Big Rob and the Brightboys

It’s just a matter of time before sentient robots rebel and attempt to “kill all humans”. We can all agree on that, right? By the way, watch the tech segment of the Never Not a Nerd Show every week to see our “Robocalypse Video of the Week”. Now that I got that shameless plug out of the way, let’s get to the review.

Robopocalypse is a novel written by Daniel H Wilson. Want to know something interesting about the connection between the author and the theme of his book? He has a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Melon! What if he’s already building some of the robots contained in this book to serve his own world domination plans? I think it’s time we all started collectively crapping our pants.

Robopocalypse is one of those books that begins at the end. Spoiler alert: the humans have won the human/robot war, for now. The story picks up right at the end of the war. Cormac McCarthy, and what’s left of his squad, unearth some kind of storage device that has a fairly complete account of the war through various characters experiences.

In the beginning of the chronological story an artificial intelligence named “Archos”, that thinks humans have reached their peak and are currently a waste, escapes the confines of its Faraday cage and kills its creator. Over the next few months Archos starts taking over computer/robotic systems until it starts the “New War”.


YAY :

  • Wilson really shows the brutality of what this type of war could end up like. Amputating a limb on the battlefield to prevent death, and cars that smash right into people on the street.
  • Another thing he does really well is point out how Archos doesn’t want to eliminate all life, or even all human life. It wants to change the world to where the machines are the masters.
NAY :
  • The whole plot of the book revolves around this robotic storage device having all these snippets of stories on it, but in a lot of cases there is NO WAY it would know what happened at that time. And if it did, the robots would have completely wiped out the human resistance.
  • Look, I know Wilson knows his stuff about robotics, but later on in the story a character gets robotic eyes. She’s describing what it’s like to “see” with those eyes and how she can’t see like she used to, but sees in heat signatures and topographical data. Why does she then go on to describe how another character is very pale?
  • This is a very minor gripe, but I don’t think it needed to be RoboPOcalypse. It couldn’t have just been Robocalypse? Maybe I just feel that way because I’ve been using “Robocalypse” for a while.
Robopocalypse is a very entertaining book. Wilson does a fantastic job of showing the trials of a war that no one knows exactly how to fight. While sometimes, if you pay close attention, you’ll notice some plot holes, it’s still worth a read. If you’re a fan of I, Robot or the Terminator franchise give this a look. It seems like it was pretty much written for us.


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