Like Succession meets Blade Runner … an extremely compelling and satisfying read that allowed me to investigate my own place in our time of communion and interdependence with machines.
—Pip Adam, author of Acorn Prize winner The New Animals
Something is rotten in the state of cybernetics.
Elsinore Robotics is on the cusp of a breakthrough—the company is poised to create the first humanoid androids powered by true artificial intelligence. Their only rival, Norwegian Technologies, lost a publicly streamed contest between their flagship model, Fortinbras, and Elsinore’s HAM(let) v.1.
But when the first Hamlet model is found irreparably deactivated, the apparent victim of wild malware, the field of consumer cybernetics is thrown wide open. However, Hamlet v.1’s memories were not entirely lost in the accident.
Hamlet v.2 swears to avenge his progenitor, but is plagued by the aftereffects of integrating Old Hamlet’s backup into his own neural matrix. Beset by doubts about whether his feelings are truly his own, he worries his love for his boyfriend, Horatio, is an illusion, all the while driven by a consuming need for revenge. While he has a method, there is a madness in it, and Hamlet’s actions will leave no corner of Elsinore unscathed.
A beat-by-beat retelling of the Shakespeare classic, Hamlet, Prince of Robots grapples with conscience, ambition, and pain, and what it means to be, or not to be, human.
- androids with feelings 🤖❤️🔥
- an actual swordfight ⚔️ 🤺
- easter eggs 🦁👑
I had a grin on my face from the first sentence of this book to the last. Hamlet, Prince of Robots is enormous fun and a real gift to lovers of Shakespeare or science fiction or both, exploring the themes of the original through an exciting new lens. Familiar and surprising, clever and moving: I enjoyed it immensely.
—Kate Heartfield, author of Sunday Times bestseller The Embroidered Book
Read a sample.
“‘To be, or not to be?’ is so much more powerful when you ask it in the company of your maker. Through queering and technologising this classic Wehm makes it possible to ask freshly and in many cases more deeply the questions the original Hamlet raises around grief and pain and the ways we know ourselves. The post-human characters in this book open doors into ourselves. Like Succession meets Blade Runner – Wehm’s genius creates a court in a billion-dollar business and makes explicit the difficulties and joys of living as a sentient creation. Hamlet, Prince of Robots is an extremely compelling and satisfying read that allowed me to investigate my own place in our time of communion and interdependence with machines. What is it to be with robots? How am I ‘to be’ when so much of my life is determined by algorithm? These are questions that Wehm’s book makes space for.” —Pip Adam, author of Acorn Prize winner The New Animals
“A delightful recasting of the classic play as a science fiction tale, Hamlet, Prince of Robots deftly weaves together the concerns of A.I. and corporate politics with the timeless themes of friendship and betrayal.” —S.B. Divya, Hugo and Nebula nominated author of Machinehood
“Hamlet, Prince of Robots is smart, reflective, and tinged with a playful sense of humour that does not feel out of place amid the inevitable tragedy. … a captivating and thoroughly satisfying read, a feast for both the emotional and the nerdy parts of my brain alike.” —Andi C. Buchanan, Sir Julius Vogel Award winning author of Sanctuary
“Wehm doesn’t just transpose the original setting to a future one—they have given us a story that highlights both Shakespeare’s original themes and applies them to 21st-century problems we already are facing, and others we are likely to face in the very near future.” —Michael R. Johnston, author of The Remembrance War series
“Hamlet, Prince of Robots is a delightful retelling that hits the themes of Hamlet beat for beat but updates them to suit a modern and future audience. This will make a stunning companion for those who seek to understand Hamlet but find the Shakespearean language inaccessible.” —Dawn Vogel, author of Promise Me Nothing
“Wehm enchants & delights with robot ghosts in the machine, corporate intrigue, and poignant questions as to the nature of free will & the family ties that bind us beyond reason … A must-read novella.” — Mia V. Moss, author of Mai Tais for the Lost