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Robopocalypse: A Novel Paperback – Apr 17 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (April 17 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780307740809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307740809
  • ASIN: 0307740803
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“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.”
“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.”

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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
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. From World War Z, it borrows what had been a rather unique narrative structure, telling a wide-ranging story through multiple points of view and a variety of voices. The notable difference between Robopocalypse and these earlier works is in its use of character.

Wilson uses a narrative device that is similar to that used by Brooks, but one that allows for the more natural reappearance of recurring characters. Rather than jumping from one new character and POV to another throughout the novel, Wilson hops back and forth between a limited number of primary figurants, developing them not through single vignettes, but through their own novel-spanning storylines. It feels less like a series of connected short stories that, when placed end to end, tell a single story, and more like a single story with numerous sub-plots, all building upon the same foundation.

This foundation is provided by Cormac "Bright Boy" Wallace of the Grey Horse Army. Wallace narrates a prologue and epilogue which bookend Robopocalypse, but he also introduces and lends the occasional closing commentary to every chapter-long episode featuring and often narrated by other characters. Through Wallace, we come to know these characters and the role they played in the New War. As mentioned, the characters are well developed and distinct and even Wallace himself features in his own episodes so that we see how he has changed over the course of the War.

Unlike Terminator, Robopocalypse does not rely on the initial construction of and inevitable rebellion by military-grade robots.
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By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on July 4 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm wondering if my computer's camera is watching me as I type this review.....No I haven't lost my marbles. That's the premise of Daniel H. Wilson's debut novel Robopocalypse.

The computers, machines and robotics that humans have built, developed and embraced as part of our everyday lives have turned the tables....Slowly but surely, they've evolved...and learned to think for themselves. And us? Well, we're now expendable. Zero Hour is scheduled.

I freakin' loved this book! It totally fed my passion for dystopian, apocalyptic fiction. There are no complicated themes to discuss at book club (but you will be talking about it) and it won't be immortalized as great literature. But, boy oh boy was it was an action packed thrill ride of a read.

Wilson utilizes a very unique and creative format to tell the story of the War between humankind and machines. We meet Cormac "Bright Boy" Wallace in the opening chapter. He has survived the war so far and makes a startling discovery. "This is the goddamn black box on the whole war." Utilizing the data found on the cube with back up from other electronic and human sources, we start at the beginning of the end and works backwards. At first I thought, no, I know the outcome already, but it works. Every chapter introduces us to more players in this planet encompassing apocalypse. Each is completely different and their actions and lives intersect in ways they couldn't have imagined. Cormac's commentary opens and closes each chapter tying it to the next. The foreshadowing at the end of many chapters kept me up turning pages far into the night.

For sheer entertainment this summer, Robopocalypse simply can't be beat. And in the near future, you'll be able to catch the movie version - Spielberg will be directing.
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