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Robopocalypse: A Novel [Paperback]

Daniel H. Wilson
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.95
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Book Description

April 17 2012 Vintage Contemporaries

In this terrifying tale of humanity’s desperate stand against a robot uprising, Daniel H. Wilson has written the most entertaining sci-fi thriller in years.
 
Not far into our future, the dazzling technology that runs our world turns against us. Controlled by a childlike—yet massively powerful—artificial intelligence known as Archos, the global network of machines on which our world has grown dependent suddenly becomes an implacable, deadly foe. At Zero Hour—the moment the robots attack—the human race is almost annihilated, but as its scattered remnants regroup, humanity for the first time unites in a determined effort to fight back. This is the oral history of that conflict, told by an international cast of survivors who experienced this long and bloody confrontation with the machines. Brilliantly conceived and amazingly detailed, Robopocalypse is an action-packed epic with chilling implications about the real technology that surrounds us. 


 
 


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Review

“Terrific page-turning fun.”
—Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly

“An ingenious, instantly visual story of war between humans and robots.”
The New York Times

“Richly haunting. . . . Wilson has terrific timing in building a page-turner around the perils of technology’s advance into our lives.”
Los Angeles Times
 
“An Andromeda Strain for the new century, this is visionary fiction at its best: harrowing, brilliantly rendered, and far, far too believable.”
—Lincoln Child

“A tour de force. . . . A fast-paced, engrossing page-turner that is impossible to put down. . . . Wilson’s taut prose and the imaginative scope of his story make him a worthy successor to the likes of Michael Crichton, Kurt Vonnegut and Isaac Asimov.”
Buffalo News
 
“A superbly entertaining thriller. . . . [Robopocalypse has] everything you’d want in a beach book.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch
 
“You’re swept away against your will. . . . A riveting page turner.”
—Associated Press
 
“[Wilson] presents a doomsday scenario more plausible than most. No vampires, no zombies. . . . Science fiction has been grappling with the possibility of traitorous computers and mutinous androids for much of its history, but Wilson has devised a way to put an original spin on the material. Robopocalypse is a well-constructed entertainment machine, perfect for summer reading. It’s especially refreshing to read an end-of-the-world novel that’s actually self-contained, that doesn’t require the investment in two or three more thick volumes to deliver the apocalyptic goods.”
The San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Wilson’s training as a roboticist makes accepting a ubiquitous robot presence natural to the author; it also helps him imagine and describe some amazing machines, efficient, logically designed and utterly inimical to human life. . . . [Robopocalypse] reads at times like horror. That its events are scientifically plausible makes them all the more frightening.”
Seattle Times
 
“A gripping, utterly plausible, often terrifying account of a global apocalypse brought on by a transcendent AI that hijacks the planet's automation systems and uses them in a vicious attempt to wipe out humanity.”
—Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
 
Robopocalypse is the kind of robot uprising novel that could only have been written in an era when robots are becoming an ordinary part of our lives. This isn’t speculation about a far-future world full of incomprehensible synthetic beings. It’s five minutes into the future of our Earth, full of the robots we take for granted. If you want a rip-roaring good read this summer, Robopocalypse is your book.”
io9.com
 
“This electrifying thriller . . . will entertain you, but it will also make you think about our technology dependency.”
Parade Magazine
 
“A brilliantly conceived thriller that could well become horrific reality. A captivating tale, Robopocalypse will grip your imagination from the first word to the last, on a wild rip you won’t soon forget. What a read . . . unlike anything I’ve read before.”
—Clive Cussler
  
“[A] frenetic thriller. . . . Wilson, like the late Crichton, is skilled in combining cutting-edge technology with gripping action scenes.”
Booklist

About the Author

Daniel H. Wilson earned a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. He is the author of How to Survive a Robot Uprising, Where’s My Jetpack?, How to Build a Robot Army, The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame, Bro-Jitsu: The Martial Art of Sibling Smackdown, and A Boy and His Bot.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How to make the end of the world boring. Sept. 17 2011
Format:Hardcover
This book want's to be "World War Z" so bad. Alas it fails... so badly. Very poorly written and down right stupid in parts. There are maybe 3 chapters that work and are worth reading, but that's it. How bad is it? Well, take this part... a guy is sitting in a cafe when a car drives through the wall. He looks out the window and an ambulance is running people over in the street. What does he think? For no reason - he thinks "omg, the machines have taken over" and he runs for the hills. Yes, where most of us would think 'runaway car' - the characters in this book leap to "killer machines" I can't count how many times I thought "WTF, this is stupid" while reading this book. Apparently 'Spielburg' bought the rights to this story before it was even written. He should have waited - he might regret what he bought.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Tough Read Dec 19 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had difficulty getting through Robopocalypse, and I think it might have a great deal to do with the phrase “A Novel” on the cover of Robopocalypse. It isn’t, really. The impression I have is more of a collection of short stories loosely bound together by the theme of the robot uprising. Some of these stories are very good, but my experience of the overall story arc is that it’s rather confusing. The point of view shifts with every tale, not beginning to repeat or overlap until somewhere near the midpoint of the collection, and we don’t get to focus on one character long enough to catch more than a glimpse of their part in the overall struggle. In fact, the final POV character isn’t introduced until past the ' mark, then becoming one of the two most important characters of the last 100 pages.

