Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom
A madcap, illustrated mashup of classic Buck Rogers and Futurama! Ray-guns! Robots! Rocket-cars! Retropolis! Alliteration! Exclamation points!Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom is unlike anything else in genre fiction: a gonzo, totally bonkers vision of the future imagined in the 1939 World Fair—a hilarious, illustrated retro-futurist adventure by artist and debut novelist Bradley W. Schenck. It's a gut-busting look at the World of Tomorrow, populated with dashing, jet-packed heroes, faithful robot sidekicks, mad scientists, plucky rocket engineers, sassy switchboard operators, space pirates, bubble-helmeted canine companions, and more.After a surprise efficiency review, the switchboard operators of Retropolis find themselves replaced by a mysterious system they don't understand. Nola Gardner pools their severance pay to hire Dash Kent, freelance adventurer and apartment manager, to find out what happened. Dash discovers that the replacement switchboard is only one element of a plan concocted by an insane civil engineer: a plan so vast that it reaches from Retropolis to the Moon.

Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom Details

TitleSlaves of the Switchboard of Doom
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 13th, 2017
PublisherTor Books
ISBN0765383292
ISBN-139780765383297
Number of pages352 pages
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Humor

Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom Review

  • Brad
    April 16, 2017
    This book is another in the recently growing trend to update and display the adventuresome glories of the SF of yesteryear!... and I have to admit that it's a rather fun ride. :)Dash! Where else can you find a hero's name quite so dashing? And then there are the funny bits.. and there are quite a few funny bits. I personally LOVED the world's smallest Giant Robot. He not only grew on me, but he became a very cool and well-rounded character in his own right. :)But mostly, this is all a straight a This book is another in the recently growing trend to update and display the adventuresome glories of the SF of yesteryear!... and I have to admit that it's a rather fun ride. :)Dash! Where else can you find a hero's name quite so dashing? And then there are the funny bits.. and there are quite a few funny bits. I personally LOVED the world's smallest Giant Robot. He not only grew on me, but he became a very cool and well-rounded character in his own right. :)But mostly, this is all a straight adventure that takes us to through Spider Gods and massive robot slave empires and a perfectly reasonable main plot mystery revolving the lost jobs of the switchboard women who I could almost see wearing hairnets and be being totally 1930's prim.But most of all, there is a lot of love for all the classic adventures and the time period, the optimism, the sheer delight of funny and sometimes really fascinating personal tech, the excitement and thrill of getting your ear blown off, the sting of rejection letters sent from fiction editors. Not only is our intrepid hero a dashing private-eye-ish adventure hero, but he also writes. :) Gotta love it. :)RETROPOLIS! :)What can I say? I had fun. Very cool SF/mystery mashup that updates the tech but brings us right back into a more hopeful SF time.
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  • Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
    June 8, 2017
    If I were you, I'd just read this book already. But stick around, if you want to find out why. You can also read this review on my blog if you want better formatting.So let's ignore the somewhat tacky cover for a bit. (I'm glad I can look past the cover. I'm better than that! But I know that I nearly didn't click 'request' because it's just... well, you can see it.) This book has anything a sci-fi, fantasy or just plain adventure story reader might want! I swear I haven't read anything this f If I were you, I'd just read this book already. But stick around, if you want to find out why. You can also read this review on my blog if you want better formatting.So let's ignore the somewhat tacky cover for a bit. (I'm glad I can look past the cover. I'm better than that! But I know that I nearly didn't click 'request' because it's just... well, you can see it.) This book has anything a sci-fi, fantasy or just plain adventure story reader might want! I swear I haven't read anything this fun since my teens – in part, because stories like this are often not written for adults. It's like only teens can ever get to have any fun. Pfff, right?There are so many reasons to love this book, I think I want to do it in list form. And I will also not tell you anything about the plot, cause that would just be no fun. Instead, I'll tell you why you'll love it. So why should any and every sci-fi adventure lover in this world read Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom? A Retro FutureImagine a world like Futurama, but with less modern technology. Basically, the future they predicted in the 1960's: robots, rockets, skyscrapers, but no internet, no touchscreens. Info-nets connected by living, human women. Like old phone lines! (This is where the switchboard comes in.) Fascinating. It goes to the point where the story uses almost only old-style names like Abner, Freda, Howard as well! It makes for a completely engrossing experience. It's