Read Time: 2 Minutes

I honestly can’t remember when I got “Junkers” by Benjamin Wallace. I assume it was during a sale and then promptly forgot about it. It wasn’t until I was scrolling through my audiobooks, looking for something to relisten to that I spotted it. It’s a humorous take on the robot apocalypse genre, brushing up against Idiocracy where humans have given over virtual all control to automation.

It started simple enough, who wants to wash their dishes after all? But it’s been taken too far, and to put it in perspective, farmers have the cushiest jobs around. They can sit on their porch and monitor the crops via drone. Got crows? The fully automatic scarecrow will shoot them dead with corn kernels.

At a little over four hours, it’s hard to say much without giving out spoilers. Jake works as a “junker”, a team of people who get dispatched when an artificial intelligence eventually goes rouge. Jake and his team of junkers are an interesting mix, including a cyborg with a glow-in-the-dark appendage that ends up going viral in this bleak look into humanities future.

The characters are a little two-dimensional. The short runtime doesn’t lend itself to a lot of character building, but generally I think they worked well. More time spent packing in the humour rather than spending time of the characters.

The narration was okay, but the audio quality was a bit lacking. It had a tinny sound, missing the bass depth that could have made a difference. It wasn’t unlistenable, but mildly annoying for me.

Would I listen again? Maybe. It was a fun story, but I think I’d revisit it if a second novel came along. It’s more of a standalone short story though, so I’m not sure if that would be the case.


Science Fiction, Satire, Cyberpunk, Robot Uprising
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