Tag Archives: Brobots

23Feb/18

Trevor Barton

February 23, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Trevor Barton as the guest on Episode 152: Not All Of Them Spark!!

This week Trevor Barton joins us to talk about his Brobots series, futurology, and keeping the writing accessible!

** NOTE: Trevor Barton composed and performed all of the music used for this episode, and has graciously allowed us to use it for his interview! **

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Bio:

Trevor Barton was born on the south coast of England to a biker and a supermarket attendant (whose brother was a trucker). He got sent to Air Training Corps for toughening up. His curious local town was into line dancing and hard-line Baptist theology (making it closer in vibe perhaps to a southern US State than to South East England).

“Myth of the Cyborg: The Perpetuation of a Cultural Fantasy” was the title of his M.A. Dissertation in 1998. Part of this involved studying the philosophy of artificial intelligence with Ray Monk and looking at issues in representation with Deniz Göktürk (now at Berkeley).

There not being many jobs in Cyborgology, Trevor took the editorial helm of a U.K. search engine (because Google U.K. had not been heard of then). His tie-in magazine had distribution throughout the U.K. and the actor who plays Blackadder’s Baldric was the advertising voice.

With later jobs involving a great deal of U.S. business travel he’s published globally recognized websites, bar-crawled around Nashville and taken sidewalks with alligators in Florida. He’s also slept rough (for charity), established a peace center, helped save four lives, been ordained as a Buddhist and cleaned satellite dishes with a mop and bucket.

Trevor has lived experience with mental health. His mother died when he was 16 and his father was disabled. Trevor lives in the U.K. with his husbear.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or right here:

27Dec/17

Brobots by Trevor Barton

This is an extremely likeable book, with two engaging leads and a host of affectionately-written, secondary characters. At first, Jared seems a little nondescript, but soon grows in strength after he finds Byron in a dumpster and begins the quest to find a replacement battery to switch him back on.

The book was fairly slow to get going, but there is a lot of corporate intrigue to set up first, plus the familiarisation with Brobots (the company’s) AI technology.

The book gained in purpose as it went along, developing into an interesting story about how the humanoid robots fair when they are unleashed from human bondage to set out on their own. Their first stop is to a “farm” set up by the mysterious Susan, where they begin to learn about what it is to be human. In doing so, the humans teaching them learn more about themselves as well.

It was a clever plot, and one that I can see easily developing over the next two stories. It mainly deals with Jared and Byron, their burgeoning love, and the problems that an AI/human relationship come up against. In the background, Byron’s AI friends are also adjusting to life as free sentient beings, making mistakes along the way.

I guess at first I was slightly uncomfortable at the way the sentients seemed almost too human. It seemed a bit of a cop-out, but the author was at pains to describe the feelings they experienced though the medium of technology and science, and it was well done without being too technical. Also, the author has a style of writing that I haven’t seen since the 80’s, that of varying points of view within the same chapter, sometimes even the same paragraph.

Done badly, this can be catastrophic, but done well, it can really immerse the reader into the minds of the characters, all of which are experiencing new sensations. On the whole, it worked, and after the initial shock, I got over it and wasn’t jolted out of the story.

The love scenes between Byron and Jared were also convincing, although some poetic licence had been taken, especially with regard to … er … dousing electrical components with liquid, for example. Their love was sweet, Byron being a big lunk still learning the niceties (or otherwise) of human behaviour. There was some humour and some tension and not too much sentiment. The romance element was pitched just right, and didn’t get in the way of the other aspects of the plot. The author answered all my questions as they came up, and didn’t leave anything dangling. This is a carefully thought-out book, with a highly creative plot and characters to root for.

Without spoilers, I can say the ending was interesting, satisfying, and led neatly into the next book. If it’s as good as this one, readers will be in for a treat.

BLURB

Brobots is substantial science fiction with gay characters told across three continuous books.

Rod burners. Scaff dawgs. Laggers. Bucket dumpers. Lerps. Duct monkeys. Tin knockers. Lumbergs. Artificial big guys. Product of a troubled firm. Brobots.

They’re easy to treat like trash. But they’re not so easy to ignore; especially the ones experiencing “the wake up.” The idea was that they could work hidden in society’s plain sight, allowing humanity time to get used to the fact of sentient machines.

But it’s all too easy for others to take advantage of those who live on the edge. What they, and their allies, must do is work out who, and why, before it gets too late.

Plug them in. Wish they never end.

Brobots Book 1:
Jared takes home a cute man he finds in a dumpster and then gets drawn into a world of robots, parenting and conspiracy.

Artificial intelligence can’t be programmed. It has to be grown. Some machines are learning who they are, and humans could do with a bit of that, too.