Reviews for Artie
Luan Mao chapter 1 . 7/8/2019
Very good story. I've read the whole thing and am leaving a non-spoiler review on Chapter 1 for the benefit of tentative readers.

As greatcactus says right up top, it's hard science fiction. Well-written hard sci-fi, which is rare on the ground. I'm an engineer and programmer and have done artificial intelligence research and, while I'm not expert in most of the areas discussed here, I at least have a well-tuned BS meter. The needle may have twitched a time or two but at no point did it even think about pegging.

Sci-fi aspects aside, this story stands on its own merits as a story. I'd say it's better than a lot of the fiction published by the big houses but let's face it, that's damning with faint praise. Let's just say that the plot is well-thought-out with no gaping plot holes and few or no internal inconsistencies which can't be attributed to unreliable narrators. Many of the characters feel a bit off, but that's actually a strong point rather than shortcoming. I sha'n't say why for fear of spoilers. Spelling and grammar and punctuation and avoidance of not-the-word-you-wanted are all excellent; kudos to the editor or to greatcactus himself.

_Artie_ stands alone as a novel. An author's note at the end says a sequel will be coming one of these years, but don't let that dissuade you. This one ends on a decisive note, unlike the large minority of modern books which are simply the entry point to a series.

Evonix chapter 22 . 11/17/2017
I cannot say it lived up to my exspectations, it was well written but it lacked depth and the plot twists were simultaneously obvious and unbelievable, I feel very little thought or research was put into it, it seems more like low fantasy than sci-fi. I suppose it was nice besides that, just not a story to look deeply into because you won't find much there.
Guest chapter 6 . 11/16/2017
The direction this is going in is... Worrying, it reminds me a bit of what I've read about atlas shrugged.
Evonix chapter 1 . 11/15/2017
I find your estimates of nanobot replication utterly absurd, even in worst case scenarios it is daft, to cover the world in 3 days it would need to spread at an average of 277 km/h, even with wind or people actively spreading it it's silly. Next the rate of replication seems far too fast, if it replicates once per hour that miiiight be able to cover the earth in 3 days if you had a system to feed and spread it ideally, for perspective algae replicates once a day under optimal conditions and it has evolved over billions of years and purely for the purpose of replication while goo will be for universal construction, although there's bacteria that can replicate an order of magnitude faster it makes a good baseline, it could evolve to be replication optimal but that would take a while(how long? Dunno). Next there's the problem of logistics, or rather it's lack, the problems of moving mass and energy around means that the goo's replication will slow down the more it spreads. Infact if you don't program in automatic scaling logistical systems or in the very likely event that "cancerous" bots loose organisational ability it will only be able to replicate on the edges and thus not be exponential but still dangerous. Finally you do not seem to know what a failsafe is, a triply redundant shutdown circuit is not failsafe, it is a safety but not a failsafe, infact it is a faildangerous, making it's powersource limited in that way is one but not much of one. A failsafe is something that turns safe when it fails, for example making it's basic chemistry water soluble, or freeze under 200 degrees, or break down in a gravity greater than 1/100G(for satalites and astoroid mining), or make it's powersource something limited like an immensely powerfull and preferably delicate wireless power transmitter and have it fundimentaly incapable of receving power any other way or make it out of something hypergolic with air or make it edible for bacteria or and this is something that would probably happen anyway to a degree just make it unable to cope with anything at all outside of a meticulously controlled labritory setting, preferably use a bunch of these. Of course this does not make it safe, for a start someone could use them to make their own doom goo for shits and giggles, I don't think that would be dangerous in that dramatic way either but there are other ways to make it dangerous, like something that degrades silicon circuitry or emits nerve gas or something strange and subtle that I cannot think of. But remember, if the apocalypse comes it's unlikely to be dramatic or interesting or even mercyfuly quick.
Reader chapter 22 . 4/16/2015
Thanks for the story!
skycomv2 chapter 21 . 4/10/2015
Hmm, kind of back sliding here Vic, going back to being jealous of Cicero. I will mention that Cicero publically taking power seems far more accountable than Arthurs shadow government, in practice if not name, for the past 2 decades.

Also as a side note even if uploading and transhumanism is dangerous, why can’t they make an anti-aging pill and give it out to everyone. Seems like an easy and safe way to stop those 300 thousand from dying every day. The old canards about Malthus resource limitations don’t really work in a setting of cheap fusion power and “robust” spacecraft, since it seems that space is largely unpopulated.

I am glad to hear that you are making a sequel to this, I had thought that this was going to be a one off.

