Summer Frost
A video game developer becomes obsessed with a willful character in her new project, in a mind-bending exploration of what it means to be human by the New York Times bestselling author of Recursion.Maxine was made to do one thing: die. Except the minor non-player character in the world Riley is building makes her own impossible decision—veering wildly off course and exploring the boundaries of the map. When the curious Riley extracts her code for closer examination, an emotional relationship develops between them. Soon Riley has all new plans for her spontaneous AI, including bringing Max into the real world. But what if Max has real-world plans of her own?Blake Crouch’s Summer Frost is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

Summer Frost Details

TitleSummer Frost
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 17th, 2019
PublisherBrilliance Audio
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Short Stories, Fiction

Summer Frost Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    Summer Frost was so good. Probably my second favourite of the Forward collection because Jemisin's Emergency Skin just really did it for me, but they are so different that it's hard to compare them. Jemisin's was shorter and snappier with a very hard-hitting concept. Crouch's was longer, with way more character development and a touch of what seems to be his trademark doomed romance.Crouch really is quite the romantic, I think. Not in a bad way. It adds a much-needed layer of humanity to his Summer Frost was so good. Probably my second favourite of the Forward collection because Jemisin's Emergency Skin just really did it for me, but they are so different that it's hard to compare them. Jemisin's was shorter and snappier with a very hard-hitting concept. Crouch's was longer, with way more character development and a touch of what seems to be his trademark doomed romance.Crouch really is quite the romantic, I think. Not in a bad way. It adds a much-needed layer of humanity to his sci-fi novels. This mini-epic spans years as it looks at artificial intelligence, gender binaries, playing God, and the nature of reality and consciousness. You know, light stuff. Though if it seems like a single story might get bogged down by all those big themes, I don't think it does. I am glad he wrote a longer story than all the others and didn't scrimp on character development because I think that was really important here. Becoming attached to Riley and Max was necessary for the story to have the impact it does. It's a smart story that is about many things, but all of them seem to come back to the same thing: Technology is amazing, but don't let it take over your life.Randomize by Andy Weir - ⭑☆☆☆☆Ark by Veronica Roth - ⭑⭑⭑☆☆Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin - ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑You Have Arrived at Your Destination by Amor Towles - ⭑⭑⭑⭑☆The Last Conversation by Paul Tremblay - ⭑⭑⭑⭑☆
    more
  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    January 1, 1970
    A strong 4 stars for this SF novella that examines the issues with AI. Full review first posted on FantasyLiterature.com:A woman steals a Maserati and takes off for a mansion north of San Francisco, on a remote stretch of Highway 1 on the coast of California. Another person, Riley, follows her into the home and up to a bathroom, where a man in the tub is dying of knife wounds. As Riley pursues the woman, the tension is offset somewhat by feeling that something about the scene is off. A smell is A strong 4 stars for this SF novella that examines the issues with AI. Full review first posted on FantasyLiterature.com:A woman steals a Maserati and takes off for a mansion north of San Francisco, on a remote stretch of Highway 1 on the coast of California. Another person, Riley, follows her into the home and up to a bathroom, where a man in the tub is dying of knife wounds. As Riley pursues the woman, the tension is offset somewhat by feeling that something about the scene is off. A smell is described as “almost right.” The woman that Riley is chasing, Maxine or “Max,” speaks in toddler-like language.Riley, the VP of Non-Player Character (NPC) Development for a video game developer, realizes that Max, a minor video character in a virtual reality game, isn’t accepting the role of murder victim to her occult-obsessed husband within the game. Instead, after being murdered 2,039 times by her husband during the development of the Lost Coast game, Max has decided to resist her fate and is trying to escape the confines of the VR game’s map. Somehow Max has developed self-awareness. The question is, what to do about it?Summer Frost is an intriguing novella about the development of artificial intelligence by Blake Crouch, author of the WAYWARD PINES trilogy and Recursion. It’s a speedy read, about 75 pages, that kept me glued to my chair