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We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E.…
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We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

by Dennis E. Taylor

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bobiverse (book 1)

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Interesting variety of ratings this book has gotten. My guess is the higher ratings have listened to the audio, rather than reading it in print. The narrator, Ray Porter, really brings this to life. He catches and shares all of the humor that might be obscured otherwise. He gives just the right amount of snark, as needed.

Bob is a problem solver. And a decent human. Thank the gods! He is set free from many human limitations and allowed to let his strengths lead. In his many variations, he remains, at least in this book, a humanitarian. ( )
  2wonderY | Aug 23, 2018 |
This novel reads like a play-by-play exposition of a space-exploration video game. There's none of the boring stuff. The Bobs take off, and a few seconds later they've arrived at the next star, mapped out its system, discovered intelligent life. There are lots of space battles, with ships shooting each other from across the whole solar system, again hitting or missing within a sentence of launch. We are treated again and again to the ships' inventories: how many missiles are left, how many are in flight, etc. (This information must be in the corner of the video game screen.)

The scales are wildly inconsistent, e.g., we're on tenterhooks whether a comet either hits a planet or hits the sun (with no options in between); and even as a factory builds interstellar space ships it has trouble building more than a half-dozen guns (that they'll use to protect an alien civilization which, coincidentally, was within days of going extinct when the Bobs arrived to save the day). Despite the incredible technology, artificial intelligence seems to be nonexistent except when it is time to move on to the next chapter. There are no character conflicts or politics; all the Bobs are apparently best friends forever, and are equally dedicated to saving humanity.

And after slogging through all this, there's not even an ending. It just stops. ( )
  breic | Aug 5, 2018 |
Bob Johansson has his body frozen after death to be “resurrected” in the future once medical technology improves enough to do so, and ends up becoming an AI tasked with exploring space to find habitable planets for colonization.
I loved the concept of this story, and running throughout it are some amazing storylines and moments that are almost perfect. There are the bones of an amazing science fiction novel here. But also running throughout it are constant “geek” references and in jokes and metaness that it just undercuts everything and often veered just enough on the side of obnoxious that I was consistently being pulled out of the story and irritated and this made way harder to read than it should have been.
Another problem I had is with one of the storyline threads that develops later in the book, you can tell that the author really wanted this story line to play out in a specific way and unfortunately the only way to make that happen was to have the character, who up until this point was show to be incredibly intelligent and resourceful, act in such an incompetent and moronic way that for me it “broke” the character and made the whole story unbelievable. I hated this storyline and based on the rest of the book I have no confidence that the consequences of the choices this character made are dealt with in a believable way.
So. I loved parts of this book and hated others and I am uncertain if I will read the second book. ( )
  Kellswitch | Jul 19, 2018 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: We are Legion (We are Bob)
Series: Bobiverse #1
Author: Dennis Taylor
Rating: 0.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 383 / DNF'd at 8%
Format: Digital Edition

Synopsis:


DNF'd at 8%

My Thoughts:

Forget the countries run by tyrants working on nukes. Forget the hordes of militant Islamics raping their way across Europe and Africa. Forget the Russians & Chinese and their militant outlook and history of war, pillaging and conquering. Oh no...

WATCH OUT FOR THOSE CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISTS WHO BREAK THE LAW AND RULE THE UNITED STATES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I laid it on a bit thick there with all those exclamation points. But one thing this book did do for me was make me realize how some people are so blinded and what vision they do have is so skewed, that for all intents and purposes, we're not even seeing the same world.

☆☆☆☆½ ( )
1 vote BookstoogeLT | Jun 23, 2018 |
Bob just sold his successful tech company and is massively rich. One of the first things he does with his newfound wealth is sign up to have his head cryogenically frozen upon his death. Not long after that, he's killed in an accident...and wakes up more than 100 years later as an AI. He is now property, and he's been selected as one of four candidates for the job of exploring and colonizing space for FAITH, the government that owns him. It's a good thing that Bob views this as his dream job. First, however, he has to beat the other three candidates, keep from going crazy like so many other AIs in the past, and avoid being destroyed by one of the many groups that don't want this project to succeed. Although Bob does make it into space, it's a rockier beginning than he expects.

I can't remember if I bought this on sale or if I used an Audible credit, but, either way, it was a waste. I only managed to finish it in a reasonable amount of time because of Ray Porter's excellent narration. He made the lengthy technical explanations slightly more bearable. His range of female voices seems to be pretty limited (I think this is the third audiobook he's narrated that I've listened to), but since none of the prominent characters were female and there were maybe only three female characters with speaking roles, that wasn't really an issue here.

