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The Existential Robot

The Existential Robot SCOTT SELISKER Despina Kakoudaki, Anatomy of a Robot: Literature, Cinema, and the Cultural Work of Artificial People. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2014. xi + 256 pp. $27.95. espite the long history of the genre, we continue telling and listening to stories about robots and other artificial people. What’s more, The Stepford Wives (1975; 2004) not- withstanding, surprisingly few narratives about robots and clones can be considered camp. We generally play it straight, and we play it over and over again, with a broad repertoire of var- iations and twists. We see a particularly fertile variety of uses for these figures across a range of recent work, including the television show Orphan Black (2014–15), Alex Garland’s film Ex Machina (2015), and fiction by Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro, Paolo Bacigalupi, Kim Stanley Robinson, and others. Particularly as crossovers between science fiction and literary fiction grow more and more common, students and scholars of contemporary literature find a pressing need to account for the work that robots perform in narrative. The robot and the artificial person have been the subject of science fiction criticism for some time, and they make for a good case study in how we read. The http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Literature University of Wisconsin Press

The Existential Robot

Contemporary Literature , Volume 56 (4) – Mar 1, 2016

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin.
ISSN
1548-9949

Abstract

SCOTT SELISKER Despina Kakoudaki, Anatomy of a Robot: Literature, Cinema, and the Cultural Work of Artificial People. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2014. xi + 256 pp. $27.95. espite the long history of the genre, we continue telling and listening to stories about robots and other artificial people. What’s more, The Stepford Wives (1975; 2004) not- withstanding, surprisingly few narratives about robots and clones can be considered camp. We generally play it straight, and we play it over and over again, with a broad repertoire of var- iations and twists. We see a particularly fertile variety of uses for these figures across a range of recent work, including the television show Orphan Black (2014–15), Alex Garland’s film Ex Machina (2015), and fiction by Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro, Paolo Bacigalupi, Kim Stanley Robinson, and others. Particularly as crossovers between science fiction and literary fiction grow more and more common, students and scholars of contemporary literature find a pressing need to account for the work that robots perform in narrative. The robot and the artificial person have been the subject of science fiction criticism for some time, and they make for a good case study in how we read. The

Journal

Contemporary LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Mar 1, 2016

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