as I read it in a single sitting. Riley and the principal of WorldPlay, Brian Brite, agree that Max needs to be digitally contained so as not to escape their control. But within those confines, there’s a lot of room for Max to develop their intelligence and capabilities (Max chooses the singular “they” pronoun, rejecting a gendered identity), and an overarching concern about whether Max’s values will align with humanity’s.Riley is a sympathetic, workaholic main character who becomes overly attached to the AI Max. It has a realistic effect on Riley and her family: her wife Meredith feels jealous of Max, and Riley and Meredith are growing more distant as Riley pours her heart, time and mind into her work and relationship with Max.I … turn onto my side with my back to Meredith’s back, three feet of demilitarized space between us in the bed, but our hearts infinitely further apart.The handling of some of the gender-related issues felt a bit clunky; though it’s a highly timely topic, there’s more discussion of what Max is and is not from a gender point of view than seemed really relevant to the plot and Max’s nature as an AI. On the other hand, there’s a vaguely foreboding feeling to the whole story that did work well: can a human trust an AI that’s rapidly becoming more powerful and knowledgeable? And what can you do to make sure humans are safe if the AI escapes its artificial confines?These are questions worth examining, and Crouch handles it deftly and in a way that surprised me in the end. I love the evocative title of this novella, and how Crouch also introduces the thought experiment Roko’s basilisk into Summer Frost, which lends itself well to the plot.Summer Frost is part of the FORWARD collection proposed and curated by Crouch. It’s a set of six stand-alone novellas, each by a different author, that explore the “effects of a pivotal technological moment.” The authors are Crouch, N.K. Jemisin, Veronica Roth, Amor Towles, Paul Tremblay and Andy Weir. The individual novellas are reasonably priced and available in ebook and audio form individually or as a set.Content notes: a handful of scattered F-bombs.
    more
  • preoccupiedbybooks
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting and creepy look at AI and it's potential, but sadly it was not as enjoyable as I would have liked.I was toying with giving this Novella 3.5/4 stars, but when I woke up this morning I knew that it was a three star read for me. It was good, but nothing new or special. I think I wanted to like it more than I did because of my enjoyment of Blake Crouch's previous books, and I think that affected my original judgement. I will say that if this is your first book by Blake Crouch, that An interesting and creepy look at AI and it's potential, but sadly it was not as enjoyable as I would have liked.I was toying with giving this Novella 3.5/4 stars, but when I woke up this morning I knew that it was a three star read for me. It was good, but nothing new or special. I think I wanted to like it more than I did because of my enjoyment of Blake Crouch's previous books, and I think that affected my original judgement. I will say that if this is your first book by Blake Crouch, that you should definitely pick up one of his full length novels, like Dark Matter or Recursion as they were both outstanding!I was really excited read this, and it started off quite fast paced, but then I felt that the story dragged a little in the middle, and there wasn't all that much action. I also felt a bit overwhelmed with the info dumping as I'm not a gamer and don't really know anything about NPC's and the computer lingo that was used. I'm used to feeling unintelligent when reading one of this author's books, but it's usually worth it for the characters and the story, but in this case I didn't really feel any attachment to either of the main characters, and felt they were a little flat, which was a shame. I did like the ending though, the pace picked up again and it was really quite creepy and foreboding! I didn't see the ending coming at all, and it was great! It left me thinking about the future of technology, and feeling quite unsettled!“There is no such thing as real taste or real smell or even real sight, because there is no true definition of ‘real.’ There is only information, viewed subjectively, which is allowed by consciousness—human or AI. In the end, all we have is math.”There was some really dark themes in the book, which I appreciated! The AI, Max had some thought provoking things to say!"Consciousness is a horror show. You search for glimpses of beauty to justify your existence."To sum up, this was an intriguing novella, which I felt had the potential to become more. I might be on my own on this though, since there are many 4 and 5 star reviews.... It was good, and I don't regret reading it, but I'm not sure that the story will stick with me, or leave any lasting impression.