Yeah D and D are pretty good and had several chapters devoted to them, and was probably the strongest relationship besides Taylor/Bitch or Taylor/Lisa. And I was about to make a point about how Wildblow hates happiness and loves inflicting suffering on his characters so of course he doesn’t show many positive relationships, when I realized that Taylor’s relationship with previously mentioned characters turned out very well.

I half seriously wonder if there is some kind of conspiracy to undermine stronger heroines by making sure that they lack the support group that the men have.
greatcactus chapter 20 . 4/9/2015
RE robots: good catch. I have modified ch17 to discuss this. Credit to my daughter for pointing out that the AI could hack into them and commandeer them.
RE omakes: maybe. I am busy with the sequel right now. Readers are very welcome to do so.
RE strong women with a not-stronger partner subgenre: maybe modern urban fantasy (although long term positive relationships tend to be rarely featured in fiction as they are low in drama). Dragon and Defiant spring to mind in "Worm" by Wildbow, but their relationship is a very small part of the story. It certainly has no shortage of strong female characters but most don't have positive relationships.
skycomv2 chapter 20 . 4/6/2015
Wow this is a great story. I have been following since I saw it on the rationalist reddit, though it took a bit to get going.

I realize that the story is ending and want to put in a request for some extra scenes. Namely I want to see Eloise and Cicero acting like a couple. I am honestly curious about how this relationship works out, and we are told a bit about it second hand but Victor seems to have no first hand observations. Which is odd given we have those two interacting with everyone else, except each other.

Two I would also like to see an Arthur omake back when they were being parents to Cassandra and Cicero, preferably around the time Cassandra beat Cicero the first time. Arthur is arguably one of the more alien characters but they don’t get any attention compared to Eloise.

I am very glad to find this as a happy example of weaker male in a good relationship with stronger female. It’s funny in a society that likes to claim it supports strong women, in its stories it is either pairing them up with stronger men (superman and wonder women) or with women (legend of korra). If you know the name of this sub genre please tell me, looking up male romance gets me nothing but yaoi.

I do have a question on your world building, where are the human sized robots? Considering how important the nano sized ones were to the plot, I kept asking myself every time Vic and Cass have to force themselves into dangerous situations why couldn’t they have sent a bot instead.
greatcactus chapter 17 . 3/19/2015
SirReality: Thanks for the typos. I have fixed them.

AwsmAdm: Excellent question. The rest of the family have considered them, and are generally not shocked. Victor is a flawed character who misses many obvious things (see ch4, discussion with Edmund, paragraph starting "Seeing me stiffen"). Roger's statements particularly affect him, as Victor respects Roger and viscerally believes all the following:
1) Roger is smart and competent
2) Roger has thought about this carefully
3) Roger is motivated by idealism
4) Roger is sincere.
5) Victor himself has been wrong many times about things he was sure about.
Given these, it behooves Victor to consider that he may be wrong and Roger right.

begin rantThe personality type that makes a good engineer is not necessarily the personality type that foresees the long term consequences of new development. This is a serious problem for AI. I don't claim to have the solution. A general theme of the book is that *everyone* is wrong on occasion (except maybe Jason). Some are more wrong than others...end rant
AwsmAdm chapter 17 . 3/17/2015
Great chapter. One problem I have though is that whenever Roger says something, Victor seems totally shaken and surprised. Are Roger's points really not something that he would have considered on his own? If not, then are they really things that would have escaped the entire family's notice?
SirReality chapter 16 . 3/11/2015

Really enjoying the story, can't wait to read more.
SirReality chapter 13 . 3/11/2015
he was good at in - it
SirReality chapter 10 . 3/11/2015
constructive," said Eloise. - Eloise. " (Needs a quote to start the next section).
SirReality chapter 9 . 3/11/2015
Enjoying the work, and the subtle ways in which my earlier prediction was off. Perhaps a bit strong on the over statements of being in love with Cas, but the infodump was well delivered.

Minor type: focusSed - focused, and stated - stared penetratingly
SirReality chapter 3 . 3/10/2015
You said to say what we thought, when we thought it, so here goes:

So it seems pretty strongly suggested to me that Cassandra is some sort of AI embedded in the Domain, with sibling programs running under different auspices or archetypal priorities. She's a military and systems analyst - though whether or not people believe her not is another story. She beat her brother, Cicero, the anarchist fighter, once when they were kids. Cicero is married to a human-analyzer (aka psychologist) and have successfully produced a new program which visually models people.

From this, it seems as if the Domain is incredibly useful for these and other analytic engines that exist to gather data about human biology, psychology, and behavior to make themselves more lifelike.
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