As Witty As It Can GetThe author of this one is pretty quick with his prose. Some of the sentences are so witty, boyfriend laughed upon hearing just the one quoted, even out of context. Unfortunately, I can not quote for you as all I have right now is an uncorrected early copy. So you'll just have to take my GIF representation of how witty it was: It's Incredibly PacedThis book is paced just right! As of the very beginning, there's no dawdling, things are constantly moving, and that's what makes it particularly cinematic and dynamic. You just feel like you're in the flow! It's part of why I had so much fun reading it. And even despite this wonderful pacing, there is still time to reflect, and to joke around, but in such great portions that you never notice the switch.The Correct Use Of CatsI don't know if you're a cat lover. But there's a high chance you are, and if you are... This book has some of the best cat-related jokes and plot twists ever! I mean, cats should basically be talked about as much as possible (#amirite or #amirite?), but even aside from that, some cat related things are just funnier than others. You'll find those here.(No, I'm sorry. There are no pirate cats, actually, as much as you might want it. But it's close.)Great Character BuildingWe don't really have too much freedom for character development in this book, as the story spans quite a short amount of time, but the characters are wonderfully built. Even the secondary ones who are just adding to the story! They all have these little quirks, like robots with serious cases of OCD? Half-homicidal crazy twin kids you would not wish on your meanest enemy? I'm not even going to start about the insane miniaturized robot with an actual death ray. That was officially my favorite.And Yet, Not Lacking In DepthWith all of this witty and fun stuff going on, you might think the book's not that serious. But strangely, it is! The book talks a lot about slavery and its implications, about equality. It gently mocks the blindness of bureaucracy and civil service, the trust of power and money. The characters very gently promote the right kind of values, just by example, which would make it a good book to read with your children.A New Kind Of Diversity What I particularly liked about this book is this new, completely unique kind of diversity. Sure, we talk about #diversity a lot in book blogs. But how do we think about it? Can we actually untie ourselves from the confines of skin color, sickness, sexual orientation? IS THERE another kind of diversity, apart from that? This book finds it. It talks about a new way or coexisting with a completely different form of life – artificial life, taken on par with biological life. What happens in a society that starts building mechanical lifeforms, but eventually understands that they are conscious too? That they need to be allowed to earn their right to be free and do as they please? That they need to be able to better themselves and grow up, even if not physically, and make their choices? This is a whole new kind of diversity for me, one where it's not just differences between you and me, both of us being humans – we're talking differences on a scale of who and what we are at all. And what it means to coexist. And I think it was done unbelievably beautifully in this book. When was the last time you read a sci-fi novel that made you so excited you could get up and run around? And what was it? Share in the comments! Read Post On My Blog | My Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter
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  • Bookwraiths
    June 15, 2017
    Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.My rating is 3.5 stars.Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom surprised me, startled me even, because it was so damn much fun! A word I seldom use when referring to modern science fiction; a genre which seems to take itself too damn seriously most of the time. But, thankfully, Bradley W. Schenck has turned back the hands of the literary clock and gifted fans of fast-paced, hilarious, lavishly illustrated, and optimistic sci fi with his mesmerizing “World of Tomorrow Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.My rating is 3.5 stars.Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom surprised me, startled me even, because it was so damn much fun! A word I seldom use when referring to modern science fiction; a genre which seems to take itself too damn seriously most of the time. But, thankfully, Bradley W. Schenck has turned back the hands of the literary clock and gifted fans of fast-paced, hilarious, lavishly illustrated, and optimistic sci fi with his mesmerizing “World of Tomorrow” with its heroic heroes, ray-guns, robots, crazy scientists, rocket cars, and automated sidewalks.The dashing lead of this tale is Kelvin “Dash” Kent who spends most of his time traveling about the earth and moon fighting bad guys, righting wrongs, and helping the helpless. And, here, he finds himself hired by a group of switchboard operators led by the sharp-as-a-tack Lola Gardner. Dash’s job is simple: uncover the dastardly plot to deprive Retropolis of its InfoSlate operators and thereby throw the whole information access system into chaos, letting some vile villain do something . . . evil. Or, at least, all this is what Lola suspects Dash will find once he starts his investigation.Joining our dynamic duo in this retro romp are