Wednesday 6 March 2024

BARREN COVE by Ariel S. Winter

Barren CoveBarren Cove by Ariel S. Winter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I remember picking this up during one of our many thrift store adventures several years ago because it sounded very interesting. I mean, it's about robots and I LOVE robot stories. Always have.

Mr. Sapien is an old robot who wants to get away from the city for a while. He wants to figure things out, repair himself. So, he rents a cabana at Barren Cove, and instead of finding peace, he gets wrapped up in the bizarre lives of the Asimov 3000 family...

Wow. I REALLY enjoyed this story! A lot.

It's hard to believe but, at its core, this is a gothic tale. Everything about this family, location, weather, and circumstances is the epitome of this genre. But instead of people, it's robots who are living their isolated, messed-up lives inside a Victorian mansion full of secrets that sits on a cliff and overlooks the ocean.

And what a twisted bunch they are.

There's even a story within a story, in true Wuthering Heights fashion. As well as unethical Frankenstein-esque creations. Even a little of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? And it all comes together beautifully.

One of my favourite things about this book is how all the characters are introduced as if we're supposed to already know them, and their individual stories all start to take shape as Dean, the house computer fills in the blanks for Sapien. Only for him to find out that things aren't as they seem and he might not discover what he wants to know from Mr. Beachstone.

Ah, Beachstone. The only human who grows from child to man in a home of robots. Asimov 3000 was obsessed with humans. His daughter Mary is kind but is suffering damsel syndrome. His son Kent is cruel and angry, curious. Then there's Clarke, a bit of a psycho with a small amount of empathy. And Philip. Poor sweet and innocent Phil. I can't forget about Sapien. The mysterious narrator who is damaged and lost, searching for something even though he's not sure what it is.

Yeah, this is a fantastic piece of SF fiction that puts robots in the shoes usually worn by humans. This family is full of drama, tragedy, and the familiar existential crisis of creation.

Loved it!

No comments:

Favorites More