Trailer: CHAPPIE

CHAPPIE, the new movie from Neill Blomkamp, director of District 9, Elysium and (as I recently learned) 3D animator for Stargate SG-1 and Smallville. Here’s the synopsis…

Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings – some good, some bad – and he will rely on his heart and soul to find his way in the world and become his own man. But there’s one thing that makes Chappie different from anyone else: he is a robot. The first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. His life, his story, will change the way the world looks at robots and humans forever.

This looks marvellous.


Guest Post: “How Do You make Non-Humans Seem Human?” by Madeline Ashby

AshbyM-AuthorPicMadeline Ashby is the author of the critically-acclaimed vN and iD science fiction novels, the first two books in the Machine Dynasty series (published by Angry Robot Books). Her protagonist is a “von Neumann machine, a self-replicating humanoid robot”. This made me wonder how one goes about making a non-human character relatable and sympathetic? When I was told Madeline was available for guest posts, I jumped at the chance to ask her about this. So, without further ado…


How Do You Make Non-Humans Seem Human?

by Madeline Ashby

How do you make non-humans seem human? Well, with self-replicating humanoids designed to love and serve humans, it’s not that difficult. At least, it’s not for me. In vN and iD, the robots love humans enough to spend significant amounts of time with them. They have long-term relationships, both at home and at work. The longer they live, the better they learn to “pass,” as human, or at least to behave in the most human way possible.

But that’s not the real issue. The real issue is making them read as human – making them leap off the page in the way that three-dimensional human characters do in other books. I try to do that in a few different ways. Continue reading