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Autonomous

Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
4 out of 5 stars (63 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2018 LAMBDA Award for SFF.

Shortlisted for The Nebula Award 2018.

Shortlisted for The Locus Award for Best Debut 2018.

Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap medicines for those who can't otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.

Hot on her trail is an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his indentured robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack's drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understands.

And underlying it all is one fundamental question: is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?

©2017 Annalee Newitz (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

Critic Reviews

"Autonomous is to biotech and AI what Neuromancer was to the internet." (Neal Stephenson)

"Something genuinely and thrillingly new." (William Gibson)

"Holy hell. Autonomous is remarkable." (Lauren Beukes)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating !!

Great story..took a while to get used to the narrator as it seemed she was kind of flat in her delivery but seemed to get better as the story progressed and i ended up enjoying her narration. Dont be surprised if this ends up as a movie in a few years.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Worth a read/listen with an open mind.


A currently relevant, yet futuristic Sci Fi look into Autonomy

Delves into robotics, bio, health, ethics & economics, in depth

The author paints a picture which portrays both a positive & negative autonomous future

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A thrilling ride through a fascinating cyberpunk universe.

The story is just excellent. Newitz has created a World in not ashamed to say I need more of.

The characters are real and engaging and this telling had me hooked from start to finish.

Shout out to triangulation podcast on twit for the recommendation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really interesting, really!!

Didn't like the beginning at all, I thought it was just the voice, so I also got the physical book...but no...it was both...so have put down the reading/listening to this book for some months....Then I started listening to it again, but only during showers at start, then the story and audio got more and more interesting and irresistible and I couldn't help wanting to know what would happen next. My emotions fluctuated with the characters and their actions. The world setting and concepts were also eye-opening for me as I don't really read much sci-fi books, so I had to re-listen to some parts a few times to understand (and with the help of Google). The audio voice also grew more vibrant down the track. Would love to see this in a quality movie too.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

could not finish it.

one minute we are in the artic on a sub in the middle of no where. Next moment someone is on board, from no where it seems, stealing drugs. The narrative suffers from continuity issues. i found a lot of it jarring and jumbled.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not what I was after

The blurb lead me to believe there was a lot more scifi/cyberpunk than there is. The blurb also touched on an unconventional relationship when it turned there was much more than just a touch. Also a lot of gender politics and sexuality commentary. The book I wanted was not what I was sold.

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  • Katy
  • Theodore, Australia
  • 23-09-2018

dark gritty noir sf

great world building. . painting a grim pictures of future greed. very gripping even though its too dark for my taste i can see why its won awards

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Science constantly changes but search for love constant

Fascinating story of how we connect with others, where we may kindle relationships and find love in a post-human future. Great spoken performance. Really enjoyed this one.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Different.

This story goes to places you likely won’t expect. It actually made me feel kind of awkward and uncomfortable to consider some of the concepts such as slavery, ownership, big pharma, piracy, sexuality and identity. Pretty big stuff to cover in a futuristic sci-fi like this. It’s at its best when the chase is on for a piece of the puzzle or the hunt for a key bit of info, but really lagged when diving into relationships and or politics. I loved the world that has been built around the idea of ‘grown’ technology and the robots are really distinctly different. It’s thought provoking and stands on its own amongst a flooded market of sci-fi but I can’t say yet whether I actually liked it. He narrator was maybe the weakest part, sounding more like the robots she was reading for than the humans most of the time. I would have preferred more inflection, character and energy..it just felt really flat. Still..someone else might appreciate it?
It’s overall a good story and everything but I wouldn’t say it’s been a favourite.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Political Agendas

I feel as though this story could have potential, the fact that it is filled with unnecessary political agendas, that have little to no impact on the story makes if feel like someone just trying to push their views under the guise of a story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • eran liberty
  • 25-12-2018

possible not good match of storyteller

I believe that in this case the storyteller reduced experience compared to reading it myself.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 16-03-2018

Just Plain Awkward

There was so much that I should have liked about this one, a Sci-fi Robin Hood, a dystopian future, gadgets, big corporation bashing, and all kinds of robots. And actually there were all those things and more. Jack, the lead, our Robin Hood and her piratical submariner's existence promised much. The grim forbidding world that Newitz creates has a very cogent air about it and the unfairness of modern day society is cleverly extrapolated along pharmaceutical lines. It buys into a lot of on trend tech like the Internet of Things and the narration by Jennifer Ikeda is consistent without being overly demonstrative.

So, there is a lot to like here but I just couldn't get on with it as a whole story. As I have described there are a lot of threads within this one but the thing that put me off was an awkward weaving of sexuality throughout which just kept jarring into the story. Woman fancies boy, man fancies woman and most combinations. What kind of brought it all down for me was a newly commissioned combat robot trying to come to terms with human sexuality after shall we say a relatively mild encounter with the man it is indentured to. There was nothing hugely offensive or explicit but it just felt awkward and odd to me. That and the fact that I wasn't finding the story as exciting as I hoped meant I called a halt a little over halfway through.

This of course means that the book really didn't suit me, as I said though there are redeeming features so if they sound good to you by all means go for it. I shall certainly be interested to see what other reviewers make of the whole thing. There probably are more open minds than mine better able to wrap themselves around this story.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-06-2019

Transtechology Romantic Adventure

Great ideas.
good plot arc
narration gets better as the novel progresses.
a queer sci go novella
worth reading

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • gruntle
  • 14-01-2019

outstanding vocal performance

The story was great too, but I loved how the narrator brought each character to life.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • paul sparks
  • 13-09-2018

Could have been so much better

At times I really engaged with this book and was excited to see how it developed then the author repeated what they had done previously and tried to contextualise the burgeoning sexual desire of Elias and Paladin, this was extremely jarring and took me out of the story again and again and more importantly unnecessary to the plot, the narration was excellent and I would listen to her again but I doubt I would give this author a second try in the future