With French Flaps
5.0" X 8.25"
SONY READER (TBA)
i-ROBOT Poetry by Jason Christie
"You may never look at your toaster
the same way again."
"Jason Christie is even weirder than I am. That doesn't happen a lot. If you let him in your home he will seduce and abandon your DVD player, and get all your LCD clocks arguing with each other. But by then you won't mind. This is why mother warned me about robot poetry." - Spider Robinson
i-ROBOT Poetry by Jason Christie is a revolutionary literary work by Jason Christie wherein robots and animated appliances lament their position as slaves to human desires, and dream of finding their own identities and destinies. The separation between robots and humans isn't as vast as we had previously imagined. In fact it doesn't exist at all. In i-ROBOT Poetry by Jason Christie the popularly misperceived boundary between humans and technology shifts, blurs and disappears to the point where robots become all too human in their wants, needs, and aspirations.
These poems detail a not-too-distant future where anything robotic has sentience. With sentience, the robots begin to desire autonomy and individuality. The pursuit of independence might seem ridiculous at first, as some of the robotic devices featured in the poems are garborators, refrigerators, and washing machines. They even get the blues:
"Why do I have to be one of millions?
Why can't I just be a lonely little one
in search of a zero to call my own?..."
This highly intelligent collection of ROBOTICA is a stunning analysis of the world of robots, their inner emotions and what they perceive of the men and machines around them. Finally, a new genre has emerged through the dry, satirical wit and warm sensitivity of poet Jason Christie.
A BookShorts video based on i-ROBOT Poetry by Jason Christie is currently playing at film and literary festivals; showing up on bookstore video screens and being made available for hand-held video phones, video i-POD devices and on personal video-viewers - worldwide!
About Jason Christie
Jason Christie was once told by a high school councilor that "he would have a hard time in college, so he had best get a trade as soon as possible".
Luckily for lovers of poetry and science fiction Jason disregarded the advice and instead obtained his BA Honours (with a double major in English Literature and Creative Writing), and his MA from the University of Calgary.
He is one of Canada’s most innovative poets with an avant-garde approach to poetry that challenges the status quo and questions what a poem may be.
His work has been reviewed in The Calgary Herald, The Globe & Mail, and on numerous poetry and poetics blogs — most notably Ron Silliman's.
Jason has been published in literary magazines, journals, and anthologies. He also contributed, as an editor (along with Derek Beaulieu and Angela Rawlings), to the sensational anthology “Shift&Switch: New Canadian Poetry”, published by Mercury Press in 2005. His previous book of poetry, entitled “Canada Post”, was published in the Spring of 2006 by Snare Books.
Jason writes with a highly intelligent, satirical and somewhat whimsical, alternative style. This is strongly evidenced in i-ROBOT Poetry by Jason Christie.
Jason Christie lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. [MORE]
Video Interpretation by Janice Blaine
[CLICK the word PLAY]
"I encourage you to read the sample poems from the book and watch the short video based on it..." - Matt Denault, Fantasy Book Spot
"Christie's i-ROBOT Poetry is the sort of book that comes around only once in a very long while - a really original one." - Alex Rettie, Alberta Views
"... this collection of poems manages a perfect fusion of robotic rumination and all those questions about existence that we're no better at solving in our wet little brains. The thoughtful toasters in this terrific collection have all the angst you can pack in a can and at the same time must deal with the awareness that it's all borrowed grief. It's not theirs anymore than flesh could ever be." - Ernest Lilley, SF Revu
"i-ROBOT Poetry is a little piece of brilliance, and like so much brilliant but offbeat writing, it's extremely hard to explain.... [it is] fascinating, sometimes challenging, but always thought-provoking collection that deserves widespread recognition and appreciation." - Dru Pagliassotti, The Harrow
"Overall, i-ROBOT Poetry is an excellent choice for Edge as their flagship release of a cover-to-cover edition of science fiction poetry. It’s well-written, intellectually meaty stuff, which still manages to be funny, and own its pedigree as science fiction." - Stephen Humphrey, Yet Another Book Review Site
"... I like this book very much. It's beautifully produced, with a handsome cover that has the word "robot" embossed on a copper-colored band illustrated with a robot striding across the page. A robot that strikes me as genuinely disturbing .... just creepy enough to make you uneasy, without being in any way a caricature. And the poems are beautifully crafted, heavy with skillful sound patterns." - Suzette Haden Elgin, reviewer ozarque.livejournal.com
"... superbly crafted verse ... thoughtful and thought-provoking ..." - Midwest Book Review
"Christie’s i-ROBOT Poetry offers much good reading, and its contents will definitely appeal to high school students. Teachers in a number of subject areas, not just English, will find the collection’s contents connecting with their curriculum.... "Highly Recommended." - Dave Jenkinson, Canadian Review of Materials Magazine
"Last night I headed over to Mercer Union for an installment of Test, a favorite series of mine. ... The second reader was Jason Christie, reading from his recently published i-ROBOT Poetry, a collection of prose poetry exploring a world where every machine containing a computer chip gains sentience. I wasn't sure what to expect, but quickly fell in love with these quirky, unreliable machines and their sorrows over 'purpose' and 'existence'." - Live Journal / mapleleaf poem
"The robo-poems are beautful, and we’ll return to them when we’re studying the Matrix, because they ask the question that the Matrix never lets you ask. Why shouldn’t machines have the same rights as humans?" - parrishka - Imperfect Offering
