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Robopocalypse: A Novel Paperback – Apr 17 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (April 17 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307740803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307740809
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Propaganda is Painless on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By drahcir on Oct. 24 2013
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 By Lance Schonberg on 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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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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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JF on Nov. 2 2011
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Williams on July 12 2011
Format: Hardcover
I found this to be an acceptable beach book but not nearly as wonderful as some reviewers. I work in the computer field, so maybe I wasn't as caught up in the technology parts.

To be fair I did read the entire book as the plot is somewhat interesting.

The reviewer who said that this book reminded him of a young Michael Crichton must be related to the author.

If you like this kind of concept I would recommend Daemon by Daniel Suarez.
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