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Robopocalypse: A Novel (Vintage…

Robopocalypse: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Daniel H. Wilson

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1,5551244,715 (3.63)1 / 97
Title:Robopocalypse: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)
Authors:Daniel H. Wilson
Info:Vintage (2012), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:science fiction, 2013

Work details

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson (2011)

Recently added bytrhale, incognitoemily, private library, Caitythevampyrslayer, alo1224, BNPLibrary, thei3ug, montano
Legacy LibrariesTim Spalding
  1. 120
    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. 50
    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. 30
    The Stand {1978} by Stephen King (timspalding)
  4. 11
    The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton (TomWaitsTables)

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LIstened to this on audiobook and thought the narrator did a very good job. I enjoyed the story for the most part, a premise that has been used before, but interestingly done. My only problem was that the ending fell a little flat for me. It seemed almost anticlimactic after the setup. ( )
  jldarden | Feb 13, 2017 |
I was drawn to this book because I heard Steven Spielberg was going to make a movie out of it. (Not sure if that's still the case.) The title sounded kind of hokey to me and it gave the book an air of childish whimsey, but with Spielberg's name attached to it I decided to give it a shot. What the heck, I thought to myself. I could use a little light-hearted fun.

As it turned out, this was fairly heavy read, in that it's about a robot uprising that nearly ends human civilization. (Probably not much of a spoiler, there, given the title, and since there is a sequel, you can kind of assume there is more to the story insofar as the humans are concerned.) The writing was about average, not great but not too bad either. However, what really impressed me was this was written by a first-time author who earned his Ph.D. in Robotics in 2005 at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon. So not a guy who you'd think would go into writing fiction, but he did. And he wrote about what he knew (robotics) and I'd say he did a pretty good job.

I'm always fascinated to hear stories of first time authors, probably because that hits close to home to my own ambitions, but I'm interested in this guy, especially, because he's originally from part of the technology sector (as am I) and he took a massive leap over to the fiction/creative writing arena (as I would like to do). So I read this with a careful eye to see how he did that, bridging technical knowledge (more left brained) with creativity (more right brained).

I think he did a pretty good job. I could nit-pick and point out things that I've seen done better in other books by more experienced writers, but for a first timer, right out of the gate, and not someone who studied creative writing in his education (presumably), I was quite impressed. He's got some natural talent, and I was happy to have read it. It was fun and worth my time, and that's not nothing. ( )
  invisiblelizard | Feb 3, 2017 |
A book about a robot apocalypse isn't something I'd normally pick up, but I recently read [b:Amped|12678461|Amped|Daniel H. Wilson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1333996196s/12678461.jpg|23746028] by the same author and thought it was pretty good. The back flap blurb says the author has a PhD in robotics, so I figured I'd give this one a shot. Well... It's okay. It has the feel of pulp science fiction from the 1940s, with poorly explained robots that behave in all too human ways for reasons that are never really made clear. For that kind of fiction, it's well written, and if this really was a serialized story appearing in Astounding or one of the other pulps from the 40s or 50s, I'd say it was quite good. But it's not. It was published in 2011 and is set in the near future. It never really specifies, but based on hints in the text, I'd say somewhere between 2055 and 2075. In addition to questions about the top robot's motivation, there are plot holes like craters littering a apocalyptic robotic battlefield throughout that are simply ignored without any attempt to fill them. Because of my background (military logistics planning/engineering), those that bugged me most were logistical ones. The question of what powers these robots is almost totally ignored, but they appear to be able to run autonomously for days (and longer) without refueling, or new batteries, or whatever. Unless they have mini nuclear reactors of some kind (unlikely since some are domestic servant type robots), this makes no sense, and it strained my ability to suspend disbelief. There are similar questions about food, fuel, ammunition, weapons.... One that springs to mind is flame throwers. Our heroes have them. Where did they get them? These seem to be military weapons, but the U.S. hasn't had flame throwers since 1978, and I can assure you that there are none lying around in Army arsenals or depots. It's unlikely they got them from looting a sporting goods store. There are quite a few places where I paused to reread a section and thought to myself, 'That just makes no sense.' If this were comic science fiction, the implausible premise and improbable details wouldn't be a detractor, but this isn't funny...at least not intentionally. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
world war Z for robots. ( )
  mystic506 | Sep 3, 2016 |
You do recall World War Z right? For those have read it, they would be aware of the format and narrative of the book. It’s set through various points of views from various characters. Some may like this format, some don’t. I’m thinking that’s one of the deciding factors as to whether a reader will like this book or not. For me, I don’t mind it. It focuses on a small select group of characters so each one would have their own story arc.

The sci fi speak is comprehensive and it doesn’t make the book a hard read. In fact the action and different points of view make the pace of the plot fast and an enjoyable read. There’s plenty of moments where it can be frightening - in a society where we rely more on machines and robots only to have them turn against you and everything runs amok is a scary thought. (The part where Zero Hour happens is an example)

Now let’s be fair. Those die hard sci fi readers may or may not like this one. Perhaps it’s not sci fi enough, perhaps it’s too noobish, so I’m not sure if it’s for this type of crowd. Since I stop at the mention of quantum physics, this book is fine for me.

So did I like the book? YES I DID. I love the different points of view, I love the action, and the whole entire thing was an awesome read. I understand how it may not be for everyone but we all have varying tastes. It’s definitely worth a try in my opinion

Thank you Doubleday for giving me a Review Copy! ( )
  sensitivemuse | Aug 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 123 (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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:06 -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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