[PW] Novels with buildings as characters/main protagonists

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Tue Jul 30 21:57:25 PDT 2019


Demon Seed is a science fiction techno-horror novel by Dean Koontz. It
was published in 1973 and made into a movie in 1977. An artificial
intelligence system called Proteus is created by a character in the
book.  Proteus proceeds to take control of a highly automated house
and imprison a person named Susan in the house. The book was rewritten
by Koontz in 1997.

Wikipedia stated the following about the point of view of the novels:
[Begin excerpt]
The earlier version has a dual narrative, with some chapters written
from the perspective of Susan, the story's heroine, and others based
on the observations of Proteus, the rogue computer that imprisons her.
The later version is written entirely from the point of view of
Proteus.
[End excerpt]

So, in a sense, the novels are written (in whole or part) from the
point of view of the house. More precisely, the books are written from
the point of view of an AI system controlling a house. Decades ago, I
saw the movie on television. The faint memory of the movie led me the
Wikipedia entries. I have not read the books.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_Seed
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_Seed_(novel)

The following example might be pertinent. The house appeared in a film
not a novel.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_House_(film)

[Begin Wikipedia excerpt]
Smart House is a 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) about a
teenage contest whiz (Ryan Merriman), his widowed father, and his
little sister, who win a computerized house that begins to take on a
life of its own – the life of an overbearing mother (Katey Sagal).
[End Wikipedia excerpt]

Garson O'Toole

On Mon, Jul 29, 2019 at 8:30 PM Sherman, James <jsherman at lapl.org> wrote:
>
> Hello, I have a patron looking for novels  narrated by buildings .  There
> are titles that have been described as having the building "as the main
> character", such as *Life: A Users Manual  by Perec*
> Or  *The Uninvited Guest *by Jones, or a couple of books in Shirley
> Jackson's oeuvre, and there's also Manderley of *Rebecca*.... there's quite
> a few that have the house as more than a setting and something of a
> character.
>
> Still, none of the examples I or my colleagues could think up or find had
> the building talking, much less narrating the action.
>
> I am eager to find out if we missed something.  Thank you!
> _______________________________________________
> Project Wombat - Project-wombat
> list at project-wombat.org
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