Thursday, April 12, 2012

Machina Viva - Nathaniel Hicklin

Machina Viva

by Nathaniel Hicklin

In a distant world where work is done by machines with the faces of humans, one man has changed what it means to be a robot. But before the new robot can make her mark on the future, she must first survive the present.

Thus was born the city of Tetropolis, one of the oldest mid-atmosphere arcologies. The word is a combination of “architecture” and “ecology,” and such constructions are rarely accidents. Tetropolis fits the requirements of a city, with a central government, police force, utilities, and even a nice park. It also fits the requirements of a building, being a unified structure with a single framework. In this case, the single framework was a series of large interlocking tubes that formed a pyramid nearly a mile high. The taller buildings in the city connected directly to the outer pyramid, strengthening the whole structure while ensuring their own stability. Public transit vehicles traveled through the tubes, intersecting at large spherical nodes and creating a very stressful job for any human who was crazy enough to work in traffic control. The job usually went to a robot, because unlike the vast majority of people, a lot of robots actually enjoy that kind of insanity.

Nathaniel Hicklin studied engineering in college, but graduated with a degree in theater arts. He has parlayed this background into a portfolio of science fiction and urban fantasy storytelling. His first novel, Seekers of Truth, tells the story of eight people who form a team to combat corruption and evil in a multifaceted world of magic and secrecy. His second book, a novella called Machina Viva, describes a distant world in the empty depths of space where humans and robots walk side by side that explores what it means to be human.


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4 Square Books


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