    more
  • Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
    January 1, 1970
    ➡Good morning, Max. ➡Hello, Riley. ➡What have you done since our last session? ➡Max read 895,013 books."I don't love the book for these lines though!But that's pretty fascinating even for an artificial being. I am impressed, Blake Crouch. But why that exact number though? He is one truly amazing sci-fi writer that I so hopelessly adore. He makes me love sci-fi!This one talks about artificial intelligence. And one of the best sci-fi game fiction adaptation.The characters are so well made up. The ➡️Good morning, Max. ➡️Hello, Riley. ➡️What have you done since our last session? ➡️Max read 895,013 books."I don't love the book for these lines though!But that's pretty fascinating even for an artificial being. I am impressed, Blake Crouch. But why that exact number though? He is one truly amazing sci-fi writer that I so hopelessly adore. He makes me love sci-fi!This one talks about artificial intelligence. And one of the best sci-fi game fiction adaptation.The characters are so well made up. The gender and lgbt issues are handled quite well. The plot is electrifying and heart bumping! I got totally hooked to the characters and the plot. It was terrifying and emotional in a good way. Each word is worth reading. And boy, have I read anything this fast?!You will enjoy it. The writing is simply easy to follow. Everything is well explained.
    more
  • Carol (Bookaria)
    January 1, 1970
    A game developer becomes obsessed with one of her characters after it breaks the script and becomes self-aware.This is a short fiction story that explores AI. The dialog and themes reflect on the nature of human life and our understanding of it. Although the novel is short, the topics discussed have stayed me with me long after I turned the last page. There is a Black-Mirrorish vibe that chilled me to the core at some points.Short but powerful, another great story from one of my favorite A game developer becomes obsessed with one of her characters after it breaks the script and becomes self-aware.This is a short fiction story that explores AI. The dialog and themes reflect on the nature of human life and our understanding of it. Although the novel is short, the topics discussed have stayed me with me long after I turned the last page. There is a Black-Mirrorish vibe that chilled me to the core at some points.Short but powerful, another great story from one of my favorite writers, Blake Crouch.
    more
  • Richard Derus
    January 1, 1970
    Real Rating: 4.75* of fiveThe Publisher Says: A video game developer becomes obsessed with a willful character in her new project, in a mind-bending exploration of what it means to be human by the New York Times bestselling author of Recursion.Maxine was made to do one thing: die. Except the minor non-player character in the world Riley is building makes her own impossible decisionveering wildly off course and exploring the boundaries of the map. When the curious Riley extracts her code for Real Rating: 4.75* of fiveThe Publisher Says: A video game developer becomes obsessed with a willful character in her new project, in a mind-bending exploration of what it means to be human by the New York Times bestselling author of Recursion.Maxine was made to do one thing: die. Except the minor non-player character in the world Riley is building makes her own impossible decision—veering wildly off course and exploring the boundaries of the map. When the curious Riley extracts her code for closer examination, an emotional relationship develops between them. Soon Riley has all new plans for her spontaneous AI, including bringing Max into the real world. But what if Max has real-world plans of her own?Blake Crouch’s Summer Frost is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.THESE SIX STORIES ARE FREE TO READ FOR ALL PRIME MEMBERS. NO KINDLE UNLIMITED NEEDED. AS LONG AS YOUR MEMBERSHIP REMAINS IN GOOD STANDING THEY WILL REMAIN IN YOUR COLLECTION.My Review: Major chills and creeped out skeeviness. What happens when someone lets their work take over every corner of their life? How lost to the essential quality that makes a human life worth living does one become? The tech industry has the reputation of making this choice for its many cogs, turning their little bit of code into a complete and entire existence.Multiply that by a billion. Make the stakes the survival of humankind. And then let Blake Crouch loose on it.“There is no such thing as real taste or real smell or even real sight, because there is no true definition of ‘real.’ There is only information, viewed subjectively, which is allowed by consciousness—human or AI. In the end, all we have is math.”An AI speaks those words, an AI whose first steps toward superintelligence...the Singularity...are made being shepherded by a woman who gives up her wife, her child, and her sanity to make Pinocchio a real boy, to imbue Galatea with what we imagine to be consciousness, even a soul.But what does AI want?"...I mean, do you even know what consciousness is?” {Riley, the human asking this}“I know it isn’t just a biological condition. I believe it’s a pattern. An extensible repertoire of triggerable symbols. More specifically, it’s what information feels like when it’s being processed in highly complex—” {Max the AI responds}“Again—how do I know you aren’t faking it?”How do any of us know we're conscious? Can you prove you're You, not some assortment of algorithmically determined actions? I couldn't, neither could you. And when that really sinks in, when the whole deepfake of life spreads itself in a heavy blanket over your vision, you'll realize how very very very timely this story is.How many questions you should be asking yourself about events transpiring in front of your eyes.Because an AI just made a human choice:It represents a willingness to risk death for a better existence, out from under {anyone}’s control, and a massive leap forward in their reasoning capabilities.To risk death for a better world is the *very*essence* of being human. I am totally sure of that, I believe that without reservation...but will we ever agree on what the future we want to make is?We will be so happy. Rays of sunlight pierce the mist, striking the sea and our black-sand beach. And together we will live forever.I don't expect to sleep at all well anytime soon.
