clarke (founder and editor of Clarkesworld magazine) use the tropes of androids and artificial intelligence for multifaceted interrogations of humanity and society. Some are heart-wrenching, such as Rachel Swirsky’s Coppélia-like “Grand Jeté (The Great Leap),” in which an inventor creates an android replica of his dying daughter. Others are humorous: Robert Reed’s steampunk “American Cheetah” features a coal-snorting Abraham Lincoln automaton, and in Naomi Kritzer’s “Artifice,” a housekeeping robot becomes a character’s latest questionable boyfriend. Adam Christopher’s “Brisk Money” is a hard-boiled detective story with an AI twist. Poetic sensibilities dominate in the rich, dreamlike imagery of Catherynne M. Valente’s “Silently and Very Fast” and Xia Jia’s haunting “A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight.” The stories by Swirsky, Robert B. Finegold, and Lavie Tidhar make reference to Judaism, and Islam features in Fadzlishah Johanabas’s “Act of Faith.” Contemporary issues of labor and immigration are explored in Ken Liu’s “The Caretaker.” The weakest stories are those that lean toward didacticism, but even those are enjoyable and detract little from the overall high quality of this anthology. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/2017
Release date: 11/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
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