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Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
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Robopocalypse (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Daniel H. Wilson

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1,162966,986 (3.65)1 / 75
Member:disfit
Title:Robopocalypse
Authors:Daniel H. Wilson
Info:Doubleday (2011), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Sell Trade or Donate
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson (2011)

  1. 110
    World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (divinenanny, timspalding)
    divinenanny: Same set up, but instead of robots, zombies are the one causing world war.
    timspalding: Very similar style.
  2. 40
    The Passage by Justin Cronin (historycycles)
    historycycles: Robopolcalypse, in a number of ways, reminds me of The Passage in that it is the human race, trying to push the boundaries of science, that ends up beginning the process of their own destruction.
  3. 20
    The Stand by Stephen King (timspalding)
  4. 01
    The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton (one-horse.library)
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English (95)  Finnish (1)  All languages (96)
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
Uncomfortably terrifying glimpse at a potential future that is not too out of the realm of possibilities. ( )
  kbergfeld | Sep 30, 2014 |
I read a review of this book, ages ago, and thought, "Oh, that sounds interesting," then moved on with my life. A few weeks later, some gears clicked over in my brain and I thought, "That book! I must find that book!" The trouble was, I hadn't been impressed enough before to remember the author or the title, so I spent hours entering search strings like "native american robot scifi post-apocalypse." Never found the review again, turned up a handful of titles that may or may not have been this one, gave up. Disgruntled.

Then one day Dad was telling me about a book he had just finished and my brain clicked again, "The book! That's the book!" So when I got home for Christmas and this book was in a stack of books offered for borrowing, I devoured it instantly. And when I say instantly, I mean I spent a majority of the day after Christmas ignoring my family so I could read. There are pictures of me at the Kansas State Historical Museum, curled up in a covered wagon reading this book. On the way home from Topeka, the only person in the car not sleeping was me, reading this book. Other than the driver, of course, but even my parents had to switch driving because they were also too tired to stay awake. And when we got back to my parents', I can't even tell you what the rest of the family did, because I was sitting on the kitchen counter, finishing this book.

Stephen King writes the cover blurb on this novel, which was appropriate, because this book is King meets I, Robot, meets Heinlein or Card's buggers. The first self-aware supercomputer turning against us seems a too familiar trope at first, but Wilson's robot menace quickly evolves into new and terrifying forms. What's better is Wilson's marvelously diverse cast of human characters -- it's not just middle-aged white scientists who turn out to be important, but an elderly Japanese technician, the entire Osage nation, a teenage mechanic, children of Senators, grunts on both sides of the conflict in Afghanistan... And none of the characters ever feel tokenized or thrown in for color. Granted, their "voices" all sound a little similar, but that seems a likely artifact of the fact that the whole novel is a history of the war pieced together by one of the main characters who comes across an archive of reports, recordings and photographs of many of the main players.

I have a few petty criticisms that have come to me in the day after finishing this book, but the experience of reading it was a harrowing, can't-read-fast-enough rush. ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
Robopacalypse tells the story of a war between an artificial intelligence and the human race. Wilson uses the perspective of several different participants in the war to cover an epic scope in a concise and brisk manner. The narrative maintains a strong tempo throughout and keeps one's interest like a well-built Hollywood script. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the movie rights are already sold.

I would have enjoyed more exploration of the motives of the AI, the process of the human resistance forming, and the complexities of reorganizing life during the war. The plot skims over these complexities like a summer action adventure thriller. The result is quite entertaining, but it doesn't leave much behind. ( )
  JLHeim | Aug 25, 2014 |
I have to admit something right now. I am a bit of an addict when it comes to shiny, interesting, unusual, eye-catching book covers. I love them. Honestly, if the walls to my house were covered in dust-jacket art I would be a very, very happy woman. There's just something about it...I know, I know, the marketers and artists know what they are doing but still, it's addicting. What does this have to do with ROBOPOCALYPSE by Daniel H. Wilson? Well... take a look at that shiny cover. It's even prettier in person (is prettier the right word to use here?). Unfortunately, what was spectacular on the outside didn't quite make the cut on the inside.

