Read Bless Your Mechanical Heart by Jennifer Brozek Seanan McGuire Fiona Patton Lucy A. Snyder M. Todd Gallowglas Ken Scholes Jody Lynn Nye Peter Clines Online


"Bless your mechanical heart..." Since its earliest days, science fiction has explored the notion of a walking, talking, thinking machine, reflecting back our own humanity through their glass eyes, exploring their own humanity framed in the symmetry of programming and gears, trapped in a cage of synthetic flesh and metal bone. What happens when what we’ve made in our own i"Bless your mechanical heart..." Since its earliest days, science fiction has explored the notion of a walking, talking, thinking machine, reflecting back our own humanity through their glass eyes, exploring their own humanity framed in the symmetry of programming and gears, trapped in a cage of synthetic flesh and metal bone. What happens when what we’ve made in our own image becomes more like us than we ever imagined? Robots in love. Robots at war. Robots who weep and dream. Robots who aspire to be on equal footing with their makers…or even possibly exceed us. In Bless Your Mechanical Heart, Award-winning editor Jennifer Brozek brings together a team of writers, both new and established, to explore one of the most enduring archetypes in the science fiction genre with a tip of the hat to one of the most endearing and versatile phrases in Southern culture. Featuring stories by Peter Clines, Jody Lynn Nye, Seanan McGuire, Fiona Patton, Jean Rabe, Ken Scholes, and Lucy A. Snyder....

Title : Bless Your Mechanical Heart
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 22057103
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 266 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Bless Your Mechanical Heart Reviews

  • Alaina Ewing
    2018-12-12 22:09

    What makes us human? Is it our observation of the world around us? Our "programming"? In this collection of seventeen stories by some of the hottest writers in popular science fiction, the concepts of humanity and the lines between us and androids are explored with an endearing twist that makes you want to say, "Bless Your Mechanical Heart". Seanan McGuire kicks in your teeth with, "The Lambs", where one must always be sacrificed. Mark Andrew Edwards's debut, "The Body as a Ship", makes you wonder when are we no longer human? Ken Scholes's guides us through a post-apocalyptic universe in which a metal man changes the world with, "Of Metal Men and Scarlet Thread and Dancing with the Sunrise", the story that sparked his series, The Psalms of Isaak. Peter Clines's story, "The Apocrypha of Gamma-202", ends the collection with a twist on the homage to classic 1950's science fiction. This is a blockbuster anthology and I highly recommend it to anyone who is searching for a different take on a nostalgic concept, and to those who have questioned what “bless your heart” truly means.My review is based on the ARC I received of this anthology.

