🏆 2023 BIBA® Science Fiction Winner!
Humanity is on the cusp of extinction. Deteriorating populations threaten the planetary economy and risk the collapse of humanity itself. In desperation, human-like machines are built to serve where man no longer can.
These are the Automata.
Five thousand years later, humankind no longer walks the Earth, but has ascended beyond biology to float above Earth in a hemisphere-spanning supercomputer. When an anomaly arises on Earth that not even a post-biological civilization can comprehend, XR-345x—a long-deactivated top-of-the-line automaton—is awoken in a derelict facility deep within the overgrown jungles of Africa.
With help from Hank—a mysterious holographic A.I.— XR must learn of the advent of the automata and the resulting civil unrest, to a war that destroyed humanity’s trust in their would-be saviors, to racial disparities that divided the globe, to love eventually building a bridge that ultimately saved the human race.
At the same time, a violent automaton faction threatens XR, the anomaly, and what they represent for the future of Earth. Time is one thing the automaton does not have.
Ian Young is an American writer who has lived in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, for most of his life. When not writing, you’ll find him serving drinks at the local coffeeshop, playing board games with his kids, or working in his garage woodshop.