With a face made of porcelain, a wind-up heart, and a talent for alchemy, Mattie is hardly a typical science fictional robot. While most novels about robots focus on how these humanoid machines are stronger and smarter than humans, Ekaterina Sedia’s The Alchemy of Stone explores the vulnerability of mechanical beings who depend on humans for repairs and survival.
I love mechanical robots – automatons – and have done ever since reading Tom Standage’s excellent book on the Mechanical Turk. It’s the basis of the story in my magnificent octopus never-quite-finished novel, The Persistence of Vision.
The i09 list is entertaining reading, too – they’ve given the benefit of the doubt to the so-so Pattern Recognition, but Perdido Street Station certainly deserves its mention.