102 pages; paperback
The back cover blurb by Christian Bok sums up this book of seventy-six prose poems expertly, saying:
"Christie depicts a strange, uncanny future, in which our intelligent, interactive appliances (be they 'smart' dishwashers or 'vocal' automobiles) have begun to crave their own creative autonomy -- but, alas, their human users only see these whims as nothing more than a ridiculous, if not capricious, malfunction."
I like this book very much. It's beautifully produced, with a handsome cover that has the word "robot" embossed on a copper-colored band illustrated with a robot striding across the page. A robot that strikes me as genuinely disturbing .... just creepy enough to make you uneasy, without being in any way a caricature. And the poems are beautifully crafted, heavy with skillful sound patterns.
A sampler of titles from the poems is instructive. For example.... "Robot Literature Class." "Metal Epilogue: In Book's Sweet Rust." "I've Got the Gnosis Blues." "Everybody Do The Robot." "Robot Love." "Excerpt from The Robot Health Class Manual." "Scary Robot Lullaby." "Early One Morning, At the Sewage Treatment Plant." "Robot Marries Robot." "Hulkamania." The end result is a complete novel, put together one prose poem at a time.
There's a poem about a robot sniper with an assault rifle arm. There's one in which the weather is made up of information. There's one that discusses a robot religion. One in which a robot hides under a couch in the livingroom, trying to avoid a new software program. There are poems that do clever pastichery of "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and "Howl." There's a poem that lists a robot's bad habits, including "Helps herself to batteries without permission." (On page 27)
You can see an excellent print of the cover, read a press release and an assortment of reviews -- plus "Early One Morning, At the Sewage Treatment Plant" -- by going to http://www.edgewebsite.com, scrolling down to the posting for December 22, 2006, and clicking on the link for the "new media kit."