Recommended by Josh
Goofy, geeky SF/computer/survival novel. Funny and thoughtful at the same time. The first of three books, and you will want all three.
Computer programmer Robert Johansson goes into cryonics storage after an accident. A century later he is woken up, but as an artificial intelligence recreation of Bob Johansson – he’s now a computer mind. Bob becomes part of a space program and a copy of his mind is sent on a probe to the stars. As he heads out, he is able to break the programming that locked him in and becomes independent. Once he makes it to his first star system, he makes more “Bobs” so he can explore further and protect himself.
Part of the fun for the reader or listener is to keep track of the various Bobs, watching them try to figure out how to converse with each other and talk each other into things. When everyone is “Bob”, who is in charge? Each one feels like he is the original, of course. More of the fun is intellectual, sort of like the book and film, *The Martian* by Andy Weir. The Bobs have to use science and creativity to solve all sorts of problems, both of loneliness and survival.
If you can listen to the audio book, read by the excellent Ray Porter, it might even be better. . Porter has exactly the right sarcastic tone to convey the original Bob’s thoughts and then modifies his voice enough to give each new Bob his own distinctive sound. Fun, fun, fun.
What a slog. I really don't understand the high ratings. Of course people have different tastes, and some will love a work that others hate, but the reviews seemed so far off from what I read that I was compelled to double check I had the same book.
Some fun ideas and the concept could have been brilliant but it's written in a manner that is the epitome of telling instead of showing. It's alternates between juvenile and mind-numbingly bland, completely devoid of emotion or anything remotely compelling. Even when really cool and interesting things are happening, nothing cool or interesting is described--i.e., "... It was the first extra-solar planet I'd ever seen. I would never have this particular experience again. I took a few moments to savor the excitement and wonder. A dozen orbits [of the planet] were sufficient for my survey."
It's basically a 300 page list with cringe-y jokes sprinkled in and very little else. I did this. I did that. I had a coffee. I did this again. "That," I said, and did it. "The butt hurt is strong in this one." I finished my coffee so I got another coffee. Time for this and that again. Woo hah. Coffee. Ad nauseam.
I'm sorry to be that person, but really just not worth the time in my opinion.
The predicted future is possible, if dystopian. The first few chapters are a bit slow but the action picks up fairly quickly. It's an interesting auctorial expedition that kind of reminds me of "Friday" by Heinlein combined with "Manseed" by Williamson. I read it in a couple of sittings and now have the second volume on hold, usually a sign of a good series.
This books starts a bit funky, but then in leaves orbit. I had a hard time putting it down!
Quite possibly the nerdiest use of Von Neumann machines I have ever seen.
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