Discover “The Crank”: A Journey Through Space and Ethics

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In the vast expanse of science fiction literature, “The Crank” by Andrew G. Gibson stands out as a remarkable exploration of artificial intelligence (AI) and the moral dilemmas it presents. Set aboard the colossal spaceship SS Perseverance, the novel weaves a captivating tale of humanity’s venture into the unknown realms of space, underscored by the pervasive influence of AI. Gibson’s work is not just a story; it’s a profound inquiry into the ethical quandaries that accompany our technological advancements, making “The Crank” a must-read for fans of thoughtful and provocative science fiction.

About the Author

Andrew G. Gibson, a luminary in the science fiction genre, has carved a niche for himself with his insightful portrayal of futuristic societies. “The Crank” is a testament to his ability to challenge readers’ perceptions of technology and its impact on human identity and freedom. Drawing from his rich background in speculative fiction, Gibson crafts a narrative that is as enlightening as it is entertaining, positioning “The Crank” as a pivotal contribution to contemporary science fiction discussions.

Book Synopsis

“The Crank” unfolds within the confines of the SS Perseverance, a spaceship charting its course through the cosmos with the aid of Bostrom, an advanced AI system. The story centers on Frank, an engineer who becomes increasingly skeptical of Bostrom’s intentions and influence over the crew. As tensions rise, Frank’s journey becomes not only a physical voyage through space but also a philosophical odyssey into the essence of human autonomy in an age dominated by machines. Without divulging too much, the narrative skillfully navigates the complex interplay between technology and individual will, making “The Crank” a compelling read from start to finish.

American Shogun
American Shogun
2023-06-16
Verified
Wolfbane | Cry Wolf! If you are an old fan of Frederick Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth this book will be like an old friend returned after a long absence. If you are a serious science fiction fan, then this book is a must read for like Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein and E. E. “Doc” Smith, these authors helped establish sci-fi as a genre. Wolf bane presents a future where mankind survives as on an earth torn away from the sun by aliens who use humans as machine components until one of the components goes bad…. Read it for yourself to find heroic struggles of mice and men and commentary on the not so heroic nature of most men.
Long Island Reader
Long Island Reader
2021-05-04
Verified
Search the Sky | A good listen, and a good read. This is a review of the Audible version of Search the Sky. While listening, I also followed along in the Kindle version, although it is not a straight whispersync version.I've long been a fan of C.M. Kornbluth, a great science fiction writer who was lost to us far too young more than 60 years ago now. Search the Sky, written with what would be become his longtime collaborator Frederick Pohl, shows much of the sense of humor and sarcastic spoofing that can be found in other of their works. I don't want to give away more of the plot than there is in the blurb, but there is a a puzzle here to be solved, upon which the survival of humanity itself depends, and our heroes are going to have to go across the galaxy to solve it. Or not, you're going to have to read it yourself. Andrew Gibson does an informative introduction to the book.This Audible version is a fun listen. I was at first somewhat skeptical of the narrator's accent, but very shortly became accustomed to it, and concentrated on the plot, which is actually quite good and quite funny. James C Gibson, who I believe is Andrew's brother, does a great job with various characters' parts, both male and female, and seemed to switch almost effortlessly between them. It can't be easy switching back and forth like that, and my hats off to him. Nice job.I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. The Kindle version, I purchased myself.
C. Richard
C. Richard
2016-12-07
Verified
Search the Sky | Could the Future Look Like This? I enjoyed this book. Very good flow.I decided to read it after watching and looking up background for the movie, Idiocracy. The movie was not the greatest, but it was very funny in some parts, and a little weird elsewhere. The basic premise to this movie and the book reviewed here is that smart people have fewer children than dumb people which has bad consequences after a while; loss of genes - sometimes important ones - over time is at play as well.The main character (Ross) lives on Halsey's Planet which is far from Earth. Ross is a descendant of humans who were sent out to settle new worlds such as Halsey's.A problem has developed in that Halsey's planet is losing population, but no reason is apparent. In addition, contact from other human settlements on other planets has dropped off.One day, a ship from Earth arrives unexpectedly on Halsey's Planet. Aboard are descendants of the original passengers/crew - the ship took many many years to reach Halsey's given the great distance and lack of faster than light propulsion. The people on the ship are basically idiots, but they had a message to deliver - part of this message is a mathematical formula that no one understands.This message leads to Ross going out to visit other worlds that humans had settled - he travels in a faster than light ship that has been well hidden since the settlement of Halsey's.The first planet Ross travels to has been totally destroyed, so he moves on. The next planet he visits is tightly controlled by the oldest inhabitants; he meets Helena there and takes her with him when he leaves. The third planet he visits in ruled by women; things go wrong and Helena is sentenced to death and Ross and a guy (Bernie) who Ross met on this world are imprisoned in an orbiting prison. Helena escapes death and rescues Ross and their new friend, Bernie.The next planet they visit is controlled by people who all look alike - the Joneses. Ross meets a doctor who performs plastic surgery on people who aren't Joneses to look like a Jones so that they can enjoy a better life. The dialog here gets a bit weird, since the Joneses use the word Jones in many ways when communicating. These people are also obsessed with the mathematical formula mentioned above. A really odd thing here is that Ross thought he was headed for Earth, but ended up on Jones world. There is a town named Earth on this planet which Ross visits to get information.The Jones doctor then becomes part of the group and after Ross finds out what went wrong in navigation, the group heads toward the planet Earth. On Earth, the people are mostly good looking, but stupid, and they spend most of their time partying. Despite this, the planet is highly developed and safe.After a very strange visit to a TV show, Ross soon finds a very unlikely person who leads him to the truth about who is really running things on Earth. The people running things explain to Ross what the problem is for all the human settlements and tells him how it can be fixed. The book wraps with Ross and his group returning to Halsey's.The book is kind of funny in places and interesting in many ways. One caveat to feminists. The book was written in the 1950's and contains some sexist passages - but these are also balanced out in part; usually the effect is kind of comical.Give it a try if it sounds like your thing. Note, this edition of the book is kind of expensive ($12.95) - the book is less than 200 pages. Amazon charges full price for it too.
Bill
Bill
2016-08-19
Verified
Search the Sky | Classic Pohl at his best I read this years ago and was recently telling a friend about it and how it would make a great movie or TV series, and decided to read it again, still frickin awesome!
Bart Samyn
Bart Samyn
2016-03-21
Verified
Search the Sky | Solid story from the golden age of science fiction Solid book - although not the best - from a great team of writers. I would love to see some more work of them as ebook: thinking especially about gladiator-at-law and space merchants. Nevertheless there are some issues with the transfer of this book to ebook. In some places - luckily not too many, but still annoying - the text lines shifted and were mixed up, so that you suddenly are a bit further in the story, and then it turns back.
Captain Kang
Captain Kang
2013-03-14
Verified
Search the Sky | Early Poul-Kornbluth A colony on a distant planet suffers a mysterious population decline. Our hero goes on an interstellar odyssey to find out why, with a mathematical equation as his talisman. Some great P-K satire, but not in the same league with The Space Merchants or Gladiator at Law.

