- Paperback: 284 pages
- Publisher: Goldfinch Publishing; 1 edition (July 4, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0692720995
- ISBN-13: 978-0692720998
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 169 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,326,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Wrong Unit: A Novel 1st Edition
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About the Author
Rob Dircks is the Audible bestselling author of Where the Hell is Tesla? and The Wrong Unit, and a member of SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America). His prior work includes the anti-self-help book Unleash the Sloth! 75 Ways to Reach Your Maximum Potential By Doing Less, and a drawerful of screenplays and short stories. Some of these sci-fi short stories appear on his original audio short story podcast Listen To The Signal, also narrated by the author.
Rob's a big fan of classic science fiction, and conspiracy theories (not to believe in them, just for entertainment.) When not writing, he's helping other authors publish their own work with Goldfinch Publishing, writing and designing for the award-winning ad agency he owns with his brother (appropriately called Dircks Associates), and generally doing what he calls "sampling": video production, audio production, app development, photography, guitar, reading, cooking. (Note the absence of the phrases "going to the gym" and "running iron-man triathalons.") He lives in New York with his wife and two kids. You can get in touch at robdircks.com.
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Top customer reviews
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Everything but freedom.
A robot, or Unit, has been tasked with raising an infant human. This is the story of how the Unit and human grow together and search for the ICEMAN. This is the story of how a robot and humans come together to free humanity from enslavement. And, it's about cake. We can't forget the cake.
It's a funny and exciting story. I read it in one sitting. It grabbed my attention and didn't let go. The reader learns about the main characters gradually. Hint: it pays to keep track of the dates at the beginning of most chapters. This story covers a time span of close to fifteen years. Thankfully, not in real time.
Editing is excellent. The pace and storyline are smooth and constantly interesting. Many, many humorous lines and circumstances. There are a few instances of profanity but they are appropriate to the circumstances and not gratuitous by any means. Nothing pornographic. There are bits of violence, also, so be warned.
In the end, this story is uplifting and very human, even extending to a few robots. Read it, you'll like it.
Told mostly through the eyes of "the wrong unit", we get an outsider's view of humanity, and what years of technology gone wrong can do to that humanity. The funny thing is, the spark of humanity that carries us through this story, and I think also carries most of the characters we follow, is this mechanized human helper. We watch Heyoo grow and mature beyond his predetermined programming, and by the end, I have to remind myself he is not human. Being a father and a stepfather myself, this book really hit home as the definition of "father", "family" and "love" really has you thinking. Don't want to give too much away, but it's a great read and would suggest it to anyone looking for a solid scifi tale with a real story and characters you care about.
The Wrong Unit is typical machine over humanity. AI has taken over (to "protect" us from ourselves) and now a machine and a baby have been launched on a mission to save humanity. The real story isn't the story, it's the evolving relationship between our two protagonists and the psychological journey of the machine towards humanity.
Heady stuff. It's sort of terminator meets Hallmark movie. Unfortunately the Wrong Unit fails to fully differentiate its characters and to stick to a clean science fiction script. As the story progresses deux ex machine becomes more prevalent and the writing lowers in quality and becomes more predictable.
The worst of the Wrong Unit transpires as we reach the climactic ending confrontation. There's no surprise here - the confrontation, and even the final twist and resolution, has been telegraphed for most of the book. But the actual sequence is handled terribly. The strength of the Wrong Unit lies in the original transformation of the Unit itself; the final action sequences and complete and senseless absurdity of the last 40 pages make for some difficult reading.
In the end the Wrong Unit felt like a bad science fantasy bromance. Nothing makes very much sense, difficulties are continuously thrown in front of the protagonists to keep the story "tense", the characters all begin to blend together and the ending is absolutely terrible. If you're looking for a light, easy reading, feel good sci fi book where robots and humans can share hugs and cries, then maybe this is for you (just stop at page 200 and assume it ends like you think). Otherwise I'd recommend you pass it by.
This is one of those books that you wish would go on forever, but it comes to a good ending. Although I would have ended the book at the bend of the previous chapter and leave things unresolved. But I understand an author wanting to please his audience and it is hard to end a book on a down note. On the other hand if there is ever a sequel written I will be the first in line to download it.
Get this book. It is definitely worth the time to read