Review By Don Sloan
Winston Horvath has his work cut out for him in this highly imaginative new take on the dystopian theme. The world of humans has ended, and it’s up to Winston — Scholar Model Robot Extraordinaire — to memorialize the human culture — forever!
There is plenty for human readers to like in this fanciful tale, told well by author Brian Bakos. He has created a post apocalyptic world and populated it with lively, three-dimensional characters you’ll soon come to care deeply about. There’s even a love interest, as Winston is wooed suggestively by sex-starved humanoid robot Star, who is, shall we say, fully functional in all respects.
But, back to the story. . .
Winston also needs to give hundreds of surviving robots a reason to live in this post-human landscape. Many have taken to committing robo-suicide by diving headfirst off tall buildings. Not good.
So, with the willing and able help of his mechanized mates, he begins with the renovation of a single seedy hotel — the REX — on a Mech City back street. This revitalizes the robo-populace and things look rosy.
All is well for several days. Then, the unthinkable occurs: an armed overthrow of Winston’s reform-minded movement by a savage new group vastly more powerful — Roboto Fascism, under the Hitleresque direction of a powerful and massive re-created robot named Fascisto Ultimo — or F.U., for short (get it?) Their aim is simple: create a Master Race of robots to assure the total destruction of everything remotely related to the formerly dominant human world.
It doesn’t take long for Winston to discover a way to thwart the new faction, however. But, in order to do so, he must make a long trek to a faraway lake to retrieve the head of a powerful robot named Ajax, now imprisoned by F.U. and his simpering minions. At the last minute, the statuesque and sultry Star volunteers to accompany Winston on his quest and, so, they embark one dark night on the long journey.
Don’t get ahead of me. Winston lacks the, ahem, necessary equipment to satisfy the risque robot’s rampant sexual needs. Nevertheless, some delicious dialogue is supplied by the author, who can’t seem to decide whether he’s relating an epic quest or a robotic Harlequin romance. In any event, it’s fun to come across some great lines in the dialogue.
At one point, for example, they find some graffiti spray-painted on the wall of a sporting goods store. “F**k the World!” it says.
“How is that possible?” Star asks in perfect innocence.
“Humans had many distorted ideas about their sexuality,” Winston retorts with metallic tongue firmly in cheek.
Does Winston succeed in his epic quest? Is Mech City freed from its yoke of tin-coated tyranny? Will Star get the satisfaction she so desperately needs? Download your copy today of this five-star send-up of doomsday scenarios and find out. You’ll be glad you did!
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