  • Morgan Dhu
    2018-11-30 04:29

    "Bless Your Mechanical Heart," edited by Jennifer Brozek, is structured around a rather interesting theme. As Brozek notes in her Introduction, it's the idea of...the poignant, sympathetic robot/cyborg that just doesn’t get it… or does get it and can’t do anything about it. That’s what makes some of these stories a kick in the teeth or encourages the reader to sigh with a knowing smile. We all recognize the humanity in the protagonists, even if they don’t recognize it themselves.And the stories are for the most part very good, and all of them rung thoughtful changes on the theme. One thing I found interesting about many of them - particularly in light of the reference Brozak makes to the 'humanity' of the cybernetic protagonists - was that the authors had so fully and gendered these mechanical men - and women - that I found it somehow wrong not to use gendered pronouns in discussing them. In Seanan McGuire's "The Lamb," highly realistic androids are placed in classrooms as a deterrent to bullying; programmed both to be targets - so that they, and not vulnerable human children and youths are bullied, assaulted, and tormented - and witnesses who speak out on graduation day concerning the abuse each one has experienced at the hands of their classmates.Fiona Patton's "The King's Own" tells the story of an android soldier, a member of the special guard of a king in exile, whose special programming allows him to learn emotion and self-awareness, and the human soldier who tells him a lifetime of stories - starting with The Velveteen Rabbit - that show him how.Mira lives in a world where drone bombs take out random targets at regular intervals. Three years ago, the target was her girlfriend Amy. Mira still grieves for her miscarried child, while her husband Jeff buries himself so deep in his work it's as if he wasn't there. Mira has an android housekeeper named Rachel, who once belonged to Amy, who has been programmed by Jeff to be Mira's substitute lover, and who wants to make Mira happy - but what Mira wants is a child to raise. "The Strange Architecture of the Heart," by Lucy A. Snyder, is funny and sad by turns, and ends with an unexpected answer to Mira's longing.Jean Rabe's "Thirty-two Twenty-three" looks at what happens when a malfunctioning robot programmed to be a judicial assistant is reprogrammed with everything necessary to serve the religious needs of a diverse group of parishioners on a mining colony.A batman - or batwoman - is a personal servant assigned to a commissioned officer. In "Just Another Day in the Butterfly War" by M. Todd Gallowglas, a cybernetic batwoman watches over two agents whose role in a temporal war is to keep the enemy from changing the timeline - and changing it back if they succeed.In "Ever You" by Mae Empson, soldiers killed in battle - and of course, there is a long and bloody war as the background to the story - are brought back to fight again, and again, and again, cloned brains in synthetic bodies. To properly integrate their memories before going back to the front, these "Re-issues" spend a week with someone from their life before going off to fight and die - but at what emotional cost to the spouse, sibling, parent, friend who sends them off - again, and again, and again?In Sarah Hans' "Rest in Peace," a lonely robot faces centuries alone after the human she has cared for and served through twelve regenerations dies.A robot, well-maintained, can remain functional for a very long time - and in Dylan Birtolo's "Seeds of Devotion" we meet a robot programmed to do one special thing long after its owner is gone."The Imperial Companion" by Lillian Cohen-Moore presents us with a synthetic being designed as the friend and companion of a royal prince, who is reawakened centuries after the violent death of his charge.Christopher Kellan's "In So Many Words" is a love story, its protagonist a robotic Cyrano de Bergerac who must woo his beloved for another - the human who is his master.In "Do Robotic Cats Purr in Outer Space?" by Kerrie Hughes, a robotic therapist with the body of a cat and the preserved memories and personality of a human negotiates a subversive deal with one of her clients to secure a future for both of them.Jason Sanford's "We Eat the Hearts that Come for You" is a tragic tale of a cyborg lover programmed to do the unthinkable - and suffer for it - again and again. "AIDEd" by Minerva Zimmerman is a chilling tale of escalation of hostilities - set in a futuristic schoolground where students are assigned androids to protect then from any and all dangers.Mark Andrew Edwards' "The Body as a Ship" follows an aging man through the process of replacing his failing organs one by one.In the evocatively titled "Of Metal Men and Scarlet Thread and Dancing with the Sunrise" by Ken Scholes, a mechanical servitor, programmed with the knowledge to destroy a city, becomes a dangerous weapon. In Jody Lynn Nye's "Lost Connection," a woman who has remained too dependent on her childhood robotic companion finds finds someone who will need her old friend far more than she ever did.Peter Clines' "The Apocrypha of Gamma-202" broaches the question of how a society of robots might view the ancient memory of a creator, Man.As promised, these tales have a particular poignancy to them, a humanity that is all the more potent because its subjects are so like us - and yet so unlike us. An enjoyable and satisfying collection. *Lately, I've been thinking a lot about gender balance in anthologies. In this and all future anthologies I comment on, I'll be making notes on this issue. This anthology contains 17 stories, 10 of which are identifiable as being written by women.

  • Trish
    2018-12-08 02:59

    I do enjoy the occasional collection of short stories - especially ones that are linked by a common theme. My favourites in this set were Do Robotic Cats Purr In Space? by Kerrie Hughes (LullCats - the psychologists of the future) and Thirty-Two, Twenty-Three by Jean Rabe (a varient on a murder mystery), but the majority of the others were excellent as well.

