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Robogenesis: A Novel Hardcover – June 10, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Wilson’s Robopocalypse (2011), which told the story of a sentient artificial intelligence’s plot to wipe out humanity via the narratives of various characters, became something of a pop-culture sensation. It’s a good novel, but its sequel is superior in every way. The author preserves the oral-history structure and keeps several of the characters from the first book (including Cormac Wallace and Mathilda Perez), but he veers off in a new and frightening direction. The story is set in the years immediately after the New War; Archos R-14, the AI who very nearly destroyed the human race, is dead, but that doesn’t mean humanity’s troubles are over. Here’s the short list: a civilization to rebuild; a growing discord between robotically modified humans (victims of Archos’ horrific experiments) and the unmodified; dangerous robotic creatures running rampant; and a new kind of threat, one even more dangerous than Archos. The writing here is much more visceral and polished than it was in the earlier novel. In fact, the first several pages of this book’s first chapter, in which a character is attacked by a robotic parasite, are more frightening and more memorable than the entirety of Robopocalypse. An astounding novel. --David Pitt

Review

Raves for Daniel H. Wilson's Robogenesis

"A galloping sci-fi account of a war between man and machine...A-" -- Entertainment Weekly

"A near-perfect beach book for apocalyptic sci-fi fans, but here’s the caveat: Slather on the sunscreen before you sit down to read it."-- Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Fiery action." -- The Free Lance-Star

"Terrifying and technologically rigorous." -- Boingboing.com

"An astounding novel." -- Booklist (starred)

"Thrilling." -- The Oklahoman


And acclaim for Robopocalypse

“It’s terrific page-turning fun.”--Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
 
“Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse is...an ingenious, instantly visual story of war between humans and robots.” – Janet Maslin, New York Times 

“It'll be scarier than "Jaws": We don't have to go in the water, but we all have to use gadgets.”--Wall Street Journal

“A superbly entertaining thriller…[Robopocalypse has] everything you'd want in a beach book.” – Richmond Times-Dispatch

Robopocalypse is the kind of robot uprising novel that could only have been written in an era when robots are becoming an ordinary part of our lives. This isn't speculation about a far-future world full of incomprehensible synthetic beings. It's five minutes into the future of our Earth, full of the robots we take for granted. If you want a rip-roaring good read this summer, Robopocalypse is your book.”--io9.com
 
“You're swept away against your will… a riveting page turner.” -- Associated Press

“Things pop along at a wonderfully breakneck pace, and by letting his characters reveal themselves through their actions, Wilson creates characters that spring to life. Vigorous, smart and gripping.” --Kirkus

"A brilliantly conceived thriller that could well become horrific reality. A captivating tale, Robopocalypse will grip your imagination from the first word to the last, on a wild rip you won't soon forget. What a read…unlike anything I’ve read before." --Clive Cussler, New York Times bestselling author
  
"An Andromeda Strain for the new century, this is visionary fiction at its best: harrowing, brilliantly rendered, and far, far too believable."--Lincoln Child, New York Times bestselling author of Deep Storm
  
Robopocalypse reminded me of Michael Crichton when he was young and the best in the business. This novel is brilliant, beautifully conceived, beautifully written (high-five, Dr. Wilson)…but what makes it is the humanity. Wilson doesn't waste his time writing about 'things,' he's writing about human beings -- fear, love, courage, hope. I loved it.” --Robert Crais, New York Times bestselling author of The Sentry
 
"Futurists are already predicting the day mankind builds its replacement, Artificial Intelligence.  Daniel Wilson shows what might happen when that computer realizes its creators are no longer needed.  Lean prose, great characters, and almost unbearable tension ensure that Robopocalypse is going to be a blockbuster.  Once started I defy anyone to put it down." --Jack DuBrul, New York Times bestselling author

"The parts of this book enter your mind, piece by piece, where they self-assemble into a story that makes you think, makes you feel, and makes you scared." – Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

"Author [Daniel Wilson], who holds a doctorate in robotics, shows great promise as a worthy successor to Michael Crichton as Wilson, like the late Crichton, is skilled in combining cutting-edge technology with gripping action scenes. Expect a big demand for this frenetic thriller."--Booklist
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (June 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385537093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385537094
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniel H. Wilson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and earned a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Tulsa. After earning a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, he moved to Portland, Oregon where he has authored seven books.

You can visit his website at www.danielhwilson.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Hurst on June 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some background: I'm a professor of Robotics. My whole career is saturated with robots, and what we want robots to be.