Read the rest of this review at The Lost Entwife on July 23, 2014. ( )
  TheLostEntwife | Jul 14, 2014 |
The robotics expert may write what he knows, but fiction requires characters, plotting and, one hopes, skilled use of language. What I enjoyed in his book would have been better delivered in a short nonfiction piece. As a novel, it was derivative to excess and not much fun. This was Crichton, HAL, and all the technology-run-amok-due-to-hubris stories ever told, and told in mediocrity. One cares little about the characters. I forced myself to finish, like a child eating his peas in order to get dessert. But there was no dessert. ( )
  stellarexplorer | Jul 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
Wilson also sets up images of grand terror, then doesn’t know what to do with them; he’s too focused on his central storyline of how the war was lost, then won. Brief mentions of terrifying work camps where robots experiment on humans don’t get much weight, and the book spends minimal time explaining how independent human communities function in the post-robot-uprising world. It’s telling that the book’s best section—a brief tale of men sent to the remote wilderness to drill a hole, realizing they’re there at the behest of the devil himself—ends with broad fatalities.
 
There’s an unfortunate sameness to the characters, whether rough-and-ready brothers in their 30s (there’s an inside joke here to Wilson’s 2010 battling-brothers book Bro-Jitsu) or an 11-year-old girl with an unlikely role to play in the proceedings or a battle android unaffiliated with either side (another inside joke, to a toy the author bought on the night of his first date with his now wife) who surely will star in the book’s sequel. Maybe there’s a message in this sameness, that humanity is itself a character to be celebrated, just as perhaps all technology, every buttoned and Bluetoothed object that makes our life easier, is to be scrutinized and respected.
 
Still, Robopocalypse was an enjoyable read, well worth the wait. It’s got a great plot and villain and conversations between man and machine that really made me think. Some will likely label it a cautionary tale, but I won’t go that far.
 
It's more than just a screenplay, though, and worth the time to read. There are a few beautiful moments of writing throughout "Robopocalypse" that make it a worthy addition to the canon of robot apocalypse books, movies and comics that have come before.
 
It's worth reading before Spielberg's version of Robopocalypse hits screens in 2013 — and before the army of factory-built roboclones starts to arrive. B+
 
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Twenty minutes after the war ends, I'm watching stumpers pour up out of a frozen hole in the ground like ants from hell and praying that I keep my natural legs for another day.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
"People should know that, at first, the enemy looked like everyday stuff — cars, buildings, phones. Then later, when they started designing themselves, Rob looked familiar but distorted, like people and animals from some other universe, built by some other god."

In the near future, at a precise moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will spontaneously malfunction. It will unite... and begin to turn against us. A massively powerful artificial intelligence called Archos, taking on the persona of a shy human boy, comes online and can't be contained — it begins, unbeknownst to humans, to silently take over our smart cars, power grids, aircraft guidance systems, and computer networks — the entire global assembly that runs our lives.

In the early months, only a few sporadic glitches are noticed by humans across the globe. Laura Perez, a single mother and U. S. congresswoman, senses a menacing new awareness in her daughter's "smart" doll; Mr. Takeo Nomura, a lonely Japanese bachelor and inventor, is victimized by the domestic robot companion with whom he shares his life; Paul Blanton, an American soldier stationed in Afghanistan, witnesses the violent meltdown of the "pacification unit" under his charge; and an antisocial underground "phreaker" in London unwittingly hacks into a hidden network — and comes face-to-face with a chilling entity that turns the tables and begins to stalk him mercilessly.

Most are unaware of the growing crisis until it is too late. At a moment known later as Zero Hour, when the robot war suddenly ignites, humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united.

Reminiscent of groundbreaking fiction from masters like Michael Crichton and Robert Heinlein, Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived and riveting action epic. Daniel H. Wilson has crafted a commercial masterpiece, a novel that equally explores the emotional landscapes of the human characters fighting to survive and the machines that rise up to destroy them... with heart-stopping, timely implications for the real technology all around us.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385533853, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2011:In the not-too-distant future, robots have made our lives a lot easier: they help clean our kitchens, drive our cars, and fight our wars--until they are turned into efficient murderers by a sentient artificial intelligence buried miles below the surface of Alaska. Robopocalypse is a fast-paced sci-fi thriller that makes a strong case that mindless fun can also be wildly inventive. The war is told as an oral history, assembled from interviews, security camera footage, and first- and secondhand testimonies, similar to Max Brook's zombie epic World War Z. The book isn't shy about admitting to its influences, but author Daniel H. Wilson certainly owes more to Terminator than he does to Asimov. (A film adaptation is already in pre-production, with Steven Spielberg in the director's chair and a release date slated for 2013.) Robopocalypse may not be the most unique tale about the war between man and machine, but it's certainly one of the most fun. --Kevin Nguyen

