We’re more than animals …

Remember those classic Sci-Fi stories you used to read as a kid where robots are alive and they have turned evil.
Robopocalypse brought those memories back for me!

Daniel H. Wilson’s┬áRobopocalypse is man-versus-machine tale – the story of how the robots turn against the humans. The author weaves a modern and plausible tale, which can happen in next 20-30 years, considering how many smart machines we have in our lives.

The robotic apocalypse is orchestrated by a single central super computer, Archos, who takes humanity by surprise all around the world. Archos takes control over the entire ensemble of machines in the world – smart phones, smart cars, bi-peds, domestic robots, telephones, satellites, machines – anything that has a computer or controller in it. And they start to work against human civilization and start evolving (the learning bots).

The entire novel is in flashback and told from points of views of several survivors from across the world. These survivors start to work on their own in Tokyo, Afghanistan, London, New York, and Oklahoma. As the story progresses, homo sapiens find ways to collaborate against the single enemy that they have created.

The story works at many different levels. Part 1 is grim as humans start to suffer, but engaging. As the story progresses, the action starts to come in. Then the survival instincts kick in, and finally collaboration. But more importantly, it is a tale of humanity and how pressure brings the best (mostly) and worst in people.

I enjoyed the book, because it brings back memories of the Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, the stories I grew up with and stories that fired my imagination as a kid.

This is also the first book I have read that is written in this style – each chapter is written in first person perspective of different characters. You can open any chapter in part 1 or part 2 of the book and read it. It is later, that all these threads start to come together. Many reviewers mention that this style has been used in few other books, but this was my first book in this style, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Daniel H. Wilson is a Robotics Engineer, a television host and a PhD. So many of the robots used in Robopocalypse are based on (or variant of) real world robots that exist today.

The audiobook is read by Mike Chamberlain who takes the book to whole another level. He changes accents based on the character being a Texan oil driller, a British telephone hacker, or a Native American from Okhlahoma among the few. A very well done audiobook. Available from Audible.com.

I enjoyed this book a lot, a fun to read, and to listen. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of science fiction or to anyone who enjoys reading.
It is available from all major resellers as a book or an eBook.

Lastly, you may want to read this book before Steven Spielberg’s movie based on Robopocalypse comes out in 2013.

Check out Daniel H. Wilson’s blog.

Here is Daniel H. Wilson’s interview on YouTube.

Copyright JPS Nagi
July1, 2011.

The Creator and His Creation (Guest Blog by Rana)

Back in the day when we were kids, we never thought where we would be when we grew up. And then we grew up. Scores of years later, I came across Rana, one more time through the internet.

When you walk away from a place, in your mind the time seems to have stopped for that place. In your mind, the images, the people freeze. My mind also had a picture of Rana as that guy I knew during school. I had frozen him back in that time too. As I started interacting with him, I saw him as a person I knew from cryogenic chambers of my mind, yet I saw another side of him. Even being separated by more than 6000 miles, I could easily identify with him. He is like my long lost brother.

Rana writes. And he writes beautifully. What follows here is a piece he shared with some of us recently. It is a well thought, well written piece. So I decided to share it with the world.

This is the first contribution "guest blog" by Gurpreet Singh Rana, and that too without his knowledge. His writings may seem small like marble, but if you look closer, they envelop the universe. I hope he will contribute more "knowingly" in days to come and tickle our gray matter.

Here he is with "The Creator and His Creation"

He sat alone one day thinking
What if I create a world of living beings?
Lo and behold and the earth came into seeing
And came the mountains, the oceans and the spring
Came the stars, the moon the sun and all other things
And all those beauties, emotions and the musings
Then came the greed of the man, the lust and the cravings
Drew they lines; the countries,the continents came into viewing.

Sad He sat as He saw the wars, battles and the deceit
Sad He sat as He saw the poverty, religious fanatics and the people cheat
Sad He sat as He saw the corruption, oppression and the truth taking a defeat.

A man sat alone one day thinking
Who is the one who has made all these belongings?
Is He there or is He not, or all are just imagining
This creation is a chain of reactions, apply some reasoning
How do I believe that He made all which I am perceiving?
I am the supreme; I am the creator, of all these worldly things
I controlled the floods; I carved the mountains, and even did cloning
I have the power to reach the moon and now I am who is controlling

He sat alone one day, but He was not sad
He had a smile on His lips as He saw the human being brag
He reflected and remarked, “Is this the beginning of the end?”

September 10, 2010
Copyright Gurpreet Singh Rana