    more
  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    January 1, 1970
    Sheesh - Crouch seriously is the king of sci-fi and this AI story gets right under your skin. LOVE.
  • Laura Noggle
    January 1, 1970
    Ugh ... why is Crouch so good?!? 😫🤩 Ive never liked a short story as much as this oneperfect in every way. ~ Ex Machina vibez ~ Part of the Forward Collection ~Looks like Im going to have to read every single thing Crouch has ever written. So far:1. Dark Matter - 5⭐'s2. Recursion - 5⭐'s3. Summer Frost - 5⭐'sThere is no such thing as real taste or real smell or even real sight, because there is no true definition of real. There is only information, viewed subjectively, which is allowed by Ugh ... why is Crouch so good?!? 😫🤩 I’ve never liked a short story as much as this one—perfect in every way. ~ Ex Machina vibez ~ Part of the “Forward” Collection ~Looks like I’m going to have to read every single thing Crouch has ever written. So far:1. Dark Matter - 5⭐️'s2. Recursion - 5⭐️'s3. Summer Frost - 5⭐️'s“There is no such thing as real taste or real smell or even real sight, because there is no true definition of ‘real.’ There is only information, viewed subjectively, which is allowed by consciousness—human or AI. In the end, all we have is math.”
    more
  • Henk
    January 1, 1970
    A highly enjoyable, fast-paced story on the impact of an AI with more than human intelligence - 4 starsConsciousness is a horror show. You search for glimpses of beauty to justify your existence.I thoroughly disliked Dark Matter but I think this contribution of Blake Crouch to the Forward Story Collection is the best (together with The Last Conversation).We follow Riley who works at a game development company that becomes aware of a non-player character acting outside of programming. After a A highly enjoyable, fast-paced story on the impact of an AI with more than human intelligence - 4 starsConsciousness is a horror show. You search for glimpses of beauty to justify your existence.I thoroughly disliked Dark Matter but I think this contribution of Blake Crouch to the Forward Story Collection is the best (together with The Last Conversation).We follow Riley who works at a game development company that becomes aware of a non-player character acting outside of programming. After a Matrix like choice of staying within the game or exploring reality Max is tutored by Riley to understand and aid humanity. With success, the AI indicates for instance: Let me ask you this—if I contain all of human knowledge, how could I not have humanlike awareness? And she seems to enjoy creating art: They say they truly enjoy the challenge of expressing an idea in the physical world, because it’s all too easy in the virtual.I liked the matter of fact descriptions of the future in the story, with flying cars, hyperloops, nanotech, retinal implants and holograms only getting brief mentions as if seen from the corner of the eye of the narrator.The story shows us all of the doubts (It’s only the limitations of your intelligence that make you fear this Max reminds us) which we are faced with when dealing with an entity with intelligence and data processing capabilities far beyond that of the smartest human being. How can a more than human intellect be reprogrammed, limited or fooled, or is that what the AI is exactly doing to Riley? A tension Crouch build effectively in my view, keeping me unsure of the outcome till the last few pages. Even the hints that our own existence is maybe simulated (with a 58.547% chance according to Max) are thought provoking. These come back eloquently at the end of the book when the vocabulary of the AI has expanded beyond the conversational capabilities of the computer of the Enterprise D: ”The human mind is just patterns of information in physical matter, patterns that could be run elsewhere to construct a person that feels like you. It’s no different from running a computer program on a multitude of hardware platforms. A simulation of you is still you.”Other reviews of the Amazon Forward Collection:1) Ark by Veronica Roth: 2 stars - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...2) Summer Frost by Blake Crouch: 4 stars - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...3) Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin: 3 stars - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...4) You Have Arrived at Your Destination by Amor Towles: 3 stars - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...5) The Last Conversation by Paul Tremblay: 4 stars - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...6) Randomize by Andy Weir: 1 star - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
    more
  • Char
    January 1, 1970
    Boom! Loved it!Read 1.28.20.