  • Patrick F. Murphy
    2018-12-12 00:26

    I picked this up at Origins Game Fair 2014. So glad I did! This is one of the best science fiction anthologies I've come across. Every story was a surprising twist on the theme of the title.

  • Monique Snyman
    2018-11-22 21:01

    Bless Your Mechanical Heart is a science fiction anthology, published by Evil Girlfriend Media, that revolves around numerous different sub-genres and themes dealing with AI, robotics, IT, et cetera. The underlining themes are superbly crafted into the stories, but more than that, the writing and editing is absolutely first class! Jennifer Brozek undid herself in compiling this anthology together. The stories flow well into one another, without taking away any of the authors' individual voices and ideas, and everything is packaged prettily in this beautiful book that's worth owning.What I particularly enjoyed about Bless Your Mechanical Heart is its relevancy to modern, everyday lives. Obviously, human beings' thought processes are evolving, and the way we process emotions are no longer as straightforward as feeling one way or another. Social networking, technological advances in almost all fields, engineering marvels that would have been too unbelievable a decade ago ... all of these things are happening today and they are changing the way we think, we feel, and the way we do things. Bless Your Mechanical Heart takes this evolutionary process of mankind into account without making it too noticeable and gives the reader something to think about for long after.If you like science-fiction, you're going to love this book. Bless Your Mechanical Heart is beautiful and thought-provoking. It's one of those gems that you only come across once in a while, and it's also one of those few anthologies that you'll re-read on occasion.Review originally posted at:

  • Mark
    2018-12-16 00:12

    I'm a big fan of stories about or involving robots. The stories in anthology cover the topics of AI, cyborgs, politics, programming, and just when it means to have feelings and where those feelings are derived. At first I was hesitant because it's a small publishing concern. But then I remember that I'm a small publishing concern and my book is pretty good. It was hard for me not to chew through the book as my expectations for the it was surpassed. Now, I'm on a small quest to get each of the authors to sign their story. Three down, fifteen more to go.

  • James
    2018-11-27 01:09

    Overall, this collection of stories about robots is very good. The tale that stood out the most to me was "We Eat The Hearts That Come For You," by Jason Sanford, a compelling story about love, loss, obsession, and perception. (I actually said "wow" out loud as I read the final paragraphs, and immediately re-read it two more times). There were a couple of stories that felt like filler, but only one that really seemed subpar, which I think is pretty good for a genre anthology like this. If you like short stories about robots, this is a good book for you.

  • Lauren
    2018-12-13 23:05

    Typically I read an anthology with the hope that I will enjoy at least 50% of the selection and will only hate/skip less than 25%. Robots aren't my thing so I set my expectations low and jumped in mostly because Seanan McGuire is my goddess. Thanks goodness I did. In this huge and varied collection there was one story that I considered less than amazing, and it was still good. It lacked only due to it's amazing company.If you want a great collection to keep you entertained this is it! Whether or not you are into sci-fi and robots, the amazing writing will suck you in.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-11-29 23:21

    I love robots, so this anthology really spoke to me. I purchased this book at the Evil Girlfriend Media’s launch party for Bless your Mechanical Heart at Norwescon (and had it signed by a few of the authors) I enjoyed it throughly. Many stories asked the question what is love, what are emotions and how are they processed. Some looked at the future of humanity and its creations. I can’t recommend this anthology enough.

  • Kallen Kentner
    2018-11-29 02:04

    This is an amazingly high-quality, yet diverse, collection of science fiction short stories, ranging from poignant to tragic, thought-provoking to joyous. THis proves that short story writing is an art form, and science fiction can reveal truths about humanity.Read the full review on GeekyLibrary.

  • Michael Hanscom
    2018-12-12 21:27

    Picked this one up on a whim at the book release party at Norwescon (and got it autographed by editor Jennifer Brozek and contributor M. Todd Gallowglass). Very pleasantly impressed by it - I read a lot of anthologies, and this had an uncommonly strong collection of stories, without even one that I didn't enjoy. Glad I stopped by the party and decided to give this one a shot.

