Bogdan Bogdanov has created the ultimate robot in Semmant, a sentient creation who lives inside a computer and whose calculating ability to rule the stock markets makes his creator rich. There's only one problem: riches alone do not make happiness: love does - and when Bogdan falls in love, he finds himself in the unusual position of vying with his own creation for the love of his life.
Originally created in Russian, the English translation of Semmant is flawlessly presented and opens with a man confined who has lost everything but his mind, and who is alone, facing treatments, spies, and isolation. How did this all happen to a creative mathematical genius who invented something the world has never seen before?
Semmant is the ultimate story of a Dr. Frankenstein scenario gone wrong - but it focuses on the creator's rise and fall as much as the developing individuality of his creation. It contains (be forewarned) a healthy degree of sexual exploration and a depth of discussion that makes it recommended not to a sci-fi reader of light, casual adventure; but for the college-level, literary-minded enthusiast of complex relationships and plots.
Such an audience will appreciate Babenko's ability to avoid over-simplification in favor of unraveling the true complexity of relationships between people and between the living and the machine mindset: a satisfyingly complex dance rich in literary images, exquisitely-drawn protagonists, and the ironies and inconsistencies of the human mind.