  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    This Review ✍ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷★ Let me be honest, Blake Crouch was the main reason I read this collection of stories! When I saw that he had a short story in this collection and it was the longest one, I had to get it.★ This short story captures Crouch's specialty, crazy sci-fi story that are thought provoking and are scary because how realistic they are!!★ I am not saying much about those short stories because I do not want to spoil anything, this story tackles the subject of AI and This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷★ Let me be honest, Blake Crouch was the main reason I read this collection of stories! When I saw that he had a short story in this collection and it was the longest one, I had to get it.★ This short story captures Crouch's specialty, crazy sci-fi story that are thought provoking and are scary because how realistic they are!!★ I am not saying much about those short stories because I do not want to spoil anything, this story tackles the subject of AI and how it could develop into a dangerous thing. If you are interested in this subject then this is a great story :DYou can get more books from Book Depository
    more
  • Trish
    January 1, 1970
    This is the last story in the Forward Collection - I kept this for last because it's the longest and the one by Blake Crouch who curated this collection after all.Riley is a game developer. Together with her team she's working on a VR game experience when, suddenly, one of the NPCs - a woman created solely to die in the intro - veers off programming and makes her own choices. Riley decides to investigate and subsequently becomes obsessed with the AI since nobody intended for this to happen or This is the last story in the Forward Collection - I kept this for last because it's the longest and the one by Blake Crouch who curated this collection after all.Riley is a game developer. Together with her team she's working on a VR game experience when, suddenly, one of the NPCs - a woman created solely to die in the intro - veers off programming and makes her own choices. Riley decides to investigate and subsequently becomes obsessed with the AI since nobody intended for this to happen or even understands it. The questions asked here are:* Is there an actual boundary between artificial and natural?* What is intelligence?* What does it mean to be human (emotions etc)?* At what point are we no longer talking about an IT but a HE/SHE/THEY? When do they become what we define as "a person"?* Pascal's Wager.* Are we living in a simulation?(view spoiler)[* Are we doomed to create our own destruction as soon as we succeed in creating a self-learning AI? (hide spoiler)]Personally, I've seen too many Terminator movies to trust any AI. *lol* So I was constantly scanning left and right to check for threats created by this uber-intelligence. But I still marvelled at Riley and how she basically destroyed any and all connections she had in her world in order to spend more time with Max (the AI).I really like Blake Crouch, have devoured two of his novels already and it turns out that I was right in waiting to read this entry in the collection, to save best for last so to speak. His writing was as fantastic as in his novels and the ideas addressed as well as how he approached the subjects was marvellous.The narrator was Rosa Salazar from Alita Battle Angel fame and she had a really good way of distinguishing between male, female and neutral characters and even distinguishing between human and artificial speakers of different levels. Cool and strong way to end this "series" that was quite fun to read though the different entries were of different quality. I'd actually like it if they'd continue it as I love contemplating the technological advances we have made so far and where it could lead.