several other point-of-view characters. Howard Pitt, civil engineer, is the mysterious, scientific genius, who is definitely up to no good, though no one really knows for sure what kind of no good he is up to. Abner Perkins, transportation officer, is the out-of-his depths guy who finds himself hot on the trail of the supposed villain. And, finally, there is automaton Rusty, who begins to investigate the origins of a strange, legless robot, specifically who created him and why.Slowly but surely, all these people and their separate investigations begin to intertwine, leading our heroes toward a shadowy conspiracy. A grave threat materializing, one which isn’t at all expected.I have to admit being a lover of pulp sci fi. Buck Rogers. Flash Gordon. John Carter. Name all the usually names, and I’ve probably loved them at some point in my life. What always drew me to their stories was the sheer enjoyment and optimistic outlook they all had at their hearts. Maybe, their science wasn’t completely accurate; perhaps the sensibilities were old fashioned; but they thrilled you, inspired you, and made you happy you invested your precious time reading them. And, now, I can add Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom to that list of ridiculously fun pulp sci fi reads.From the futuristic city of Retropolis with its pristine parks, cleaning robots, tube transportation, and automated skywalks, this world looks and feels like a Jetson-like dream of a wonderful future. The heroes are heroic, and the villains are vile, but you always feel certain that your favorites will find a way to triumph over all the odds and survive to make the world a better place. The plot is twisty, filled with more than a few surprises, has laughs along the way, and keeps you turning the pages until the end.Does that mean this is a perfect book? Nope, because there is no such thing, and Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom isn’t the only exception. Personally, I felt there were sections of the story where the pacing lagged a little too much, as well as there being too many switches between pov characters. Hell, even the silliness was a bit too over-the-top at times. But none of these issues ruined the sheer enjoyment of the narrative for me.In conclusion, this novel by Bradley W. Schenck is a hilarious, retro romp that all lovers of pulp sci fi classics of the past should definitely find time to sample. Its illustrations are beautiful, adding immensely to the reading experiencing, and, hopefully, you will find this World of Tomorrow and its denizens as entertaining and fun as I did.I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.
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  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    June 7, 2017
    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/06/13/...UPDATED: Book and Graphic Mug Giveaway (US/Can) 6/13/17-6/20/17 https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/06/13/...This year seems to be setting the trend for retro-style reads making a comeback. Indeed, if you’re feeling nostalgic for the Golden Age pulps and the thrilling sci-fi classics of the past, then I think you’ll be quite happy with Bradley W. Schenck’s Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom, a rollicking mashup of the old and 3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/06/13/...UPDATED: Book and Graphic Mug Giveaway (US/Can) 6/13/17-6/20/17 https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/06/13/...This year seems to be setting the trend for retro-style reads making a comeback. Indeed, if you’re feeling nostalgic for the Golden Age pulps and the thrilling sci-fi classics of the past, then I think you’ll be quite happy with Bradley W. Schenck’s Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom, a rollicking mashup of the old and the new.Set in a future as imagined by “the world of tomorrow” in the 1939 World’s Fair, the story opens in the megacity of Retropolis, its art deco inspired skyline bestrewed with hover cars and monorail tracks. The hero of our tale is a freelance adventurer named Kelvin Kent, who is sometimes better known by his professional name of “Dash”. Soon, he finds himself hired by Lola Gardner, a woman representing a group of switchboard operators who have all just been fired from their jobs for reasons they don’t understand. Surely a large city like Retropolis with millions of people needing to communicate and access data on their InfoSlates would need the services of switchboard workers to keep on running, which means that another system must have sprung up to take their place, and Lola would like Dash to figure out who is behind this mysterious plan and why.Enter Howard Pitt, a civil engineer whose obsession with efficiency has consumed him to the point of madness. No one is quite sure what he is up to, but for some reason he has been buying up vast amounts of inertium, a metal prized for its gravity-defying properties and use in the production of flying cars and personal jetpacks. A transport official named Abner Perkins in on the case, trying to track down where these inertium supplies are going and what Pitt might be trying to do with them. Meanwhile, a silent and unassuming automaton named Rusty comes across the discarded remains of another robot in an alleyway—except unlike all other robots in Retropolis, this one had been constructed with no legs. Troubled and