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Robopocalypse: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Paperback – April 17, 2012
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“Terrific page-turning fun.”
—Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
“An ingenious, instantly visual story of war between humans and robots.”
—The New York Times
“Richly haunting. . . . Wilson has terrific timing in building a page-turner around the perils of technology’s advance into our lives.”
—Los Angeles Times
“An Andromeda Strain for the new century, this is visionary fiction at its best: harrowing, brilliantly rendered, and far, far too believable.”
“A tour de force. . . . A fast-paced, engrossing page-turner that is impossible to put down. . . . Wilson’s taut prose and the imaginative scope of his story make him a worthy successor to the likes of Michael Crichton, Kurt Vonnegut and Isaac Asimov.”
“A superbly entertaining thriller. . . . [Robopocalypse has] everything you’d want in a beach book.”
“You’re swept away against your will. . . . A riveting page turner.”
“[Wilson] presents a doomsday scenario more plausible than most. No vampires, no zombies. . . . Science fiction has been grappling with the possibility of traitorous computers and mutinous androids for much of its history, but Wilson has devised a way to put an original spin on the material. Robopocalypse is a well-constructed entertainment machine, perfect for summer reading. It’s especially refreshing to read an end-of-the-world novel that’s actually self-contained, that doesn’t require the investment in two or three more thick volumes to deliver the apocalyptic goods.”
—The San Francisco Chronicle
“Wilson’s training as a roboticist makes accepting a ubiquitous robot presence natural to the author; it also helps him imagine and describe some amazing machines, efficient, logically designed and utterly inimical to human life. . . . [Robopocalypse] reads at times like horror. That its events are scientifically plausible makes them all the more frightening.”
“A gripping, utterly plausible, often terrifying account of a global apocalypse brought on by a transcendent AI that hijacks the planet's automation systems and uses them in a vicious attempt to wipe out humanity.”
—Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
“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.”
“This electrifying thriller . . . will entertain you, but it will also make you think about our technology dependency.”
“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.”
“[A] frenetic thriller. . . . Wilson, like the late Crichton, is skilled in combining cutting-edge technology with gripping action scenes.”
About the Author
Daniel H. Wilson earned a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. He is the author of Robogenesis, The Clockwork Dynasty, How to Survive a Robot Uprising, Where’s My Jetpack?, How to Build a Robot Army, The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame, Bro-Jitsu: The Martial Art of Sibling Smackdown, and A Boy and His Bot.
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The book is entertaining, it moves very very quickly and you're done before you really feel like you've gotten a feel for that world.
That's because the book reads a bit more like an outline than a fully developed novel. Many of the chapters could serve as their own synopses. Characters are introduced, declared by the narrator to be essential to the overall plot of the book, and then disappear mostly without being mentioned again. Only the narrator's story has some development, even if his character doesn't.
As the plot moves, the author breaks significantly with some of the Terminator's central ideas and many of these new ideas are very intriguing. It's tough to talk about these without spoiling the book, but most of them, as near as I can tell, have to do with human and robot evolution (what is happening in NYC and Afganistan?).
However, in the author's quest to finish the book quickly, these--his own ideas--aren't explored, which is a shame. Because it begins to appear that, unlike Skynet, the evil computer system in The Terminator, the evil computer system in this book might have a different, grander purpose, a purpose it appears to have achieved, though the characters in the book don't see it.
One thing is sure, the world is much changed by the end of the book, and not just in the ruins of civilization sort of way; there are intriguing developments enough for a trilogy or so (sequels are obviously being set up). My recommendation to the author is to take his time with the sequels; your readers like the world so explore a bit, spend more time with each of the characters and let us know what sort of world Matilda Perez sees, and more to the point, envisions, with her new eyes.
pieced together from records of a world shattering event. As I had enjoyed WWZ, I felt that I would enjoy this story, and I was not disappointed. Robopocalypse
improves on the WWZ idea by instead of having a series of loosely connected yet independent stories tell the tale of destruction, it weaves together several
different storylines, giving you pieces of each in an order intended to follow the chronological advancement of the story. Though some may like certain
characters and storylines better then others, there appears to be something for everybody. A great deal of the phrasing and wording within the story brings
amusement, the kind that one must have to stay sane in the sort of situations the characters find themselves in. This kind of humor and amusement is often the
most entertaining as if you can understand and appreciate the jokes and comments, then you are one step further to immersing yourself in the world of this story.
As an avid science fiction reader, I have read hundreds of books, and while this one may not be my favorite, it is certainly one I have been recommending.
Admittedly, not everything is prefect within the story. As I am such a reader of this type of material I have grown an appreciation for the fragility of
mankind and a knowledge of just what technology is capable of doing if we tried to make it happen.
The grand reveal to the world of the new order of things makes perfect sense in a lot of ways, as the computers are limited in their capabilities at this time.
Later on when the machines begin to get more free form with their designs, I cannot help but declare that the solution the computers come up to eradicate the
surviving humans is...inefficient. Oh yes the story does give a few reasons why the grand reveal was not a nuclear fireball capable of irradiating the planet
into sterility, and it does an excellent job revealing the motivations of the machines in most places. There are still methods that were clearly within the
machines capabilities that would have been so very much more effective. However creative the reader may be though, within the limitations the machines place
upon themselves, they are as interesting an opponent as humanity could hope for in a story about our struggle for survival.
In conclusion, if you are a fan of science fiction, The Terminator, World War Z, and you are not squeamish when it comes to some cursing, then this is
certainly a book you should check out. Five out of five stars.
There were a few fumbles, like when the 902 robot could read humans better than it should have been able to. but ya know what? It didn't really matter. Very good sci fi.