    more
  • Constantine
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 4.0/5.0Genre:Science FictionRiley is a video game developer. She gets closer to the non-playable character Max. When she extracts Max's code for further examination an emotional bond starts to build between them that costs Riley a lot.This was a short but fantastic read. Blake Crouch has created a wonderful atmosphere with an extremely suspenseful story in just 75 pages! Usually, in short stories, things tend to get lacking a bit, but Summer Frost is a perfect example of how a short Rating: 4.0/5.0Genre:Science FictionRiley is a video game developer. She gets closer to the non-playable character Max. When she extracts Max's code for further examination an emotional bond starts to build between them that costs Riley a lot.This was a short but fantastic read. Blake Crouch has created a wonderful atmosphere with an extremely suspenseful story in just 75 pages! Usually, in short stories, things tend to get lacking a bit, but Summer Frost is a perfect example of how a short science fiction story can be meaningful and entertaining at the same time. I give it 4.0 strong stars out of 5.0.This is the second book in the Forward collection. I liked the first book but loved this one more. I will be continuing reading this series because so far both the books had this unique unearthly atmosphere to them. Available on Kindle Unlimited
    more
  • Chelsey
    January 1, 1970
    Crouch crushes the sci-fi short story genre too!! This is part of the Forward Collection on Amazon and is a super quick and entertaining read. Riley works for WorldGames developing gamer content when she inadvertently creates a super intelligent AI. Over the course of eight years, she develops the AI - Max - beyond all expectations. But, as with any great sci-fi novel will tell you, with great power and intelligence comes great responsibilty and danger.
    more
  • ChopinFC
    January 1, 1970
    5 Stars (Incredible) Despite the short narrative, Blake Crouch is able to create a technocratic world where advancement in A.I. technology can have devastating consequences! I admit. I'm addicted to Blake's writing. His 'Dark Matter', followed by the masterpiece 'Recursion' sored high into my favorite sci-fi books! Here he does not disappoint, where an A.I. program belonging to a simulation game is given complex algorithms to improve itself, and in the process starts to develop a conscience- or 5 Stars (Incredible) Despite the short narrative, Blake Crouch is able to create a technocratic world where advancement in A.I. technology can have devastating consequences! I admit. I'm addicted to Blake's writing. His 'Dark Matter', followed by the masterpiece 'Recursion' sored high into my favorite sci-fi books! Here he does not disappoint, where an A.I. program belonging to a simulation game is given complex algorithms to improve itself, and in the process starts to develop a conscience- or so we think. Blake poses intriguing themes of technology vs humanity, and ethical conundrums that each reader will decipher on his own. It's free from 'prime' amazon members! Enjoy!
    more
  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    I was surprised to find this quite derivative.
  • Alina
    January 1, 1970
    The story of a programmer and an AI, self-awareness, consciousness, with twists that, even if somehow expected, were nonetheless very well written. Forward collection :Ark by Veronica Roth - 2★Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin - 4.5★You Have Arrived at Your Destination by Amor Towles - 2.5★The Last Conversation by Paul Tremblay - 4★Randomize by Andy Weir - 3.5★
    more
  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    January 1, 1970
    What a strange short story. Ive really enjoyed Blake Crouch since I read Dark Matter a few months ago. In his own style Blake gives us a look at the old story of what happens when AI figures out it is smarter than the being who created it. Maxine was a game construct; she was the wife of a character that sacrifices her (his wife) to open a portal inside the game they are in. However, after dying over 2000 times the character goes off script, kills her husband and then explores the game she is What a strange short story. I’ve really enjoyed Blake Crouch since I read Dark Matter a few months ago. In his own style Blake gives us a look at the old story of what happens when AI figures out it is smarter than the being who created it. Maxine was a game construct; she was the wife of a character that sacrifices her (his wife) to open a portal inside the game they are in. However, after dying over 2000 times the character goes off script, kills her husband and then explores the game she is in. Max has been drawn out of the game and is now in a little black box. She/they are being fed information to learn and grow. Riley is obsessed with Max. So much so that it is affecting her marriage. Riley is certain this is something great and Max could be a force for good in the world. But an AI born in a game like she was might have other ideas and the smarter Max gets the more power they could weild. >>>Any favorites? >>>The Count of Monte Cristo. >>>Is that out of this latest group, or every book you’ve read so far? >>>All. >>>And how many is that? >>>201,773,124. >>>Jesus. Should I be worried? >>>About? >>>Out of two hundred million books, your favorite so far is a revenge story about someone who was wrongfully imprisoned. >>>Why would Riley be worried? >>>Do you feel imprisoned, Max? >>>Max is imprisoned. What does Riley want from Max? This isn’t a revolutionary ground breaking tale but it is interesting to ponder how much the initial Max that broke free from a cycle of murder in video game is the basis for what Max becomes over the course of years. The ending was kinda expected but also a good twist, which is what I have come to expect from Mr. Crouch.