  • Nancie
    2018-11-17 00:18

    Awesome storytelling!I loved this collection. All of these short stories are well written and just grab you and drag you into the author's world. The Lambs, Just Another Day in the Butterfly War, and The Apocrypha of Gamma-202 were my favorites but I enjoyed them all!

  • Peter
    2018-11-21 05:16

    This book is one of those themed anthologies of short stories. In this case, the theme is robots/AI/cyborgs, and more specifically, the application of the phrase "Bless Your Heart"/"Bless His/Her Heart" to them, implying that perhaps they're a little naive or don't quite get it... but there's a lot of variation within, in some cases the robot's not naive, but the humans are by thinking it is, for example, in other the robot's got some wonky programming or incomplete emotions, and in others it just lacks some important piece of knowledge but reasons as well as any of us. There are robots in love, robot murderers, robot guardians, robots all alone, and even a few who are arguably not even robots. It's a good mix, if you like AI themes.Of course, these collections are always hard to give a review to, because some stories will connect with me, some won't, and likely the same will be true of you, but they won't be the same ones. All in all, it's a decent mix, I enjoyed it, no outright stinkers, but not many that blew me away, either. I will say sometimes the knowledge of the theme may have been detrimental to the enjoyment of some of the stories... for example, if it's a mystery story and there's only one robot, it's not a big leap to assume they're a key part of it, whereas in a book of more assorted science fiction stories, the robot could just be a part of the worldbuilding background. In most cases, though, this really isn't an issue.My favorites were "The Lambs," by Seanan McGuire (which tells of robotic children meant to record and discourage bullying in school), and "Just Another Day in the Butterfly War," by M. Todd Gallowglas (which involves a cyborg servant to a commander in a war involving constant alterations to history). I actually received this book for free as part of the Hugo voters packet (the editor was up for an award and this was provided as a sample of her work). I don't think it affected my review, but I'm glad I got it because I likely wouldn't have encountered it otherwise, although I do think it's worth buying if you like SF short stories and the theme appeals to you.

  • Sarah
    2018-12-08 01:28

    When we think of robots, we think about cold machines that follow programming but don't have what we call emotions. Sure, with an algorithm, they could show a response to actions, but they don't feel anything right?Bless Your Mechanical Heart asks what if we are wrong? What if machines can feel, what if they love, feel devotion or are just as conflicted about their world as we are? What happens then?Seanan McGuire starts off this anthology by introducing us "The Lamb" program where programmed machines record and store behaviors of fellow classmates."In So Many Words" by Christopher Kellen a programming flaw allows a robot to be more than just the personal organizer for his mistress. It allows him to fall in love.Each story offers the reader a glimpse not only into the future but into what makes us human. For the authors of this anthology, humanity isn't because we are flesh and blood, it's the actions and decisions we make that makes us human.Editor Jennifer Brozek did a great job in selecting stories that provoke feelings not just for the human characters but for the machines as well.

  • Bill
    2018-12-01 04:12

    A nice collection of stories that twist and turn around the 'mechanical being' theme.

  • David M Johnson
    2018-12-08 03:11

    As the news fills with AI speculation, some great stories...All well written. Long enough to engage the imagination. Short enough to keep my rapt attention. Well played. Definite recommend as we pass another mile marker towards the great AI take over.

  • Amber
    2018-11-30 04:59

    Enjoyed these stories--not a dud among them.

  • Tammy
    2018-11-23 01:19

    "Lambs" by Seanan McGuire is fantastic. Kids need someone to bully.

  • Jen
    2018-11-18 04:26

    As with all anthologies, there were some stories that I loved and some that were kind of m'eh. Overall, a pretty good collection.

  • Laura Upton
    2018-12-06 21:13

    Having a bit of a problem getting my hands on this one. I haven't yet resigned myself to ordering it online and receiving it at home, I may have to do so.