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
Contemporary Literature – University of Wisconsin Press
Published: Mar 1, 2016
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