I picked this up because I like books with prominent AI characters. Bob was technically an AI, even though he'd started off as a human. For me, the best part of the book was the period between when Bob woke up as an AI and when he was launched into space. I enjoyed reading about him adapting to his new life and skills, even as I rolled my eyes a bit at how easily everything came to him.

The first part of Bob's life in space, before he started replicating himself, was tolerable, but not great. I wasn't a fan of Bob's decision to build a VR environment for himself. Taylor's reasoning for it sounded okay (AI craziness is at least in part caused by sensory deprivation, because the human minds the AIs are built from expect sensory input they aren't getting), but I didn't want to read about some guy living in his magical environment that he could change at will. I vastly preferred it when Bob was housed in a very nonhuman body that was little more than a camera and some manipulators.

When Bob began populating his environment with animals, including a beloved cat from back when he'd still been human, I began to worry that he'd start recreating people he'd known and loved when he was alive. My biggest fear was that he'd recreate his ex-girlfriend. I was surprised and relieved that it never once crossed Bob's mind to do any of this.

After Bob found a stopping point and began replicating himself, the story branched a bit and should have become more interesting. Instead, it became more tedious and considerably less focused.

Each Bob renamed himself in an effort to make things less confusing, and the book followed multiple Bob POVs. I did my best to keep count, and by the end the total Bob count was 30 and the total number of Bobs who got to be POV characters was up to 9 or 10. This was one of the few aspects where I regretted the audiobook format a bit, since the different Bob POVs were briefly identified at the beginning of a section/chapter and were often difficult to tell apart if I missed hearing Porter say their names. Although each Bob viewed the other Bobs as having radically different personalities, the personality differences weren't as noticeable in the different POV sections.

One of the Bobs (Bill) opted to stay in one place and act as a Bob factory, tech researcher, and communication center. One set of Bobs headed back to Earth to see how things were going and whether there was even any point in looking for habitable planets anymore. Most of the other Bobs went in different directions and began exploring - some of what they found tied in with the storyline involving Earth, some of it led to action scenes involving an enemy AI, and some of it had nothing to do with anything as far as I could tell. Probably setup for the next book.

The discovery of the Deltans, intelligent but low-tech beings on one of the Bob-discovered planets, fit into the last category. Sadly, I found it to be more interesting than the primary storyline involving the fate of humanity, even as Bob's actions and plans made me more and more uncomfortable.

Bob (original Bob) discovered the Deltans and, at first, decided just to watch them. He gradually became more involved, to the point that he considered culling one of the Deltans' natural enemies, the gorilloids, in order to make the Deltans' lives easier. Another Bob disapproved of this, although I got the impression that his disapproval was based more on his dislike of making the Deltans dependent on the Bobs and less on any qualms about genocide. Original Bob spent a lot of time studying the Deltans and almost no time studying the gorilloids. I wasn't as willing as he was to discount the possibility that the gorilloids were also sentient and sapient beings.

We Are Legion (We Are Bob)'s biggest problem was that it was boring. Taylor included a massive amount of technical detail, and I really just did not care. I say this as someone who largely enjoyed the scientific explanations and technical details in Andy Weir's The Martian.

It probably didn't help that I couldn't bring myself to care about the various Bobs and their storylines, either. The humans in Taylor's vision of the future were largely annoying and seemed determined to literally argue themselves to death. Rather than talk to each other, share knowledge and resources, and generally help each other out, they preferred to argue about who got to evacuate first and then refused to so much as share a planet. As for the Bobs, I never became very attached to any of them and didn't even feel a twinge when any of them died. After all, the Bobs themselves barely mourned each other, and they could always just make new ones, even though the personalities wouldn't be the same.

Early on, Bob worried about losing his humanity and was reassured that he was still human when he regained his ability to grieve for the family members of his who'd long since died. Honestly, though, he should have continued to worry, because that moment of grief seemed to be his first and last deeply felt emotion in the entire book.

I don't currently plan on continuing this series. I'm not sure I could take another book filled with dozens of iterations of Bob, even with Ray Porter narrating it.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Jun 13, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Taylor, Dennis E.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porter, RayNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I would like to dedicate this book to my wife, Blaihin, who not only puts up with my writing but supports it, and to my daughter Tina, who completed our family.
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Book description
Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street.

Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high: no less than the first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he'll be switched off, and they'll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty.

The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. Or so he thinks. Because the universe is full of nasties, and trespassers make them mad - very mad.
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"Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high: no less than the first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he'll be switched off, and they'll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty. The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. Or so he thinks. Because the universe is full of nasties, and trespassers make them mad - very mad."--Goodreads… (more)

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