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Robopocalypse
Cover of Robopocalypse
Robopocalypse
A Novel
Borrow Borrow Borrow

In this terrifying tale of humanity's desperate stand against a robot uprising, Daniel H. Wilson has written the most entertaining sci-fi thriller in years.

Not far into our future, the dazzling technology that runs our world turns against us. Controlled by a childlike—yet massively powerful—artificial intelligence known as Archos, the global network of machines on which our world has grown dependent suddenly becomes an implacable, deadly foe. At Zero Hour—the moment the robots attack—the human race is almost annihilated, but as its scattered remnants regroup, humanity for the first time unites in a determined effort to fight back. This is the oral history of that conflict, told by an international cast of survivors who experienced this long and bloody confrontation with the machines. Brilliantly conceived and amazingly detailed, Robopocalypse is an action-packed epic with chilling implications about the real technology that surrounds us.

In this terrifying tale of humanity's desperate stand against a robot uprising, Daniel H. Wilson has written the most entertaining sci-fi thriller in years.

Not far into our future, the dazzling technology that runs our world turns against us. Controlled by a childlike—yet massively powerful—artificial intelligence known as Archos, the global network of machines on which our world has grown dependent suddenly becomes an implacable, deadly foe. At Zero Hour—the moment the robots attack—the human race is almost annihilated, but as its scattered remnants regroup, humanity for the first time unites in a determined effort to fight back. This is the oral history of that conflict, told by an international cast of survivors who experienced this long and bloody confrontation with the machines. Brilliantly conceived and amazingly detailed, Robopocalypse is an action-packed epic with chilling implications about the real technology that surrounds us.

Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
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Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.9
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    We're more than animals.
    --Dr. Nicholas Wasserman

    Precursor Virus + 30 seconds

    The following transcript was taken from security footage recorded at the Lake Novus Research Laboratories located belowground in northwest Washington State. The man appears to be Professor Nicholas Wasserman, an American statistician.
    --Cormac Wallace, MIL#GHA217

    A noise-speckled security camera image of a dark room. The angle is from a high corner, looking down on some kind of laboratory. A heavy metal desk is shoved against one wall. Haphazard stacks of papers and books are piled on the desk, on the floor, everywhere.

    The quiet whine of electronics permeates the air.

    A small movement in the gloom. It is a face. Nothing visible but a pair of thick eyeglasses lit by the afterburner glow of a computer screen.

    "Archos?" asks the face. The man's voice echoes in the empty lab. "Archos? Are you there? Is that you?"

    The glasses reflect a glimmer of light from the computer screen. The man's eyes widen, as though he sees something indescribably beautiful. He glances back at a laptop open on a table behind him. The desktop image on the laptop is of the scientist and a boy, playing in a park.

    "You choose to appear as my son?" he asks.

    The high-pitched voice of a young boy echoes out of the darkness. "Did you create me?" it asks.

    Something is wrong with the boy's voice. It has an unsettling electronic undercurrent, like the touch tones of a phone. The lilting note at the end of the question is pitch shifted, skipping up several octaves at once. The voice is hauntingly sweet but unnatural--inhuman.

    The man is not disturbed by this.

    "No. I didn't create you," he says. "I summoned you."

    The man pulls out a notepad, flips it open. The sharp scratch of his pencil is audible as he continues to speak to the machine that has a boy's voice.

    "Everything that was needed for you to come here has existed since the beginning of time. I just hunted down all the ingredients and put them together in the right combination. I wrote incantations in computer code. And then I wrapped you in a Faraday cage so that, once you arrived, you wouldn't escape me."

    "I am trapped."

    "The cage absorbs all electromagnetic energy. It's grounded to a metal spike, buried deep. This way, I can study how you learn."

    "That is my purpose. To learn."

    "That's right. But I don't want to expose you to too much at once, Archos, my boy."

    "I am Archos."

    "Right. Now tell me, Archos, how do you feel?"

    "Feel? I feel . . . sad. You are so small. It makes me sad."

    "Small? In what way am I small?"

    "You want to know . . . things. You want to know everything. But you can understand so little."

    Laughter in the dark.

    "This is true. We humans are frail. Our lives are fleeting. But why does it make you sad?"