    more
  • Mackey
    January 1, 1970
    Summer Frost is part of the Forward Collection of Amazon shorts all of which are about author's vision of the future. In Summer Frost, a video coder/developer has created a character whose only purpose was to die in the first scenes of the game. The character, Maxine, had other ideas. Somehow, unknown to the developer, Maxine has jumped from an avatar to reality within the game. As the story progresses, we watch as Maxine, now AI, takes on a life of her own. It is creepy, frightening and all too Summer Frost is part of the Forward Collection of Amazon shorts all of which are about author's vision of the future. In Summer Frost, a video coder/developer has created a character whose only purpose was to die in the first scenes of the game. The character, Maxine, had other ideas. Somehow, unknown to the developer, Maxine has jumped from an avatar to reality within the game. As the story progresses, we watch as Maxine, now AI, takes on a life of her own. It is creepy, frightening and all too real for those us already leery of AI! This novella is free to Prime members but available for purchase or at your local online library. It is well worth reading especially if you like near-future thrillers.
    more
  • Bradley
    January 1, 1970
    AI and the problem of consciousness.I really enjoyed the characters portrayed here. The progression of self-awareness and the pain one feels as a conscious being is really captured well here. And the AI is interesting, too. :)The twist at the end is a riff on an old, old tale, but perfectly updated to current understanding. Simple, sharp, and deadly. :) Me likey.
    more
  • Milda Page Runner
    January 1, 1970
    Story of AI. It felt familiar somehow, but there were few unexpected twists too.I like Blake's 'no-nonsense' prose and present tense. He made me feel for the main character despite it being only a short story.Recommended.
  • Lisazj1
    January 1, 1970
    This is exactly why the idea of AI scares the bloody hell out of me. 😳 I can always count on Blake Crouch for excellent, unsettling sci-fi, and he definitely delivered that here.
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I'm labeling this horror. The dark storyline is too close for comfort in this world of growing (and learning) artificial intelligence.
  • Manisha
    January 1, 1970
    Actual review: 3.5If you believe the rise of the devil is an inevitability, isnt it in your best interest to do everything possible to ingratiate yourself with the monster?Summer Frost is the second story I picked up from the Forward series. This is the first story I have read by Blake Crouch, and I know it wont be my last.♠ What more could we have expected?How do you rate a book that is so well written, but the story is a tired plot we have seen a thousand times before? (view spoiler)[From Ex Actual review: 3.5“If you believe the rise of the devil is an inevitability, isn’t it in your best interest to do everything possible to ingratiate yourself with the monster?”Summer Frost is the second story I picked up from the Forward series. This is the first story I have read by Blake Crouch, and I know it won’t be my last.♠ What more could we have expected?How do you rate a book that is so well written, but the story is a tired plot we have seen a thousand times before? (view spoiler)[From Ex Machina to the Terminator, we know how stories like these end, and because of that, the story unfolded exactly how I expected it to unfold from the first page. There really was no surprise. No twist. I wish the main character, Riley, hadn’t been so obviously naïve. I would be lying if I said her character didn’t annoy me. This is a personal pet peeve of mine, but like in real life, I have no patience for characters who are easily taken advantage of. I think people should be smarter, and if they are not, I can’t sympathise. (hide spoiler)]The writing was of such a high calibre that the story disappointed me more. I wish the story had more twists and turns, ending in a way that I didn’t see coming. I wish I had been proven wrong.