angered by this discovery, Rusty enlists the help of his friend Harry Roy to find out why anyone would design and create a legless robot and for what nefarious purpose. As these various investigations come together, a conspiracy starts to take shape, one that will pit all our heroes against a strange and altogether unexpected threat.I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—I love books like these because of the passion behind them. Like most homages to the classic science fiction adventures of the 1920s to 1950s, Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom was clearly written for fans by a fan. The story wears its pulp era-inspired roots on its sleeves proudly, riffing on genre tropes with an eye towards faithfulness and good-natured humor. The world and characters are also a testament to Schenck’s familiarity with and enthusiasm for the source materials from which he drew his vision, and this is further confirmed by the author’s own gorgeously rendered illustrations which fill these pages.Bringing Retropolis to life is perhaps the novel’s strongest achievement. Think ray guns and rocket ships. Pneumatic tube transports. An entire city district ruled by mad scientists where they are free to conduct their dangerous experiments and build whacky inventions. It’s a zany mix of modern technologies fused with the old-fashioned, as illustrated by examples like the tablet-like InfoSlate devices that relay information via the manual efforts of switchboard operators instead of the internet. And of course, the robots of Retropolis also deserve a special nod, as no vision of retro-futurism can be truly complete without them. Sentient and intelligent, they play a significant role in this novel, with the actions of the robot characters influencing the direction of the story in crucial ways.The plot is also just plain fun. Though if I’m to be honest, there were perhaps a few sections I felt were excessively written or too disorganized and drawn out on account of all the different characters and frequent POV switches, but on the whole this is a fast-paced, energetic book. As one would expect, fans of Golden Age and pulp-era adventures will probably get the most out of it, but there is absolutely no prerequisite to enjoying the story. Granted, this particular style of storytelling and the author’s sense of humor can definitely be considered an acquired taste, but as long as you don’t mind the occasional moments of off-the-rails silliness, I think even a casual fan of sci-fi will be able to find plenty to like here.All in all, Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom was a delightful and entertaining debut by Bradley W. Schenck and I enjoyed every moment of my time spent in weird and wonderful Retropolis. The experience was made even better by the author’s stunning interior artwork (worth the price of admission alone, in my opinion), which made the people and places even more charming and the story even more atmospheric. As they say though, come for the nostalgia, stay for the adventure and mystery; if this sounds like something you’ll enjoy, you’ll definitely want to give this one a try.
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  • Mike
    April 6, 2017
    An unusual book, in an enjoyable way; full of the tropes of 1930s pulp adventure, and yet told in a matter-of-fact, wry style rather than the hyperbolic manner of the early pulps. The chapter headings are the most hyperbolic thing about it; everything else is, if anything, understated. The hero approaches the problems he faces systematically, drawing on extensive practice, and apart from calling himself "Dash" is almost self-effacing. The main female character is firmly assertive about not being An unusual book, in an enjoyable way; full of the tropes of 1930s pulp adventure, and yet told in a matter-of-fact, wry style rather than the hyperbolic manner of the early pulps. The chapter headings are the most hyperbolic thing about it; everything else is, if anything, understated. The hero approaches the problems he faces systematically, drawing on extensive practice, and apart from calling himself "Dash" is almost self-effacing. The main female character is firmly assertive about not being excluded from danger, and Dash is smart enough not to argue too much. I was concerned early on when a number of short scenes introduced separate characters who were, it seemed at first, pursuing unconnected agendas. This is a style I've seen used before in humourous fiction, and it can easily lead to an overcomplicated plot full of underdeveloped characters - a sure formula for me to lose interest. The plot was complicated, and the characters were not the deepest I've ever seen, but they were as deep as they needed to be for pulp fiction. And before too long, their stories started to intersect. I did enjoy the way in which everyone, except the villains, just took it as a basic truth that mechanical people were people just like biological people, and that no right-thinking person would deny them equal rights. There are a large number of good people in this book, and they cooperate very well. Even the Priests of the Spider God have their code of honour. The outright villains are an engineer who wants everything to be tidy, and two small children who end up controlling the world's smallest giant robot. I'm a difficult audience for comedy, and not easily amused, but I was amused by this. Recommended.
