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Dogs of War (Dogs of War #1) por Adrian…
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Dogs of War (Dogs of War #1) (original 2017; edição 2017)

por Adrian Tchaikovsky

Séries: Dogs of War (1)

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1829115,240 (4.06)6
Rex is a genetically engineered Bioform, a deadly weapon in a dirty war. He has the intelligence to carry out his orders and feedback implants to reward him when he does. All he wants to be is a Good Dog. And to do that he must do exactly what Master says and Master says he's got to kill a lot of enemies. But who, exactly, are the enemies? What happens when Master is tried as a war criminal? What rights does the Geneva Convention grant weapons? Do Rex and his fellow Bioforms even have a right to exist? And what happens when Rex slips his leash?… (mais)
Membro:Tracyalanb
Título:Dogs of War (Dogs of War #1)
Autores:Adrian Tchaikovsky
Informação:Head of Zeus, Kindle Edition, 262 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:to-read

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Dogs of War por Adrian Tchaikovsky (2017)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Read this because it was free as part of the Amazon Prime Reading thingy. I doubt I would have picked it up otherwise.

To start with I felt like it was just a meh novelisation of the We3 graphic novel. But it was much more. Engaging, thoughtful and emotional. I really enjoyed it.
( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
A clever conceit by one of the leading figures in British science fiction. This dealt with artificial intelligence being inseminated into bio forms. It was action packed and filled with cyberpunk like references. The philosophical nature of this and the development of the narrator from a mere passive, direction this dog to something much more Was very moving. ( )
  aadyer | Dec 1, 2020 |
The three books by Adrian Tchaikowsky that I read so far showed me his uncanny ability to take creatures from the animal realm and turn them into full-fledged protagonists of his stories, not so much by anthropomorphizing them but rather by enhancing and strengthening their peculiar characteristics. That’s what he does with Dogs of War, breathing life into some amazing creatures and putting them at the center of the novel through thought-provoking narrative, but he also builds a very emotional story that at times brought me close to tears - not a condition I experience often.

In the near future humanity has found a new way to wage wars, using genetic engineering to create constructs that are an amalgam of human and modified animal DNA: these super-soldiers, or bioforms, possess a modicum of sentience but are heavily conditioned to seek the approval of their “Master”, which can be gained through blind obedience to any given order. Rex, a 7-foot tall canine bioform, is the leader of a Multiform Assault Team, and his companions are Honey (a huge bear analog), Dragon (an equally huge reptilian) and Bees (a hive mind distributed among a swarm of bee-like creatures). We get to know them, and their frighteningly impressive abilities, in the course of an assault against their preordained target: the team is being deployed in the south of Mexico, where an insurgence is being quashed with ruthless efficiency, and since we see the action through Rex’s eyes we cannot be sure who the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys are - all we know is that the four of them must obliterate the enemy, as defined by Master’s orders.

The augmentations that have turned Rex and his companions into such terribly efficient killing machines make them an impressive, nightmarish sight, made even more chilling by the detached observations of the carnage relayed by Rex, and by the constant feedback he receives through his implants that keeps assuring him he is being a good dog - a corroboration he needs to confirm he is acting correctly. Yes, because Rex does not possess an independent will, nor does he want it: all he wants is to have orders to follow so he cannot make mistakes and become a “bad dog”. That’s why, when the group of bioforms loses the connection to Master, Rex finds himself forced to make choices and to look at the world through his own eyes: the conflict between the conditioning and this new unfiltered evidence is cause for enormous stress, underlined by a constant, very canine whining, but at the same time represents the first step toward the kind of evolution his creators had not foreseen.

Once Rex is forced to make his own decisions, to determine who his enemies and friends are, he starts a journey of transformation that strongly reminded me of the characters in Flowers for Algernon, with the huge difference that while Algernon’s curve went downward after a while, Rex’s keeps improving adding shades and facets to a character that is far more human than his creators and handlers intended. Rex’s fascinating story of self-awareness runs together with the equally engaging discussion about the moral standards for the creation of artificial intelligence and the rights of lab-created individuals: the courtroom proceeding that must establish responsibility for the bioforms’ actions in the various conflicts all over the world open the door to the question of these creatures’ status, and of their rights. Are they property? Are they nothing more than a guided missile or a drone? Or did the humans who gifted them with intelligence also give them the means for self-determination? If you are familiar with ST:TNG’s episode The Measure of a Man, you will find here the same kind of questions laid on the table.

Seeing Rex struggle with his nature and conflicting impulses first, as he’s put on trial together with his Master, and then as he suffers some kind of limited, fearful acceptance by humans, means to see his inherent humanity - for want of a better word, because humankind at large does not fare so well here. At the beginning of the novel, despite the actions he is trained to perform, he is basically a guileless creature and it’s wonderful to see how he slowly gains consciousness of himself and his brethren, finally accepting the role of leader and example - not out of superior physical strength or because someone told him so, but through the acknowledgment of his nature and of the role he can perform in society.

A while ago I reviewed a story concerning the plight of augmented soldiers returning to civilian life and needing to fit into a society that is basically afraid of them and what they can do: Rex and the other bioforms face the same kind of dilemma here - they were created as weapons to be wielded and now their former managers keep them out of sight to try and forget their existence, and the primal fear it engenders.

It is when we talk, rather than shout and bark and snarl, that the humans fear us most. I do not understand that. To talk is human: why are we more frightening when we are human than when we are dog?

