Winner: Audible's Best of 2016 - Science Fiction
Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street.
Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high: no less than the first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he'll be switched off, and they'll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty.
The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. Or so he thinks. Because the universe is full of nasties, and trespassers make them mad - very mad.
©2016 Dennis E. Taylor (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
It was a pleasure to listen to this book. The scientific grounding made the story very interesting. The fact is that it was 'clean' made it enjoyable. I highly recommend this book.
Writer, reader, now an avid listener, why hadn't I discovered this before!
Full disclosure. I had the wonderful opportunity to read some of this in one of my author crit groups, but I was super excited to then learn of it as an audiobook! Especially read by Ray Porter, who I enjoyed for some of his other works. So I had to go and buy this. :)
Dennis's Bobiverse was a little strange at first. But, you're soon taken in by the wonderful humour of Bob and the weird circumstances he's got himself into and has to keep himself sane from.... I admit there's a lot going on, and there are some 'Bob's I like more than others. But that's to be expected. They are all so different.... and of course as a trecky fan I love Ryker. And Homer :)
This really was a joy to be a part of and an excellent listen. I think my only gripe was the story seemed to have really gotten going, and then it ended. Of course, it's that vast and large a world, as in the whole universe, that there is much more scope for Bob and his replicants, and the last few survivors from Earth.
An excellent story for any sci fi lovers, this is something very different, full of science, and things I don't understand, but loved learning about.
Thank you Dennis and Ray... and hurry up with Bob 2! I can't wait.
When so much of SF is about war and battles, it is refreshing to come across a story that is probably only 5% conflict. The basic premise is not new, but the way it is presented and developed is very engaging and I was left wanting more. I had to work at remembering all the Bobs names and where they were as the story hopped around the local part of the galaxy as the Bobs spread, but it was worth it. I look forward to seeing if the novelty can be maintained in any sequel. Well worth the listen.
"Wow... Superb Science Fiction"
I was very unsure about this book after reading only the description. The only reason I ended up buying it was because of the multiple reviews I read saying that it was amazing... I'm SO glad I gave it a chance. This book was outstanding and everything I want in a science fiction story. It was funny, not too complex, had a little science, periodic space battles, and was just an all-around well-written book.
The book starts out with a successful young tech engineer signing a contract to have his body preserved after his death and then dying in an accident shortly after. He awakens hundreds of years later as a disembodied computer program that was created using his brain as a template. He and the others who preserved their brains are being used to create artificially intelligent beings and have zero rights or free will. He also learns that the United States has been long replaced with a theocratic police state, and that a new space race has begun with earth nations rushing to claim new star systems with intelligent space drones.
Bob becomes one of the first drones to be sent off to the stars with the ability to self-replicate. Having long since circumvented the safeguards put in place to keep him obedient, he becomes something more than just a computer intelligence...
The book is full of Bob debating himself about the ethics of copying his personality and essentially creating whole new beings with their own free will, all with his memories and experiences. He also learns that despite being copies of himself, all of his clones are subtlely different and have their own needs and desires.
A conflict on earth nearly destroys humanity in a nuclear war shortly after he departs earth, leaving Bob as not only the last hope to explore nearby space and expand human influence but as the last hope for the survival of the biological human race.
Throughout the story, Bob (and his copies) invent new technologies, design space vessels, discover new habitable worlds, encounter other primitive intelligent life, return to attempt to save humanity, and encounter mysterious systems and circumstances.
He must also fight back against the only other self-replicating human probe controlled by the intelligence of an insane military leader, leading to several space battles and the hunting of his escaped clones before they can self-replicate out of control.
The performance by the narrator was top-notch and he did a very good job with the various voices of multiple Bob copies, as well as the other characters.
I would recommend this book to every science fiction fan. Five stars!!
"THE UNIVERSE AS MY PLAYGROUND"
I'M GLAD TO SEE A BOB FACTORY IN OPERATION
This is what Science Fiction is meant to be. The fans for this book will be Legion. This is full of lots of space travel, exploring of planets, terraforming, discovery of aliens, science talk, colonization, and of course THE BOBS AND THE BOBIAN FEDERATION. I was reminded of THE MARTIAN, although not as funny, Frederik Pohl and James P. Hogan. There are some space fights, but those who love space and all the possibilities, will enjoy this most.
SO THIS IS LIKE ANDROMEDA STRAIN?
As usual, Ray Porter makes this even better.
ALL HAIL BOB!
"Only an Hour into the Book !!"
I know there are a ton of people who have listened to this book already and have provided excellent reviews ... hell, that's why I bought the book.
I'm only an hour into this book, but it's already done something that no other audiobook that I've bought has done before. I was taking the train into work when I laughed out loud with a thunderous "HA!". I think I knew that I did it, but after glancing around the train car, virtually everyone was smiling at me.
