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Date: 2017/10/03 13:57 By: rockefeller Status: Admin  
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Rocks, who isn't the smartingest pants-down spanking ever, fried a few neurons trying to sort out Tricky and Trixxxy in the opening pages, then the dream sequences and the voice in Tricky's head burned through a few more. But, eventually, with squinty-eyed concentration and a mild caffeine overdose, he figured it all mostly out. Tricky's a robot man. His robot girlfriend or fiance or whatever is Trixxxy. Rocks is proud to have caught onto the triple-exes in her name, as in even before she's revealed as a reluctant robot porn star. But still Rocks wonders why her love interest couldn't have been assigned a less bobsy, androgonous and similar handle. The name Ward springs to mind. Or maybe John. A minor quibble.

There's a lot to like here. See, the porn isn't for humans, but for other robots. And it's not sexual, but just human-looking robots engaged in banal, slightly antediluvian, domestic human activities like hanging wash on the line and cooking meals. That this apparently gets them off in some vague, commercially viable, robotic way is the central idea. Maybe not that farfetched, either. Way back in 2011, IBM's Watson AI destroyed a pair of returning champions on Jeopardy. Facebook just bought an AI lab with the focus on AIs learning to read human facial expressions, to eventually simulate human emotions.

Some nice SF imagery. Rocks liked the holographic computer screens floating around looking for viewers. There's the odd genre-specific literary allusion like, "Was that the burning chrome bush talking to you again?” In this instance, alluding to William Gibson's famous collection and the Old Testament, a pair of sci-fi/fantasy classics. Even the spaceship with its requisite octopedal robopilot and FTL drive (albeit, in Rocko's opinion, far too easily commandeered) was kind of cool.

But the story itself, a condensed space odyssey of sorts, struck old Rock of Ages as action packed to the expense of (mainly robot) character development. To get into the action, he has to care about the players, and here he mostly didn't. A little too caricaturistic and cute for his dark, perverse tastes. Like a Saturday morning cartoon or something. In Rocko's totally unsupportable and subjective opinion, the VC needs to dirty it up a little. There is an "O Cannon," but not like the one that once dangled twixt Rockhard's thighs. This O Cannon just shoots some sort of high-energy ring. Perhaps his colleague will clap its mighty hooves together and lo, Yo! Many would. Many will. But Rocky's passing.
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Date: 2017/10/05 14:02 By: bulldust Status: Admin  
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Being uniquely Bulldust, I’m not one to throw rocks at glass houses. (He'd probably complain too much.) However, the Tricky/Trixxxy naming convention rubbed me the wrong way. It struck me as way too cutesy and forced. I found it distracting. I can see what the VC was going for, but to me, it was more schtick than substance.

The cap itself had no glaring problems with grammar or structure. Sure there were a few misplaced commas and little things, but nothing horrific. For example, “view ports” instead of “viewports”. Easy enough to clean up.

One unfortunate thing this cap does is screw with the sanctity of pornography, sweet beautiful smut. Yeah, different strokes for different folks, but there aren’t any kind of strokes in here. Okay, this is more personal preference than legitimate criticism. I do think the wet cell concept is cool, robot pornography depicting common human life was brilliant, despite being condescending to robot kind.

Yeah, I went there. Here goes the rant.

Why is it that every AI/robot story depicts the AIs as wanting to emulate humankind? Does paradise have to be a human life? What makes people so fabulously awesome that an entire species wants to be just like them? It’s awfully egocentric of mankind to make that assumption.

End rant.

As I previously stated, the concept is good. The cap itself is campy and fun. In fact, it may be a little over the top, but I’m okay with this. There were plot concepts that left me wanting. For example, the fact that some robots are owned and some built “by other robots simply to exist” seemed odd to me. Why would this be? More explanation regarding this concept would help make this universe feel more alive.

Overall, I liked it. It is fun and has a decent flow. It tackles the concept of AI freedom without being too heavy-handed. The faks, the concept of who is free and who isn’t, AI love, all pose interesting points. I do feel that it needs a little more something. Maybe my colleague Rocks is correct and it needs more character development. Tricky needs more depth, more reason to empathize with him. I’m sure once this cap is tweaked a little, it will be highly marketable. However, for now, no.
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