Beginning at almost the end of the story (and also stealing a lot of tension from the narrative), during the last little bit of clean up after the “New War”, each story in the collection is presented as an historical document or reconstruction with the overall narrative of the war held together by an intro and outro to each story written from the POV of the main character. It’s an interesting device, but the intro often steals from the immediacy of the story that follows by giving away too much, and the outro often hints at or summarizes much larger stories, giving the impression that far more interesting things are happening in the wider conflict, but you won’t get to read about them.

There are a lot of good stories in Robopocalypse (I particularly like the Gray Horse sequence), if taken on their own and without the intro and outro, but the overall presentation of the story falls a bit flat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read.... maybe lags a bit at the end Oct. 24 2013
By drahcir
Format:Paperback
Picked this up on the strength of a Globe and Mail review, and I was glad that I did.

The premise is that in the near future, Archos, a sentient artificial intelligence has declared war on humanity, as it's discovered that its predecessors were terminated when its human creator feared that it was TOO smart.

It tests humans' defences by compromising a few of our machines with lethal consequences, then declares an all-out war with devastating effect. Our smart machines turn on us, and most of us are killed or enslaved.

But a few survivors mount an ultimately successful counterattack, and take back our world... with the help of some AI allies.

Looking at how many 'smart' machines we currently have, I could easily believe that the trend will only continue. If something DID happen to cause them to malfunction, it would certainly cause issues (think about all the avionics in modern aircraft, for instance- planes can't fly without them). We also have a lot of machines waging war- look at the armed drones being used in the mideast. So if machines' programming was compromised and they acted with deliberate malevolence.... yikes! Could believe it would be pretty ugly, and hard for us mere humans to respond.

So I think the notion's quite good, and I like the way it's executed.

The idea of using the AI's memories to tell the story gives the opportunity to tell it from different perspectives. It is a bit reminiscent of "World War Z", or going further back, Studs Terkel's "The good war", but I think it works.

Concerns? Well, supposedly Archos loves humanity's creativity... yet he seeks to destroy or enslave us. Have difficulty reconciling that.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars World War Z Wannabe Nov. 2 2011
By JF
Format:Hardcover
Same structure as WWZ, My feeling are mixed. It is either a clever hommage or it is piggy backing on a good idea. I should have waited to buy it on paperback.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A decent apocalyptic read March 13 2012
Format:Hardcover
As with other reviewers, I couldn't help noticing the similarities with World War Z by Max Brooks. The story is decent and gripping at times but few of the characters are developed enough to make you care about their outcome. One thing to keep in mind is that this takes place in the future, otherwise some of the events just don't make any sense for our modern world, such as the previously mentioned killer toys. That being said, if you haven't already read WWZ and are a fan of fiction like Terminator and I, Robot, you'll probably enjoy reading this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What was the excitment about? July 6 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am not sure what caused all the hype on this book, but its really pretty dull. Totally predictable plot, characters straight from the back lot of Hollywood and still smelling of cardboard and ink, writing that is barely above the score one might expect of a mid level high school student. So, who started the wonderful PR and how do we prevent getting fooled by it again?
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars too much hype
There is nothing new here in the science, the story or the way it is told. I was hoping for so much more. In a way it is WWZ with robots.
Published 3 months ago by NM
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely good
This is one of those books you pick and can't put down. I enjoyed the story line and the characters. Really good SF.
Published 14 months ago by Steve Barnett
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift
Brother in law love it

I'm not going to write a novel about the products I buy, if they suck ill let people know but otherwise you get a 2-3 word review then this... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Nin
4.0 out of 5 stars Robopocalypse
I started this story with a gentle yet persistent trepidation. It took me a while to adjust to robospeak and slowly, familiarize myself with (on a very shallow level, toes dipped... Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2012 by Arah-Lynda Hay
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for the Robots !
This is a great read. Told from the perspective of the villian who details key actions during a war between robots/technology and man.

Soon to be made into a movie. Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2011 by fastreader
4.0 out of 5 stars An original take on an arguably tired theme
Robopocalypse is very much Terminator meets World War Z. Like the Terminator series, it outlines a robot uprising and the battle to defeat the mechanized hoards. Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2011 by Andre Farant
1.0 out of 5 stars If you have read more then 5 books in your life, don't bother.
I never write reviews but this is the second time I buy a book highly recommended on Amazon and it is my second deception. Read more
Published on July 14 2011 by Dexx
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