Love, Death & Robots, Volume 3

The latest volume of Love, Death & Robots dropped Friday on Netflix. I had hoped to meter my watching of them this time, but it didn’t happen. I avoided binging the whole thing Friday night, but by last night I was done.

As usual, these are all relatively short, in the 10-20 minute range. All of them this time feel very dark, although a few help the darkness go down with healthy doses of humor.

The humorous ones include a return of John Scalzi’s three robots touring a post-apocalyptic Earth, a bird’s eye view of a zombie apocalypse caused by drunken sex in a graveyard, and a tale of US special forces fighting a CIA created cyber-bear gone very wrong.

There were a couple written by Neal Asher. I’ve read a lot of his science fiction, but these seemed to be drawing from his fantasy work, which I don’t think I knew about. One is a sailing crew trying to survive with a giant human-eating crab aboard. (Asher seems preoccupied with crustaceans in his fiction.) The other is a farmer dealing with an infestation of intelligent rats.

Most of the others are surreal. But the one that will likely stick with me for a while is Bruce Sterling’s “Swarm”, about an alien entity called the swarm. The swarm is identified as a giant biological machine, one that is non-sentient. The protagonist thinks he’s going to find a way to exploit it. But he discovers just how short term his thinking is, and that long term survival in this universe may come with appalling cost.

If you liked the earlier volumes, I’m pretty sure you’ll like this one. These are stories in the tradition of the old magazine Heavy Metal. They’re animated, but not stuff you’ll likely want your young children to watch.

As before, my only real complaint is that there weren’t enough of them. But I guess quality takes time.

If you’ve seen it, I’d be curious to know what you think.

8 thoughts on “Love, Death & Robots, Volume 3

  1. Thanks for the heads up. I save LD+R for when my son and I can watch them together.

    Scalzi, huh? Always nice to see his name.

    Asher and his crabs… I recall some scene where an alien King Crab has human thralls standing around which he eats from time to time. Human flesh is like a delicacy or something.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hope you enjoy it!

      On Asher, that sounds like one of his Polity stories. This one doesn’t appear to be in that universe. I suppose it could be on a planet in that universe, although there’s no sign of advanced tech. But this crab does like her human flesh.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Loved the crustacean episode. The cute robots were meh, and the zombie one … zombie movies are beyond parody. Like soap operas, you just can’t create a new exaggeration. That’s all I’ve watched so far.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I saw that season three was out but haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m looking forward to it, maybe this weekend. (I did watch season two of Russian Doll. Season one blew me away, but season two seemed like a mistake.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll be curious to see what you think of it.

      I never got into Russian Doll. The premise sounds sort of like Groundhog Day or Edge of Tomorrow. Have you ever watched the anime Steins;Gate? It’s sort of a mix between the traditional time travel story and a time loop one.


      1. Yeah, the first season of Russian Doll was a variation of Groundhog Day, and it was dark, clever, funny, and well-written. A complete arc with a nice landing. The second season is a surreal time-travel fantasy that seemed without internal logic, kind of a random arc, and an unsatisfying ending. Very dream-like. Given the completeness of the first season’s story, I think a sequel was a mistake.

        I have seen Steins;Gate but it was a while ago and I don’t remember much about it. From what I recall, it was interesting, a change of pace, but it didn’t really grab me. As I think we’ve discussed before, time travel stories are really hard because they’re inherently incoherent. The ones to the distant past or distant future work better, but local time travel messes with causality.


        1. It looks like the second season of Russian Doll went down a bit in its audience ratings on Rotten Tomatoes (from an impressive 87% down to a more middling 72%).

          I saw Steins;Gate last year. I thought it was interesting because it did mental time travel (similar to a lot of the looping stories), but didn’t just ignore the physicality. They actually came up with an explanation involving modifying the person’s brain at the destination time. Of course, the “science” was comic book hand waving, but I was impressed that they didn’t just ignore it. (That said, the story did have a lot of over the top silliness in it, such as a character dying in every timeline because it was her fate or something, just to provide the hero with agonizing choices.)

          Liked by 1 person

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