Dennis Taylor can write ... and Ray Porter is giving me a great performance.
Thank you to everyone's review I read that convinced me I had to listen to this book.
And for everyone reading this ... buy it. You won't regret it.
"Andy Weir and Ernest Cline had a lovechild..."
...and this is his book.
I certainly do not mean any disrespect to Dennis Taylor; this is the highest of compliments from me. I title this review purposefully. I was wanting something in the vein of "Ready Player One" for so long and it just killed me that nothing quite fit the bill. This has the technicality of "The Martian" with the sass and wit of RPO.
The book is phenomenal. I actually found myself getting upset when I had to stop reading and created more excuses to take small trips in the car until I was done. The idea of a human being becoming a computer program (essentially) is executed in a unique way that is entertaining and engaging.
I had only remotely heard of the concept of the Von Neumann probe before reading this book and enjoyed the learning of real concept technology.
The narrator was spot-on and I really hope they keep him on for the future books to be released.
Just listen to the book, you won't regret it.
"Get in touch with your inner geek"
Dennis E. Taylor's We Are Legion (We Are Bob) is the opening salvo of the "Bobiverse" series. Bob is a successful software engineer in present day who splurges on cryopreservation only to be killed soon after in an auto accident. He is revived over a century later, but instead of receiving a healed, healthy body, he finds himself relegated to a machine intelligence owned by a theocratic government. At that point, the fun begins as his mission is to become an autonomous, immortal entity exploring and establishing potential future colony worlds in other star systems.
The sci-fi elements are in line with futuristic robotics, nanotechnology with 3D printing and self-replications. Having regarded the movie "Castaway" as a fantasy along with his engineering background, Bob rapidly adjusts to his "alone" situation and proceeds from there. The real draw of the story is the sheer "geek" appeal. This is not a "nerd" tale with lots of high level science and detailed calculations. Rather, all the nuances of "geekdom" are brought out with Bob cloning himself, taking on different personalities drawn from pop / geek cultural references from the late 20th and early 21st centuries. For example, he heads off to the home star of Spock (Star Trek) and names the planet he finds there as Vulcan. While humanity has thoroughly screwed themselves, he manages to save what's left, while still having fun to boot. Along the way, his solutions are inventive, creative, and fun.
The narration is quite well done with an easy going style reflective of Bob's personality and style. The range of voices is more than sufficient and the timing is well executed for maximum comedic effect.
"For Fans of The Martian"
This is a promising start to a new series--I wish I knew the exact name of the genre; it's sciencey sci-fi like The Martian. The author came up with a clever solution to the problem of lack of character development as happens when the protagonist is AI. I'll download the next installment. Narration is top notch.
Fun is what I would call it. I really did enjoy this story. Several times I really laughed out loud and continuously found myself with a smile on my face as the story progressed. A unique story line with many sci-fi referential humor and tones. In my minds eye the sight of Admeral Akbar "rolling his eyes" still makes me chuckle .Look, let me put it to you this way "Bob" is a sci-fi fan who found he had an afterlife, and its an afterlife taylord made for him. Judging by the cation "Book one" I am anticipating another to further the exploration of the "Bobiverse." I eagerly await the release.
Well that would be Bob of course. With the modified user interface called GUPPY (don't recall what the actuall ackronyms letters) of Admiral Ackbar my second.
The various Bobs. You would think it hard to differenciate between multiple versions of what is essentially the same characture. But he did a good job of treating each with subtle differnces. Good job!
"Wow, much more original and better than I thought it would be!"
Really entertaining and well reasoned update on some classic science fiction staples like see seed ships and artificial intelligence that goes beyond its original intentions. The story is much more than that: A little humor, a little space exploration, a little space battles, technology G – whizzes and narrow escapes. I couldn't put it down.
I rarely give all five stars. I reserve it to no more than one review a year. It's also great to find good narrator's that are up to the story, Ray Porter did an outstanding job and I'll look for other books narrated by him.
There is a little bit of the Star Trek "I just thought of this groundbreaking technological leap forward and it works!" to it - but you do have to move the story along…
The humor of the Bob's is great and much appreciated. Humor is a welcome addition to the science-fiction genre in the last couple years. It reminds me a little of "SuperEgo" by Frank Fleming.
Book 2 as soon as possible please.
"Can't wait for book 2"
Ok, so Ray Porter is always amazing and the story is my flavor of geek.
Everyone once and a while something unique comes along and a self replicating human turned A.I. has hit the mark. The conversations amongst themselves makes up a bulk of the story which is a nonstop reference to the sci-fi culture of the 80s. and 90s.
The saving of mankind becomes secondary to the world of Bob... Good Times.
"No wonder this won awards..."
As a science fiction lover, this book was immensely creative and an original theme. The narrator was outstanding and perfect for the lightly humorous storyline. Can't wait until the second book is available!
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