"Christie depicts a strange, uncanny future, in which our intelligent,interactive appliances (be they "smart" dishwashers or "vocal" automobiles) have begun to crave their own creative autonomy--but, alas, their human users only see these whims as nothing more than a ridiculous, if not capricious, malfunction. The condition of these surreal devices almost becomes a conceit for the abject status of poetry in the modern milieu." - Christian Bök, poet
"Jason Christie is even weirder than I am. That doesn't happen a lot. If you let him in your home he will seduce and abandon your DVD player, and get all your LCD clocks arguing with each other. But by then you won't mind. This is why mother warned me about robot poetry." - Spider Robinson, co-author (with Robert A. Heinlein) of VARIABLE STAR
"I left my human out in the rain and the dye in its wool ran. Now it writes like Jason Christie. We all know his robot wrote these poems for him while he was working the night shift, but let's pretend we didn't notice. These poems turn the flesh machine inside out. Through reading this book, we are forced to question what we assume about our own subjectivity, the objectness of objects, the borders between humans and tools. We must ask ourselves what service is, and what it means to use-a thing, a person, a group of things or people. The answers are hilarious, but also troubling. If we could clear industrialization and capitalism out of the way, we might come clean. The problem is that love lies somewhere in the mix, and I don't think the robots are ready to let go of that yet." - Larissa Lai, author
"Christie’s collection of robot as autonomous evolutionary species is fresh and funny and of course performs the most important role of a collection of poetry, which is to shed the light of the profound on some aspect of the human condition." - Rhea Rose, poet and editor
"Facile, quick, entertaining, thought provoking and sharp. Electronic wit finely tuned and integrated; a circuit circus of robotic ponderables. and merry mechanizations yet never contrived, forced, mechanical or robota." - Bruce Taylor, author
"Just wanted to say that I finally figured out how to get my Linux system here to run that i-ROBOT Poetry mp4 file, and so have just been watching. It was a bonzer bit of fun (ie, it was good). Must say the idea of machines, and in fact every inanimate object, one day "waking up" and becoming fully conscious and intelligent, etc, is one that I've been thinking about myself for some time, but haven't yet quite figured out how to render it in a story. Very interesting to see this take on the material." - K. A. Bedford, author of ECLIPSE
"It sounds as if Christie will get heavy with us, but he often short-circuits sobriety with humour. The robots, for example, are "oiled," I presume, much like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. Christie makes a connection between what was, and what has been forgotten in the form of robot garburators, toilets, toasters, and in humans going to the movies to view the latest remake of the Will Smith film, I, Spartacus! At one point the robot dryer is told that it will not be allowed to sleep in the same bed as its humans anymore. This verges on goofball humour, but trust Christie. He doesn't come down decisively in either camp: to robot or not to robot is not the question. "Your robot. A noun. Your verb. You can do the / robot." (60) Christie is most creative posing the questions.
Years after we discovered that along with
sentience and emotions, robots inherited the
ability to feel pain but not the emotional
vocabulary to articulate it, our legal system
nearly burst from the number of robot vs.
owner cases that flooded the courts. (22)
Christie repeatedly offers up scenarios that parallel what has happened or is happening to us as humans, but peoples these scenarios with robots. We are privy to a robot's worry that "we'll all be happily enslaved to propagating / the enemy." (17) Christie creates a world populated with robots who have drug problems, robots with class distinctions, insane robots and cyborg evangelists who've managed to get gay marriages declared unconstitutional, and are after the same for robot marriages. Robots of course have their own beginning of life debate: is it at the point of manufacture, or at the point of actuation? This book roams our world just beneath the stratosphere, radiating tantalizing ideas and head-jerking observations. It is the perfect volume for anyone who has wondered, and feared, just where in cyberspace their deleted emails go, or why that kind of thought should even matter. My review copy came with an animated DVD short and special feature that sent my DVD-playing software unto a temporary tizzy. Who can question the power of poetry?" - Andrew Vaisius, Reviewer for Prairie Fire Magazine
As a big SF fan, the name (i-ROBOT) caught my eye. I am not usually one for Poetry, but this book is great. With over 75 poems I just could not set the book down. I stood there and read half the book before I knew it. Check out the short book film also. - CLD, ConNotations
"Somewhat similar to Bruce Boston's sensibilities, but with threads of Steve Aylett's gonzoness, we discover Jason Christie with his i-ROBOT Poetry. Together, these scores of poems build up a surreal cybernetic future where the problems of machine intelligence assume positively Asimovian dimensions. A poem like "Merciless," with its presentation of a suffering robot who wishes nothing more than the release of sleep, expertly walks the tightrope between pathos and sentimentality. Whether full narratives ("Everybody Do the Robot") or only composed of single lines ("Robota!" : "Was the holographic turkey hot-looking enough when we had our paid friends over for a pretend dinner party on act-like-a-human day"), Christie's poems achieve startling insights into non-human humanity." - Paul Di Filippo, Asimov's
From the humorous to the heartfelt, this little animated film, i-ROBOT Poetry, delivers a unique social commentary through the eyes of robots around us. You may never look at your blow-dryer, toaster or our automated world in the same way again.
i-ROBOT Poetry by Jason Christie
Behind The Scenes Features
Jason's national tour in Canada and the US is produced with the assistance of Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
i-ROBOT Poetry is produced with the assistance of BookShorts Literacy Program, Canadian Heritage and EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing.
Download Free Quicktime Player