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  • Mel (Epic Reading)
    June 29, 2017
    DNF @ 28%I'm choosing not to give a star rating for the first time ever as it might just be me on this one. There's lots happening here, with weird science fiction elements, in a very futuristic world. Some intriguing characters and at least one story line I really liked. So where's the problem? I just couldn't seem to get into it. I'd have to remind myself my flipping back what was going on and who was who. The only person I could keep track of was Dash. It just felt busy. I read a lot of fanta DNF @ 28%I'm choosing not to give a star rating for the first time ever as it might just be me on this one. There's lots happening here, with weird science fiction elements, in a very futuristic world. Some intriguing characters and at least one story line I really liked. So where's the problem? I just couldn't seem to get into it. I'd have to remind myself my flipping back what was going on and who was who. The only person I could keep track of was Dash. It just felt busy. I read a lot of fantasy with multiple plots and characters so it shouldn't have been a problem but at the end of the day every time I tried to sit down and really get into it I just couldn't. It didn't hold my attention and eventually I realized I was reading pages and not even registering what was happening. Now the disclaimer on why I don't one star this like usual. This week has been quite up/down and emotional. So maybe it's just me. So I'm setting this one aside for now and gonna try something else. If the next book also doesn't go well then I'll know it's me for sure. Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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  • H.
    June 15, 2017
    Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom: A Novel of Retropolis is one of those self-consciously retro works that pokes fun at the source material. But don’t get the wrong idea. This is entirely done from love. Schenck takes the 1939 World’s Fair vision of the future and the pulps and runs with it, having a heck of a lot of fun in the process, if not quite telling a pulp tale.(Chapter titles are along the lines of The Drunken Tourists of Deception, Battle in the Pneumatic Wind, and Onslaught of the Ram Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom: A Novel of Retropolis is one of those self-consciously retro works that pokes fun at the source material. But don’t get the wrong idea. This is entirely done from love. Schenck takes the 1939 World’s Fair vision of the future and the pulps and runs with it, having a heck of a lot of fun in the process, if not quite telling a pulp tale.(Chapter titles are along the lines of The Drunken Tourists of Deception, Battle in the Pneumatic Wind, and Onslaught of the Rampaging Rockets if you’re wondering how much fun.)We are immediately introduced to our hero, Kelvin Kent. Better known as Dash. Or occasional Kelvin Dashkent. He parks his rocket on Luna, disables a couple adepts of the Spider God, evades their traps, and rescues the princess. Well, Princess. Princess the Cat. Hey, everybody has to start out at Level 1. Dash picked up his adventuring skills testing out the ideas from stories submitted to his father’s magazine. Old Man Kent was the sort of pedant who didn’t want anything in his stories that wasn’t plausible (anti-Campbellians may boo and hiss at this point in the review).Catting around doesn’t make for much of an adventure (at least since the death of the left-hand novel), but lucky for Dash, bigger and more Level 2 things are on his horizon. Ok, pause for a little scene setting.As I mentioned above, Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom is set in a world inspired by a 1939 speculative view of the world. Specifically set in Retropolis, a vaguely located megacity. Where people travel pneumatic tubes and monorails, the science fiction of tomorrow available today in Morgantown, West Virginia. A wee spot of inertium—raw ore mined from asteroids, a lighter than air metal—allows for hover cars and personal rockets. (Leaving the ground level blessedly clear for pedestrians.) An entire district is given over to “Science” (capitalized always), practiced entirely by mad scientists. There is televideo and InfoSlates, but both only work with the help of