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An Android Awakes

Mike French & Karl Brown

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Elsewhen Press

Published : 2015 

Copyright : Mike French & Karl Brown 2015

ISBN-10 : PB 1-908168-63-3
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-908168-63-4

Publisher's Write-Up

Your world is manipulated by computer coding, search engines and social networks. It’s just a matter of time before everything you watch, read and listen to will be created by autonomous machines.

An Android Awakes: The struggle for survival and the fate of a story teller.

In the future some of us will become great writers, renowned artists, visionary filmmakers and talented photographers. Most of us though will just have more sex. Go forward a few more generations and none of us are creative save that of our procreation. Our culture is shaped by machines. The novel has become a 1000 words.

Android Writer PD121928 is part of the Android Publishing Program. To replicate their idea of a writer’s life, his wife has been forcibly removed and he lives in solitude with an allowance for drugs and state prostitutes.

He also has just had his novel The Eating of Citizen Kane rejected. He has 14 more attempts to get a story accepted by the Program or he will be deactivated.

Can one of his characters and their story save him? Introducing…
The Locust Wife
Abel Ford
Angel UK
Cai Lun
Richard Steinberger
The Great Explorer Umberto Amunsden
Commander Oleg
Aedus Cricklewood
The Amazing Arctic Sinking Man
The Detective
Featuring Absolute Zero (the coolest spaceship ever built – literally), an ocean in the sky, sub-atomic particles, a Märchen zoo, android communion, naked angels and mockingbirds, An Android Awakes hurtles towards the shocking conclusion of Android Writer PD121928’s fate.

'Cool & punchy.'

Steve Dillon - Hellblazer / Preacher / X-Men / Wolverine

'An evocative blend of Blade Runner aesthetics and Sin City style characters creating an atmosphere similar to Michael Valuta’s illustrated edition of Metropolis.'

Richard Collingridge - We / Mission Telemark / The Deserter

'Sex, violence, androids... very much in the style of classic 2000AD.'

Lee Sullivan - Doctor Who / Transformers / Judge Dredd / Robocop
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nigel (301115) Rating (8/10)

Review by Nigel
Rating 8/10
An Android Awakes tells the story of Android Writer PD121928. Under the Android Publishing Programme PD121928 is allowed forty-two submissions to obtain a publishing contract, the penalty for failing being deactivation. We first meet PD121928 as he receives a rejection letter for his latest story, The Eating of Citizen Kane, which is his twenty-eighth submission meaning he only has fourteen more chances.

The book then charts his stories and the circumstances in which they are written, submission after submission, rejection after rejection, up to story forty-two, as PD121928 becomes more and more desperate.

The book is basically a set of short stories with a main story linking them together, or more accurately, an illustrated collection of cleverly linked short stories. The linking story is darkly funny, at times laugh out loud, while the short stories are brilliantly written.

I’m not sure if it was my mind expecting it or making it so, but PD121928’s stories did not seem quite right - while a consciousness was writing them they were a little off. You can almost see the algorithms at work with the repetition of ideas and the incorporation of events from PD121928’s daily life. With such a subjective thing it may be me as a reader or it may be crafted as such by the author. If the latter it is brilliantly done, a man writing as an android writing as a man.

While the text of An Android Awakes is by Mike French the book is also full of stunning artwork by Karl Brown. The graphics are not to my personal taste but I can see the skill that has gone in to them to reflect the storyline. My copy only has black and white images but I have seen online copies with colour images that are much better and really bring them to life – see Google Books for examples.

I did spot one homage to another science fiction work although there are probably many more. In the story 2306 we hear “Please relax. I’m going to ask you a series of questions. Try and answer them as honestly as possible.” which immediately had me recalling a similar exchange between Rachel and Deckard in the film Blade Runner “All right, I'm going to ask you a series of questions. Just relax and answer them as simply as you can.” Or could it be PD121928 has access to past works in his subconscious, hmmm…

All-in-all a fantastic piece of creativity deserving every success.
Nigel (30th November 2015)

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