The Automatic Detective

The Automatic Detective

Book - 2008
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Even in Empire City, a town where weird science is the hope for tomorrow, it's hard for a robot to make his way. It's even harder for a robot named Mack Megaton, a hulking machine designed to bring mankind to its knees. But Mack's not interested in world domination. He's just a bot trying to get by, trying to demonstrate that he isn't just an automated smashing machine, and to earn his citizenship in the process. It should be as easy as crushing a tank for Mack, but some bots just can't catch a break.
When Mack's neighbors are kidnapped, Mack sets off on a journey through the dark alleys and gleaming skyscrapers of Empire City. Along the way, he runs afoul of a talking gorilla, a brainy dame, a mutant lowlife, a little green mob boss, and the secret conspiracy at the heart of Empire's founders---not to mention more trouble than he bargained for. What started out as one missing family becomes a battle for the future of Empire and every citizen that calls her home.
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780765318343
Characteristics: 317 p. ; 21 cm


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Sep 16, 2018

Sprawling science fiction comes face-to-face with a classic, hardboiled noir mystery novel in “The Automatic Detective”, A. Lee Martinez’s rip-roaring ride that manages to be both ridiculously funny and awesomely weird. Set in Empire City, a crowded, cluttered cesspool of a futuristic metropolis where radioactive waste lines the roads and psychics, mutants, and lizard-kids roam the streets, “The Automatic Detective” is a story that knows no bounds, and is, in every sense of the word, odd. When Mack Megaton, Empire City’s resident 700-pound destructobot-turned-cabbie-turned-detective has his life turned upside down after the unexpected disappearance of his neighbours, he makes it his duty to find them again. Along with his newfound, misfit cast of friends and foes, which includes a genius femme fatale, a sentient gorilla, and a mutant rat policeman, Mack searches the streets of Empire, hoping to catch sight of the family again - and ends up unearthing a vast conspiracy, one that will take him and his friends everywhere from secret alien warehouses, seedy roughhouse bars and the lavish skyscrapers that act as the spine of Empire itself. Hilarious, fearless, and wonderfully wacky, “The Automatic Detective” is a tale you won’t be forgetting soon. 5/5 Stars.
@Apis of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

May 28, 2017

This book was a delight. The noir tropes were very successfully subverted by the sci-fi. I especially liked the fact that robots are not universally vilified in the story (I enjoyed the eventual optimistic cynicism of the main character). I would definitely read this again!

Nov 16, 2014

I'm a critical reader. For instance, typos can ruin an otherwise good story for me.
Initially I had some issues with my "suspension of Disbelief" for this story because some of the tech described seemed piecemeal, not part of a whole body of knowledge. Some minor character's behavior seemed forced just to further the plot. Noone seemed to have a cell phone (maybe I missed a reference). This was all explained by plot developments (except for the lack of cell phones, but they weren't missed from the story, I just noticed their lack upon reflection. Did I mention that I'm a critical reader?)
And no typos!
So I realy liked this book and look forward to the next adventure of these characters. I'll probably try other books by this author.

LeRat Oct 26, 2014

Fantastic combination of noir, science fiction, and humor. A. Lee Martinez hits all the right notes in stylish mystery thriller.

lasertravis Sep 17, 2013

The second Martinez book I have read. Just as enjoyable as the first one I read and I think I may have liked it more overall. Unlike Monster (the other book I read), this book keeps a steady and entertaining pace throughout (Monster started out very strong and sort of fizzled toward the end). A very cool mix of sci-fi and neo-noir with a lot of humor thrown in. Martinez seems to enjoy extremely odd concoctions plotwise, but the chaos works for me. If the idea of a self-aware killer robot becoming a hard boiled private dick sounds fun to you, read this please.

Aug 20, 2011

A creative and funny book. A bit of a different spin on humanity, and what we really consider 'life'. Definitely recommended.

Jul 25, 2011

I love mysteries and sci-fi and this is a weird combination of the two. Makes me want to read some more Martinez books.

Jul 04, 2011

A delightful fun read.


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