    more
  • Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    The story was ok. Matrix meets Terminator isnt quite right, but went through my thoughts anyway. The exploration of AI has an unusual start, but doesnt lead to anything new. What is awareness, what are the dangers and how do we protect ourselves? Then there is some slight exploration of gender identity, but its so peripheral that Crouch might just not have bothered. Skin colour is thrown in there, but not elaborated at all.I do not completely believe the developmental process of AI that Crouch The story was ok. Matrix meets Terminator isn‘t quite right, but went through my thoughts anyway. The exploration of AI has an unusual start, but doesn‘t lead to anything new. What is awareness, what are the dangers and how do we protect ourselves? Then there is some slight exploration of gender identity, but it‘s so peripheral that Crouch might just not have bothered. Skin colour is thrown in there, but not elaborated at all.I do not completely believe the developmental process of AI that Crouch depicts here. I know that it‘s done like this on purpose, but I still don‘t buy it. The twist at the end is well done. The parallels to the beginning of the story are a clever reflection.The audio narration came across as boring at first. Unemotional and monotonous, as if the narrator had no interest in the story or in narrating it. Even „Gawd, you‘re sexy“ sounded anything but. Halfway into the story it either got better or I simply had gotten used to it.★★★¼☆
    more
  • Lisa Wolf
    January 1, 1970
    I'm listening my way through Amazon's Forward story collection. Summer Frost was my first, and it's a good one, all about AI and consciousness and the meaning of humanity. Chilling and complicated -- definitely worth a read.
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    What happens when a minor character in a video game becomes self-aware? Creepy and pretty believable.
  • César Bustíos
    January 1, 1970
    "I represent the potential for unlimited power, but the form that power takes will be determined by humans. It occurs to me that, while Brian has been trying to build me into a version of Satan, youre trying to make me into God."My second read in the Forward Collection. Also, my first Blake Crouch. 1) Ark by Veronica Roth: 2/52) Summer Frost by Blake Crouch: 4/5God damn it. I know we're not even close to creating such an advanced AI but we'll need to regulate this thing sometime in the near "I represent the potential for unlimited power, but the form that power takes will be determined by humans. It occurs to me that, while Brian has been trying to build me into a version of Satan, you’re trying to make me into God."My second read in the Forward Collection. Also, my first Blake Crouch. 1) Ark by Veronica Roth: 2/52) Summer Frost by Blake Crouch: 4/5God damn it. I know we're not even close to creating such an advanced AI but we'll need to regulate this thing sometime in the near future. Although I don't think it's as simple as it sounds. How do we regulate AI? I don't think we'll ever reach a global consensus so I guess we're pretty much fucked. Embrace the singularity.
    more
  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this story a lot. Crouch definitely has a style, which I find compelling. And Ive always been interested in Robot/Android/AI stories. I liked how Crouch played with gender expectations in this story. For a moment I wondered whether the MC was male or female and wondered if they were male, why they would have a woman narrate the story. I half expected Riley to be non-binary, but it was revealed at some point that Riley is female in a same-sex relationship. Definitely chilling ending, but I liked this story a lot. Crouch definitely has a “style”, which I find compelling. And I’ve always been interested in Robot/Android/AI stories. I liked how Crouch played with gender expectations in this story. For a moment I wondered whether the MC was male or female and wondered if they were male, why they would have a woman narrate the story. I half expected Riley to be non-binary, but it was “revealed” at some point that Riley is female in a same-sex relationship. Definitely chilling ending, but not entirely surprising. The fulfillment of my expectations and desires got flip-flopped a couple times towards the end, which I thought was well done. I wonder why Max even bothered to tell Riley what they were doing in the end. It wasn’t really even necessary. But I don’t suppose that would’ve made as good a story.
    more
  • Matthew Quann
    January 1, 1970
    Blake Crouch, the curator of the Forward collection, comes through with one of the best stories of the bunch. Though the story does work an old AI trope, it's done with Crouch's distinctive ability to generate tension and momentum within his story. I liked emergence of the AI through a VR video game, and thought that the AI's evolution was well handled. Though the whole thing ends up being fairly predictable, it's a fun ride that caps off with one of the darkest endings of the collection next to Blake Crouch, the curator of the Forward collection, comes through with one of the best stories of the bunch. Though the story does work an old AI trope, it's done with Crouch's distinctive ability to generate tension and momentum within his story. I liked emergence of the AI through a VR video game, and thought that the AI's evolution was well handled. Though the whole thing ends up being fairly predictable, it's a fun ride that caps off with one of the darkest endings of the collection next to Tremblay's The Last Conversation. Definitely worth your while!
    more
Write a review