Rex’s journey finally brings him to the understanding that he does not need human acceptance to realize his potential, that he can be his own person and that the only validation he needs is his own:

I was born an animal, they made me into a soldier and treated me like a thing. […] Servant and slave, leader and follower, I tell myself I have been a Good Dog. Nobody else can decide that for me.

This is an intensely poignant story that left a deep mark on my consciousness and imagination, one whose characters - particularly Rex - will stay with me for a long time. So far the very best Adrian Tchaikowsky novel I read. ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Nov 13, 2020 |
What at first appeared to be a straight tale of totally augmented dogs and other animals refitted with all the glorious technology of war, designed to be true monsters completely obedient to their masters, eventually became a tale of ethics and morality couched in legal-drama, societal commentary, and complicated decisions.

I'm quite impressed. This isn't just a war-dog story taken literally. It's a full-blown discussion on what makes humanity, transhumanism rights, and the pitfalls of certain kinds of tech, focusing more or less on those that remove free-will, but it's not always about the tech.

What are any of us? Truly? We hide behind entities and justifications just as damning as the operant conditioning so tightly discussed in this novel.

Good boy, Rex, you're a good dog. lol yeah, indeed.

It's similar to Tchaikovsky's other novels in that he's got a big thing going on about personified animals or a wide variation on the theme, but like his other SF novel, Children of Time, I really like his SF much better than his fantasy. :) There's a lot more depth that I can sink my teeth into, IMHO. It's not as epic as CoT, either, but it's certainly a very interesting ride.

Don't go into it expecting the same thing it starts out with. The novel changes with the MC... or I should say the MCs. Damn, I love Honey. It's worth reading just for her.

( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
"Dogs Of War" is an engaging, original, intriguing and accessible Science Fiction.

I'm a sucker for anything to do with dogs so how could I resist something that starts:
"My name is Rex. I am a good dog."?
Ok, Rex is a partly dog-based bioform, engineered to carry out the kinds of acts of war that humans, even most bad humans, would flinch at, but that's not his fault. He was made that way. The question is, will he stay that way?

"Dogs Of War" was my first Adrian Tchaikovsky book. I knew he'd won the Arthur C Clarke Award for his "Children Of Time", which is in my mountainous TBR pile. Even so, I was surprised at just how good he is.

In this book, he delivers speculative fiction at its best. He handles complex ideas in interesting ways that are plausible without being predictable. He creates characters that I care about and who ground the big ideas in the personal and the immediate. He has a plot that unfolds in a way that is both seamless and exciting. And, of course, he has a character that's at least half dog right at the centre of the action.

One of the big ideas being explored here is the evolution of intelligence. In one, action-packed novel, Tchaikovsky manages to tackle the emergence of an AI singularity, the impact of implants and bio-engineered enhancements on humans, dogs, bears, bees, lizards and dolphins. He deals with hive-minds, genius minds, immortal minds, evil minds and implant-enforced compulsion.

Through the lens offered by these differently intelligent characters, he explores the use of violence as an extension of politics, the need/ability to make moral choices rather than follow orders and the willingness of the powerful to strip personhood from anyone or anything when it suits their purpose.

What I liked most about the book is that it is centred on Rex's journey from being used as a weapon by a war criminal who controls him via implants that reinforce his need to be a Good Dog to being a leader who has to decide whether or not he is a Good Dog. I particularly liked that Rex never becomes just a human in a dog suit or an anthropomorphized Old Yeller. He is a bioform who grows to understand his abilities, limitations and needs and tries to behave honourably. He builds friendships with Honey the genius and monstrous bear, he leads a pack, he defends those he believes should be defended and he struggles constantly not to give in to his desire for a Master.

I admired Tchaikovsky's skill in being able to tell the story from multiple first-person points of view. He uses this to develop different perspectives on events, to engage me with multiple characters, and to add to the tension in the way the story is revealed. This structure lends itself well to an audiobook format with different narrators for different points of view. In the version I listened to, this worked very well and greatly improved my enjoyment of the book. The narrators were Nathan Osgood, Laurence Bouvard, William Hope

I'm now an Adrian Tchaikovsky fan. Thankfully, he's quite prolific. I'll be reaching for his "Children Of Time" novel next. ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
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My name is Rex. I am a Good Dog.
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We are here because we are dangerous. I do not understand: they made us to be dangerous. I do not see how they can be surprised when we were.
I was a Bad Dog because I chose to be a Good Dog in a way Master did not want.
“The message of the Prophet was to both men and Jinn – creatures not human but capable of knowing God.”...“So if Jinn, then why not Rex? That he was made by man rather than God, does that mean he’s nothing?”
Humans cover themselves with so many different scents, harsh and artificial in my nose, but what they smell of most is fear.
We like to work. Work gives us a Master, even for a little while, even if we must go back to the Pound. Work gives us money, too. I know we do not get much money for what we do. We are stronger than humans, faster and with keener senses. We get paid less for doing more. But that is all right. For now.
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Rex is a genetically engineered Bioform, a deadly weapon in a dirty war. He has the intelligence to carry out his orders and feedback implants to reward him when he does. All he wants to be is a Good Dog. And to do that he must do exactly what Master says and Master says he's got to kill a lot of enemies. But who, exactly, are the enemies? What happens when Master is tried as a war criminal? What rights does the Geneva Convention grant weapons? Do Rex and his fellow Bioforms even have a right to exist? And what happens when Rex slips his leash?

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