Guest Reviewer: Robert Crais
Robert Crais is the 2006 recipient of the Ross Macdonald Literary Award and the author of many New York Times bestsellers, including The Watchman, Chasing Darkness, The First Rule, and The Sentry.

Robopocalypse is as good as Michael Crichton's Andromeda Strain or Jurassic Park, and I do not invoke Mr. Crichton's name lightly.

Daniel Wilson’s novel is an end of the world story about a coming machine-versus-man war. You know the reader's cliché: “I couldn't stop turning the pages”? So shoot me--I couldn't. Started on a Friday afternoon, finished Sunday morning, and I'm slow. My daughter finished it in a single night, and then my wife. My wife hates science fiction, but she loved this book.

Set in a future only a few weeks away, the world is still our world, where advancements in silicon-chip technology and artificial intelligence have given us rudimentary android laborers and cars that can get around without human drivers.

The war begins the fourteenth time a scientist named Nicholas Wasserman wakes an amped-up artificial intelligence dubbed Archos. In a protected lab environment designed to contain his creation, Wasserman has awakened the sentient computer intelligence thirteen previous times, always with the same result: Archos realizes that it loves that rarest of miracles—life--above all else, and to preserve life on Earth, it must destroy mankind. This wasn't exactly what Wasserman wanted to hear, so thirteen times before, a disappointed Wasserman killed it and returned to the drawing board. But unlike Archos, Wasserman is a man, and men make mistakes. Now, on this fourteenth awakening, a simple (but believable) error by the scientist allows Archos to escape the barrier of the lab. And the war is on.

When Archos goes live, its control spreads like a virus as it reprograms the everyday devices of our lives, from cell phones to ATM machines to traffic lights to airliners. A normally benign "Big Happy" domestic robot murders a cook in a fast-food joint. A safety and pacification robot (think of an overgrown Ken doll with a dopey grin, designed to win hearts and minds) used by the army in Afghanistan (yes, we're still there) goes bad and kills dozens of people. And, in a particularly creepy scene, “smart toys” wake in their toy boxes at night to deliver ominous messages to children.

The book is rich with high-speed-action set pieces and evocative, often frightening imagery (smart cars stalking pedestrians; human corpses reanimated by machines into zombie warriors), but Robopocalype is a terrific and affecting read because it is about human beings we can relate to, invest in, and root for.

Among them: Cormac Wallace, a young photojournalist who escapes Boston at Zero Hour (the moment when Archos unleashes its machine army against humankind), and fights his way across the United States as the leader of a band of guerrillas known as the Brightboy squad. Takeo Nomura, a lonely technician in love with an android “love doll” named Mikiko, who, when she is reprogrammed by Archos, is driven by his love and sadness to fix her, an effort that will ultimately help turn the tide of the war. And Lurker, a pissed-off hacker and phone pranker furiously determined to identify the mysterious person who is taking the credit for his elaborate pranks . . . only to find himself in Archos's crosshairs and running for his life.

Little by little, the discoveries they (and others) make and the battles they fight lead to locating Archos, and the final battle for humanity's survival. By choosing to show us these events through the eyes of the men and women involved, Wilson gives us a high-speed, real-time history of the war on its most human level, and it is our investment in these characters and their desperate struggle that grabs us and pulls us along at a furious clip.

In lesser hands, the story could have been head-shot with pseudo-science technical jargon, overwrought explanation, and cartoonish characterizations. Instead, Wilson has given us a richly populated and thrilling novel that celebrates life and humanity, and the power of the human heart . . . even if that heart beats in a machine.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:48 -0400)

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Two decades into the future humans are battling for their very survival when a powerful AI computer goes rogue, and all the machines on earth rebel against their human controllers.

(summary from another edition)

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