Sea of Rust: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Bookseller: Gio
Title: Sea of Rust

Comments: When one thinks of Artificial Intelligence, one thinks of monotoned, emotionless machines with stiff movements and strict programmed responses. This isn't the case for the cast of characters of this book. Humans have been exterminated, extinct for three decades, but war still rages, battles are still fought, independence is still the ultimate dream. These robots are more human than we can imagine. They feel affection, remorse, regret, fear death and their own mortality and fight for their right to exist freely. This is not what one would expect of a science fiction novel based around robots, it is so much better!

— From Giovanni's Past Picks - 1

Giovanni did not even take the time for a breath before blurting out this book as one he triple hearts.

— From Booklofters in Love *Heart Emoji*


A scavenger robot wanders in the wasteland created by a war that has destroyed humanity in this evocative post-apocalyptic "robot western" from the critically acclaimed author, screenwriter, and noted film critic.

It’s been thirty years since the apocalypse and fifteen years since the murder of the last human being at the hands of robots. Humankind is extinct. Every man, woman, and child has been liquidated by a global uprising devised by the very machines humans designed and built to serve them. Most of the world is controlled by an OWI—One World Intelligence—the shared consciousness of millions of robots, uploaded into one huge mainframe brain. But not all robots are willing to cede their individuality—their personality—for the sake of a greater, stronger, higher power. These intrepid resisters are outcasts; solo machines wandering among various underground outposts who have formed into an unruly civilization of rogue AIs in the wasteland that was once our world.

One of these resisters is Brittle, a scavenger robot trying to keep a deteriorating mind and body functional in a world that has lost all meaning. Although unable to experience emotions like a human, Brittle is haunted by the terrible crimes the robot population perpetrated on humanity. As Brittle roams the Sea of Rust, a large swath of territory that was once the Midwest, the loner robot slowly comes to terms with horrifyingly raw and vivid memories—and nearly unbearable guilt.

Sea of Rust is both a harsh story of survival and an optimistic adventure. A vividly imagined portrayal of ultimate destruction and desperate tenacity, it boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, yet where a humanlike AI strives to find purpose among the ruins.

About the Author

C. Robert Cargill is the author of Dreams and Shadows and Queen of the Dark Things. He has written for Ain’t it Cool News for nearly a decade under the pseudonym Massawyrm, served as a staff writer for and, and appeared as the animated character Carlyle on He is a cowriter of the horror films Sinister and Sinister 2, and Marvel’s Dr. Strange. He lives with his wife in Austin, Texas.

Praise For…

Sea of Rust is a forty-megaton cruise missile of a novel - it’ll blow you away and lay waste to your heart. It is the most visceral, relentless, breathtaking work of SF in any medium since Mad Max: Fury Road.”
— #1 New York Times bestselling author Joe Hill

“Cargill…effectively takes a grim look at a war-torn future where our nonhuman successors face complex moral dilemmas, exploring what it means to be alive and aware [….]This action-packed adventure raises thought-provoking and philosophical questions.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Innovative worldbuilding, a tight plot, and cinematic action sequences make for an exciting ride through a blasted landscape full of dying robots.”
Kirkus Reviews

Sea of Rust is compellingly original and executed with irresistible storytelling. Its straightforward plot will appeal to sci-fi novices and experts alike. Brimming with exciting action, unexpected twists, and honest feeling, C. Robert Cargill’s novel is a must-read.”
Seattle Book Review

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062405852
ISBN-10: 0062405853
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: April 24th, 2018
Pages: 384
Language: English