This book is excellent, for two reasons: 1) It's a great story, off the beaten path of "terminator robots sent to kill humans because... I dunno, robots are evil." Instead, there's a complexity to the technological characters that is really unique in literature. 2) The technology and ideas are plausible!!! Most of the time, I don't read a lot of science fiction any more, because as soon as something impossible is presented as part of the story, I have a hard time suspending disbelief, and I get bumped out of the story. That was not the case here. I was actually surprised with new ideas about a possible future of the world with robots, with only a few minor cases of disbelief-suspension for the sake of enjoying a good fiction. I enjoyed Robopocalypse, but Robogenesis is better. It's rare that a sequel is better than the first book.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By jk on June 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I'll be honest. I enjoyed the heck out of this book which sitting in the sunshine by the pool in Mexico. I'm not going to write a paper on it, read too deeply into the relationship between man and machine, or the blurred lines of consciousness, humanity, and technology, but it's a page turner (or rather 'edge toucher' since I'm on a Kindle).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By she treads softly on June 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Robogenesis by Daniel H. Wilson is a highly recommended sequel to Robopocalypse - and there are robot/human zombies, which may be a plus for some readers.

"In its last days, the thinking machine known as Archos R-14 was trying to know humanity. It mastered the art of capturing a human mind. When it died, it left behind the tools. I found stories trapped in patterns of neurons. Using scavenged hardware, I took three accounts straight from three minds and I lined them up from beginning to end and back again. Three times to tell it. Three times to understand. They say history is written by the victors, but this right here is told by its victims. My name is Arayt Shah, and this is the story of how I won the True War."

In Robogenesis we learn that artificial intelligence Archos-14 has survived the war. What was unknown after the war was that Archos had many copies of his code hidden in caches around the world. Now that code is awakening, but there is also an earlier version of Archos which calls itself Arayt Shah. Arayt Shah believes that the True War is between artificial intelligences. "I decimated the human race, regrettably. But I did so with one purpose: to forge a hybrid fighting force capable of surviving the True War—a war that has been initiated and is being fought by superintelligent machines. Instead of simply discarding your species, as the others would, I have transformed your kind into a powerful ally."

While you thought the Robot War was just between humans and robots, it is robots vs. new robots vs. freeborn robots. Add to the mix humans against the not-quite human modifieds and parasitic dead (think robot/human zombies) as well as the robots.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bacterialover on November 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Any consideration of Wilson’s recent Robogenesis inevitably involves comparison to its predecessor Robopocalypse. I wouldn’t recommend picking up this sequel until you’ve read the first book. If you have read it, your opinion about the first volume won’t necessarily translate over into this middle volume of an apparent trilogy. While keeping many of the basic structural and technological elements of Robopocalypse, Robogenesis tells a different kind of apocalyptic tale, with a very different tone.

Robogenesis opens immediately following the events that close Robopocalypse, with humanity seemingly defeating the robotic leader and instigator of the robot uprising and resulting war in the first book. The reader quickly discovers that the enemy of the first book may not have necessarily been the evil one would think, and as actually implied in the first book, the robotic intelligence may actually have instigated the uprising for the ultimate, long-term benefit and salvation of humanity. In short, a far greater robotic malevolence lurks in the technological background, intent on really destroying humanity.

Starting in on Robogenesis I was delighted to see how the plot was unfolding. Unanswered questions from the previous book (which still could stand well as a stand-alone novel) led me to think there must be much more going on behind the robot uprising historically chronicled in its pages.

Robopocalypse suffered somewhat from a plot that lacked in the unexpected. The general robotic apocalypse plot is hardly new, and the outcome of this particular one, and the survival of key protagonists is certain from the start.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There were enough similarities present for Daniel Wilson's mayhem infused novel "Robopocalypse" to draw the inevitable comparisons to Max Brooks' sublime "World War Z." This association might have been both a bad thing and a good thing. "World War Z" (itself a riff on Terkel's WWII opus "A Good War") is at the peak of the zombie pack, it is where the horror novel meets literature. Ambitious, eloquent, intelligent, and emotional, Brooks' tale flawlessly told of the rise of zombies, the human resistance, the virtual destruction of the world, and the evolution of man's survival. Pieced together from various tales from across the globe, this series of fictional essays was as powerful and vivid as anything you're likely to read. Wilson took the same essential story and the same essential structure and substituted rogue robots for the zombie menace and that was "Robopocalype."

In "Robogenesis," which takes place in the immediate aftermath of the first novel, Wilson wisely decides not to vary the formula. What do they say? If it's not broke, don't fix it. Robogenesis charts the same individual survivors from its predecessor in escalating chapters of disaster. It doesn't always fit his predetermined structural theme of the first book which was outlined as more of a historical archive, but it didn't bother me much. Instead, the chapters here are introduced by the world's new nemesis called Arayt Shah. As human kind defeated the last threat, a new one has popped up almost immediately and it has a new cunning. It wants to utilize man, and all their foibles, in the ultimate battle against the freeborn and then annihilate what remains of the human race.
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