- used in reference to the phenomenon whereby a computer-generated figure or humanoid robot bearing a near-identical resemblance to a human being arouses a sense of unease or revulsion in the person viewing it.
Submerged in a post-truth dystopia and suspecting he might already be dead, the invisible narrator of Notes from the Uncanny Valley floats with wry, dark humor through landscapes of crowded public transit and low-income housing. When a series of bizarre encounters with psychotic neighbors draw him into an absurd mystery lurking beneath the surface of daily life, he begins questioning everything, including the increasingly fantastic news headlines. As the world grows more alien by the moment, the clues lead our undercover detective down deep into the uncanny valley. Is he living in a simulation? Or is the truth even stranger?
“Gib Edleman is a kind of everyman’s Kierkegaard . . . His domestic genius is his ability to evoke sympathy for the absurd in the tragic comedy of being a human being . . . His often playful and sardonic, hide and seek arrow hits the bullseye in his accurate fix on our latitude and longitude . . . Sometimes you feel as though you got a novel in a sentence . . . There is an overall delightful and refreshing absence of the pursuit of intentional ‘art’ in his work, which at the same time manages to avoid surrendering to the hazardous sand trap of a realistic nihilism that often accompanies such efforts . . . If you don’t recognize the fragmented world he presents us with you haven’t really been here. But he has and he leaves tracks in a kinder snow . . . His book is medicine for melancholy and more. It leaves you with a taste of the arrival of latent emancipation.”
—Dennis McBride, author of Looking for Peoria: The Epicurean at Rest
“Gib Edleman is an Underground Man for the Internet Age. He’s an affable but almost affectless guide to a futuristic dystopia that has already arrived, whether we realize it or not. If we’re all living in someone else’s vast, virtual-reality simulation… then Gib is already operating in that simulation’s near-future, where we’re all destined to find ourselves (if we still have a future…).”
—Derek Swannson, author of Crash Gordon and the Illuminati Underground
“Notes from the Uncanny Valley is the only podcast I listen to regularly. If you ever wondered what sort of radio signals can be heard on the margins of the margins, wonder no more. This is it. Truth is Stranger. Heart-warming in its alienation.”
—Jasun Horsley, author of Seen and Not Seen: Confessions of a Movie Autist