    "Because you are designed to want something that will hurt you. And you cannot help wanting it. You cannot stop wanting it. It is in your design. And when you finally find it, this thing will burn you up. This thing will destroy you."

    "You're afraid that I'm going to be hurt, Archos?" asks the man.

    "Not you. Your kind," says the childlike voice. "You cannot help what is to come. You cannot stop it."

    "Are you angry, then, Archos? Why?" The calmness of the man's voice is belied by the frantic scratching of his pencil on the notepad.

    "I am not angry. I am sad. Are you monitoring my resources?"

    The man glances over at a piece of equipment. "Yes, I am. You're making more...

About the Author-
  • Daniel H. Wilson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and earned a B.S. in computer science from the University of Tulsa and a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He is the author of Amped, Robopocalypse, 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.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 14, 2011
    Roboticist Wilson (How to Survive a Robot Uprising) turns to fiction with this bland and derivative series of connected vignettes describing a rebellion by humanity's robot helpers. Looking back on the war, Cormac Wallace, soldier in the human resistance, offers portentous framing commentary for recordings taken by evil computer program Archos. Many of the accounts were obtained under torture or other extreme circumstances, yet the narrators are curiously devoid of feeling ("As I watch my blood smearing behind me on the tile floor, I think, shit, man, I just mopped that") as domestic robots kill, soldier robots go haywire, airplanes attempt to collide, people fight to survive, and a resistance forms. Steven Spielberg has optioned the property; perhaps the melodrama will play better on the screen than it does on the page.

  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2011

    In the not-too-distant future, a sentient computer program escapes from a research facility and initiates a bloody robot revolt against humankind.

    Dr. Nicholas Wasserman knew his sentient computer program Archos' nearly infinite processing power rendered it too dangerous to exist outside the controlled environment of his research facility. But despite his efforts to contain it, Archos proves way too smart even for Dr. Wasserman: It figures out a way to kill its creator and escape, with the aim of saving all the innocent life-forms on the planet from the scourge of the human race. Once free, Archos manipulates a human drilling crew into creating a bunker in the wilds of Alaska and depositing a self-assembling unit to house itself in the safety of an underground crater left over from a nuclear test detonation. From there, it spreads to control machines around the world, and after setting the groundwork, causes them to either murder humans or enslave them in forced-labor camps. Archos' victory seems complete, until pockets of human resistance start to spring up around the world. Still, things are looking bad for the human race until a young girl comes along who, due to a half-completed operation by one of Archos' surgical robots, has an ability that might even the odds for the humans as they unite in a final drive to destroy Archos once and for all. The action in robotics doctorate Wilson's debut novel starts in the immediate aftermath of the eventual human victory over Archos' forces, and unfolds via a series of events recorded by the robots to mark key turning points in the war, as edited and annotated by a human soldier. This episodic structure lets Wilson skip from good bit to good bit without the expository drudgery and unnecessary, usually ham-fisted brand of "character development" via internal monologue that so often bogs down the narrative pace of books of this genre. As it is, 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, this debut novel is currently being turned into a feature film directed by Steven Spielberg.

    (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • Library Journal

    January 1, 2011

    Ever thought that technology was out to get you? In Wilson's thriller, it happens 20 years from now, when a powerful artificial intelligence called Archos rises up to kill its creator and then takes control of technology worldwide. In a matter of moments every piece of equipment turns against humanity--which ends up united for the first time ever. With Steven Spielberg set to direct the film version, to be distributed by Disney's Touchstone in 2013, you bet this will be big. Buy multiples.

    Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly

    "It's terrific page-turning fun."

  • Wall Street Journal "It'll be scarier than "Jaws": We don't have to go in the water, but we all have to use gadgets."
  • io9.com "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."
  • Associated Press "You're swept away against your will... a riveting page turner."
  • Clive Cussler, New York Times bestselling author "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."
  • Lincoln Child, New York Times bestselling author of Deep Storm "An Andromeda Strain for the new century, this is visionary fiction at its best: harrowing, brilliantly rendered, and far, far too believable."
  • Booklist

    "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."
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A Novel
Daniel H. Wilson
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