switchboard operator.Which is how Dash gets his next job. It seems that after a bit of observation by Howard Pitt, a Robert Moses-type and civil engineer and efficiency expert, the switchboard operators have been found to be entirely redundant. Like any good efficiency expert, he is the villain. They pool their resources to hire Dash to get to the bottom of just how they were replaced.That is the first of three main mystery threads. Contemporaneously, Abner Perkins discovers that Retropolis supplies of Inertium are negligible due to a series of mysterious purchases. Harry Roy begins investigating a robot left in an alleyway. A robot built with no legs.A bit about the robots of Retropolis. This is a world without computing, or even robots, in the modern sense. Everything has to be done by hand, even if that hand is robotic. Robots are sapient, and there is broad agreement that there are ethical and legal obligations that come with that. They vary in form, but uniformly robots are manufactured and sold under an indenture. They then work off their indenture for their owner (whose purchase price of course financed the manufacture of the robot) until, at the end, they become free.Where it goes from there you can guess if you know anything about the economics of indentures. You quickly wind up with a lot more free robots than indentured. Schenck’s take on robots is one of the highlights of the book. It’s a vision of robots as working class, blue collar laborers rather than a reflection of rather more elite science fiction writers. This, too, is in keeping with the pulps, which were much more working class and blue collar oriented than modern SF, being written in a time when people read more and far more of America was working class and blue collar. It also allows for a lot of fun within the story, but I will leave that for the converts.I have neglected a rather important point. The switchboard operator deputized to hire Dash is Nola. She serves as his feminine foil throughout. She lacks Dash’s skills, but like any good woman, she provides common sense, grounding, and encouragement for Dash. Not to mention grit and pure gall. Heaven help the enemy facing a hero backed by a good woman.Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom is enormously funny. It pokes fun at its pulp roots. But where it really shines is skewering the more normal side of life, whether it be returning a damaged and warrantied piece of space equipment or dealing with robot middle management. It reminds me of Larry Correia’s Tom Stranger in this, albeit toned way down.This sort of madcap book, juggling multiple plot threads that all need to come together in the climax, is very difficult to pull off. Richard Kadrey’s The Everything Box is virtuoso in doing so and was one of my favorite books of 2016. The follow-up, The Wrong Dead Guy, was an enormous disappointment in comparison. Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom splits the different, albeit leaning toward the former. The pace is suitably pulp-like at the beginning but loses focus a bit once all of the plot tops have been set spinning. It would have perhaps been better served by a shorter book, but Schenck would not have been able to juggle quite so many plot threads. Those also take away from Dash and Nola, who are the real heart of the story. This is a quite funny book with a solid mystery at its heart and solid action, but all of those are in some tension with the others and none manage to be great, rather than just good. Still, this book is a lot of fun and well worth picking up if it sounds like something up your alley.Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom is billed as including illustrations also by Schenck but they aren’t in my advance copy. I’m not really a fan of the cover art, especially as a representation of the book. But I can’t hate on anything that so strongly recalls ReBoot.
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  • Margit
    June 7, 2017
    Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for review.Enormously fun read in the vein of old science fiction movie serials like Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon. Pulp science fiction worth enjoying. Robots, Spider Cults, obnoxious children, switchboard operators, obsessed billionaire, mad scientists, transportation tubes. Whee!
