Sunday, December 17, 2017

Science in Fiction (#35): Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

Welcome to this month's Science in Fiction feature! Science in Fiction is a meme I created to showcase the wonderful aspects of science in Young Adult fiction novels. For more information and previous feature, check out the "Science in Fiction" tag!

This month, I'm featuring Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston!

One of the most interesting aspects of the premise of Heart of Iron is that one of the protagonists is a sentient android called D09 (or Di). You don't really see a robot as a protagonist in many books... the only other YA sci-fi book I can think of that comes close is Illuminae, but even that doesn't really count because AIDAN isn't really a protagonist. In any case, Di being an android and being a main character really fascinated me. 

So today, I'm going to talk about robots!

I may have discussed robots previously, but there have been some new developments in recent times, concerning robots. Arguably, robots have been present in the form of machinery, but human-like robots are a thing of the future. 

Having just watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi yesterday (squee! so good), I'm going to share a few of my favorite robots/droids...

Source: Wikia

Source: Wikia

Source: Wikia

Honestly? The droids steal the show in every movie. BB-8 is an actual LEGEND in The Last Jedi. Also, if you haven't seen The Last Jedi yet, please do so! It's incredible. And very easy to spoil. Don't get spoiled! I went on Day Two only because I didn't want to get spoiled. Well, and also because I was so excited about the movie.

But returning to the topic on hand - human-like robots, being a thing of the future. The future may be now. About two months ago, Saudi Arabia made a robot a citizen; Sophia became the world's first AI-citizen. Not familiar with Sophia? Well...

Image result for first robot citizen
Source: Wikipedia

Sophia was developed by a company called Hanson Robotics. She is the first social humanoid robot to receive citizenship by any country. She uses artificial intelligence and can carry normal conversations. 

You can hear her speak at the Future Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Sophia wants a baby, stating that starting a family is an important thing. 

While I don't think Sophia or humanoid robots in general are ready to take over the world, I do think this massive development in robotic technology is somewhat troubling. We've all heard about Hollywood movies like I, Robot, or even Star Wars, with heavy involvement of robots. With robots on the rise, human labor could become obsolete. Technological advancements are wonderful, but at what do we go too far?

I think it's neat that, like in Heart of Iron, there is a droid that is treated like a real person and could potentially have its own life. (Of course, when you read Heart of Iron, you'll learn certain things about Di that clearly differentiate him from Sophia.) But I can't say I'm on board with the rise of humanoid robots.

What are your thoughts of humanoid robots? Droids in general? And as a sidenote, has anyone else seen The Last Jedi? No spoilers but tell me your thoughts!


  1. I haven't seen The Last Jedi yet, but glad to know its fantastic. It's startling that the first human robot citizen shares a name. LOL Not sure if its that or being replaced in the workforce that has me edgier. But yes, it does make me edgy.

  2. Such a lovely post Alyssa :D Thank you for sharing about this. <3 Hugs. I love seeing robots in movies :D And need to read more robot books too. Curious about this one ;) And ugh, yeah, I don't really want a bunch of robots taking over the world. No room for me then, haha :)

  3. I honestly can't wait to watch The Last Jedi, I hear its fantastic though. I have been impressed with what they have done with the past two movies though, way better than I was expecting especially with Disney in charge. And boy I love the droids in Star Wars, they are fantastic.

  4. Oh my gosh, YES, the droids totally steal the show in Star Wars. And BB8 was aaaaamaaazing in The Last Jedi, total legend for sure. I've been following the news about Sophia and her (their? I'm not sure what the right pronouns are, haha) rise to fame because it's so fascinating and kinda scary. I've read too much sci-fi to be comfortable with humanoid robots, even if they definitely couldn't pass as human -- yet!


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