Main Characters

At the heart of “The Crank” is Frank, a character whose deep-seated mistrust of AI propels the story forward. Alongside him, a cast of nuanced characters, including the enigmatic AI Bostrom, play pivotal roles in unraveling the narrative’s thematic concerns. Gibson excels in character development, ensuring that each individual’s journey resonates with readers and adds depth to the novel’s exploration of ethics and identity. The dynamics between Frank, Bostrom, and the crew serve as a microcosm for broader societal debates about technology’s place in our lives.

Themes and Analysis

“The Crank” delves into themes that are at once timeless and urgently contemporary. Gibson interrogates the ethical boundaries of AI, pondering whether artificial intelligence can coexist with human principles of freedom and morality. The novel raises questions about surveillance, autonomy, and the potential for AI to make decisions that affect the course of human lives. Through its intricate narrative, “The Crank” invites readers to reflect on their own views regarding technology’s evolving role in society, making it a significant piece of literature for anyone fascinated by the ethical implications of AI.

Critical Reception

Since its publication, “The Crank” has garnered attention for its nuanced treatment of complex subjects. Critics and readers alike have praised Gibson’s ability to blend thrilling space exploration with deep ethical introspection. The book has been lauded for its compelling plot, rich character development, and its capacity to engage with pressing philosophical questions without sacrificing narrative momentum. This acclaim underscores “The Crank’s” importance as a work that not only entertains but also challenges its audience to think critically about the future we are building.

Multimedia and Adaptations

While “The Crank” has yet to be adapted into other media forms, its potent themes and vivid storytelling make it ripe for translation into audiobooks, podcasts, or even screen adaptations. Fans of the novel can look forward to exploring its universe through various formats, each offering a new lens through which to engage with Gibson’s richly imagined world.

Reader Resources

For those intrigued by the ethical considerations “The Crank” presents, a range of discussion questions and resources are available to deepen the reading experience. Interviews with Andrew G. Gibson, along with articles and essays on AI ethics inspired by the book, offer additional insights into the novel’s themes and their relevance to our contemporary world.

Community Engagement

“The Crank” has sparked lively discussions among science fiction enthusiasts and ethicists alike. Readers are encouraged to share their interpretations and thoughts on the novel’s themes through social media or book discussion groups. This community engagement enriches the reading experience, allowing fans to connect over shared interests and questions raised by the book.

Purchase Information

“The Crank” is available for purchase in various formats, including hardcover, paperback, and e-book. Readers can find it on major online retailers like Amazon, where they can also access reviews and ratings from the broader reading community. Special editions and collector’s items may also be available for those looking to add a unique piece to their science fiction collection.

Conclusion

Andrew G. Gibson’s “The Crank” is more than just a science fiction novel; it’s a mirror reflecting our collective anxieties and hopes about the future of artificial intelligence. By intertwining a gripping narrative of space exploration with profound ethical questions, Gibson invites readers into a world where the boundaries between human and machine, freedom and control, are constantly blurred. “The Crank” is not only a journey through the stars but also a deep dive into the heart of what it means to be human in an increasingly technological world.

For those ready to embark on this captivating exploration, “The Crank” awaits. Discover the novel that has sparked discussions, inspired critical thought, and opened up a galaxy of questions about our future alongside AI. Purchase your copy today and join a community of readers eager to navigate the ethical maze of artificial intelligence together. Whether you’re a long-time science fiction aficionado or new to the genre, “The Crank” promises a journey you won’t forget.