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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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1,135937,212 (3.65)1 / 71
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 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 (92)  Finnish (1)  All languages (93)
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
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 |
I thought this was an excellent futures-oriented book.
  dgooler | Jul 1, 2014 |
You thought the zombie apocalypse was bad? Robots are worse. Far worse.


My full review is at Sporadic Reviews.com.


( )
  kevbayer | Jun 20, 2014 |
This book has "I want to be a movie" written all over the place. It feels dumb down in tone and detail to accommodate that medium - not that a person is less keen to details when it comes to movies, but if the plot is simple enough, more people would likely spend their money to see the movie (world war z coff coff). The author was contacted by DreamWorks WHILE writing the movie, so you can imagine how that influences a young writer...

I was excited when I read in the cover that it was written by a PhD in robotics, foolishly thinking that there would be a nice set up for the singularity event, interesting concepts for data transfer between robots (communication), hardware details concerning the mobility, how the robots would organize themselves, how logic would conflict with will, raising questions of what being aware really means for a robot...

Instead we get a "It is aware because it is", and the entity is a tyrant because well that's only logical specially when you see the history of civilization and how well that model worked. Then there are only american, english and japanese protagonists because hey hardware am I right? It's an apocalypse but the rest of the world, meh boring. Btw, that would increase the sense of destruction because there is almost none. Writing repeatedly "corpses everywhere" does not increases the sense of destruction, that only helps in movies, in books you have to describe it. One single chapter will not convey to the reader this sensation. Yeah I know, it will be a movie so no effort is needed.

The author goes that extra stupid mile to have "bad" robots having red lights and "good" robots having green ones. Because you know, it is a robot apocalypse but the robots want to be fair to humans so that they know who are the baddies. This is such a stupid concept in a war, but hey it works on movies. That and the main "bad" robot has to project it self as an young boy to talk with another robot. Again, a very redundant idea.

The usual cliches are all here in this book.. Hot rebellious woman, a man sacrificing for a fallen comrade, a robot wanting to be friendly.. Once you realize that the author is not going to have any original idea the book becomes stale and boring. The author even discards radiation effects on electronics. If you want a great book, a hard sci-fi, with many scientific explanations and interesting ideas please read the WWW trilogy from Robert J. Sawyer. This PhD doctor/author did not convince me. ( )
  ManuelCaveira | May 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (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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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)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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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