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  • USOM
    May 30, 2017
    On first glance Slaves of the Switchboard seems like a fast paced adventure novel, a series of unlikely heroes, who unite against the plans of an efficiency driven civil engineer. However, despite its contagious plot and interwoven parts, there is a deep social commentary beneath the surface that makes this book not only fun to read, but food for thought. The characters were phenomenal, the plot gigantic, and the layers of complexity abounding. This story is hilarious, moving, and showcases a ba On first glance Slaves of the Switchboard seems like a fast paced adventure novel, a series of unlikely heroes, who unite against the plans of an efficiency driven civil engineer. However, despite its contagious plot and interwoven parts, there is a deep social commentary beneath the surface that makes this book not only fun to read, but food for thought. The characters were phenomenal, the plot gigantic, and the layers of complexity abounding. This story is hilarious, moving, and showcases a band of unlikely heroes that unite for the sake of humanity.Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.full reivew: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Chrys
    June 5, 2017
    A great fun and highly entertaining with a madcap plot and equally crazy crew of characters.It was a bit of a slow starter for me, but once I got into the flow I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.Hoping that there's a UK publication.
  • Jana
    June 9, 2017
    Rating: 4 stars. Review posted at Fantasy Literature.
  • Saundby
    June 27, 2016
    Brad puts us in a world of a future that never happened with sly humor and unforgettable characters. Mad robots and missing cats mix with automatic skyways in this connect-the-dots mystery that leads to a grand plan by a mad engineer, opposed by a space hero for hire, a pair of mischievous children, a recluse scientist, and a collection of former switchboard operators. Mistreatment of mechanical persons (robots) is only the start of it.If you like Terry Pratchett, Harry Harrison, or Douglas Adam Brad puts us in a world of a future that never happened with sly humor and unforgettable characters. Mad robots and missing cats mix with automatic skyways in this connect-the-dots mystery that leads to a grand plan by a mad engineer, opposed by a space hero for hire, a pair of mischievous children, a recluse scientist, and a collection of former switchboard operators. Mistreatment of mechanical persons (robots) is only the start of it.If you like Terry Pratchett, Harry Harrison, or Douglas Adams you'll enjoy the humor here as well.
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  • Jeff Raymond
    June 25, 2017
    I get that there's a resurgence in this sort of pulpy golden age of sci-fi era thing, but this tries to take a slightly more campy approach that just didn't do it for me about 20% in. For all intents and purposes, I should have loved this, and it just didn't grab me the way I wanted it to. Good for a very specific audience, I think - an audience I am not.
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  • Koeur
    April 11, 2017
    https://koeur.wordpress.com/2017/04/1...Publisher: TorPublishing Date: June 2017ISBN: 9780765383297Genre: SciFiRating: 2.8/5Publishers Description: If Fritz Lang’s Metropolis somehow mated with Futurama, their mutant offspring might well be Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom. Inspired by the future imagined in the 1939 World Fair, this hilarious, beautifully illustrated adventure by writer and artist Bradley W. Schenck is utterly unlike anything else in science fiction: a gonzo, totally bonkers, https://koeur.wordpress.com/2017/04/1...Publisher: TorPublishing Date: June 2017ISBN: 9780765383297Genre: SciFiRating: 2.8/5Publishers Description: If Fritz Lang’s Metropolis somehow mated with Futurama, their mutant offspring might well be Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom. Inspired by the future imagined in the 1939 World Fair, this hilarious, beautifully illustrated adventure by writer and artist Bradley W. Schenck is utterly unlike anything else in science fiction: a gonzo, totally bonkers, gut-busting look at the World of Tomorrow, populated with dashing, bubble-helmeted heroes, faithful robot sidekicks, mad scientists, plucky rocket engineers, sassy switchboard operators, space pirates, and much, much more—enhanced throughout by two dozen astonishing illustrations. Review: The writing is pretty good in what I assume may be a series if the ending is any indication. Where the novel falls down is in it’s length. It is overly long and drawn out to the point that you are soon page flipping over the irrelevant parts and focusing on the chapters that have the best characterization. Aunt Lillian should of had a larger role in the storyline as she was at once interesting and eclectic. The Douglas Adams approach at world building is quaint and mildly humorous but has been overly done. Edit out the numerous and unnecessary characters and place the focus on Dash Kent’s escapades and you have a winner.
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  • Bradley Schenck
    June 4, 2016
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