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Robopocalypse: A Novel [Hardcover]

Daniel H. Wilson
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 7 2011

They are in your house. They are in your car. They are in the skies…Now they’re coming for you.
In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans – a single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s menacing “smart” toys, a lonely Japanese bachelor who is victimized by his domestic robot companion, an isolated U.S. soldier who witnesses a ‘pacification unit’ go haywire – but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is too late.
When the Robot War ignites -- at a moment known later as Zero Hour -- humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united. Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us…and an entertaining and engaging thriller unlike anything else written in years. 


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“It’s terrific page-turning fun.”--Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
“Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse ingenious, instantly visual story of war between humans and robots.” – Janet Maslin, New York Times 

“It'll be scarier than "Jaws": We don't have to go in the water, but we all have to use gadgets.”--Wall Street Journal

“A superbly entertaining thriller…[Robopocalypse has] everything you'd want in a beach book.” – Richmond Times-Dispatch

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.”
“You're swept away against your will… a riveting page turner.” -- Associated Press

“Things pop along at a wonderfully breakneck pace, and by letting his characters reveal themselves through their actions, Wilson creates characters that spring to life. Vigorous, smart and gripping.” --Kirkus

"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 CusslerNew York Times bestselling author
"An Andromeda Strain for the new century, this is visionary fiction at its best: harrowing, brilliantly rendered, and far, far too believable."--Lincoln Child, New York Times bestselling author of Deep Storm
Robopocalypse reminded me of Michael Crichton when he was young and the best in the business. This novel is brilliant, beautifully conceived, beautifully written (high-five, Dr. Wilson)…but what makes it is the humanity. Wilson doesn't waste his time writing about 'things,' he's writing about human beings -- fear, love, courage, hope. I loved it.” --Robert Crais, New York Times bestselling author of The Sentry
"Futurists are already predicting the day mankind builds its replacement, Artificial Intelligence.  Daniel Wilson shows what might happen when that computer realizes its creators are no longer needed.  Lean prose, great characters, and almost unbearable tension ensure that Robopocalypse is going to be a blockbuster.  Once started I defy anyone to put it down." --Jack DuBrul, New York Times bestselling author

"The parts of this book enter your mind, piece by piece, where they self-assemble into a story that makes you think, makes you feel, and makes you scared." – Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

"Author [Daniel Wilson], who holds a doctorate in robotics, shows great promise as a worthy successor to Michael Crichton as Wilson, like the late Crichton, is skilled in combining cutting-edge technology with gripping action scenes. Expect a big demand for this frenetic thriller."--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, and Bro-Jitsu: The Martial Art of Sibling Smackdown.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How to make the end of the world boring. Sept. 17 2011
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read.... maybe lags a bit at the end Oct. 24 2013
By drahcir
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
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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3.0 out of 5 stars A decent apocalyptic read March 13 2012
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
3.0 out of 5 stars World War Z Wannabe Nov. 2 2011
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
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not great July 12 2011
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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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 4 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 16 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 16 months ago by Nin
2.0 out of 5 stars What was the excitment about?
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... Read more
Published on July 6 2012 by Stephen M. Newberg
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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