We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor

“Wake up, buddy. You okay?” “Auntie Em! Auntie Em!” Homer’s VR came online, smiling. “I guess we got’em.” I snorted with relief. “And their little dog, too.” Homer steepled his fingers in a properly evil mastermindish pose. “All their base are belong to us.”

Synopsis

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.


Stats

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Edition
  • 304 pages
  • Published September 20th 2016 by World builders Press
  • Original Title
  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)
  • ASINB01LWAESYQ
  • Edition Language English
  • Series Bobiverse #1

My Thoughts

Oh my heavens. Bob. Bob might be my spirit animal. You will have to pardon me if I am late for the Bobverse party. This story has been on my TBR forever, but a good friend recommended this as a palette cleanser from all the heavy reading I have been doing lately, I bumped it up. It was the perfect bit of science fiction fun I needed to reset myself. Even better, I downloaded the audible version of this story and listened to it in tandem with reading the book. I am so glad I did. The voice acting rivals Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy for how much it laughed. I am a connoisseur of the snark.

The story follows Bob Johansson as he is reveling in selling his tech company and be set up for life. What does he do with his newfound wealth? He signs a contract to have his head cryogenically frozen. It sounds like a stretch, but the author Dennis E. Taylor made it work. He sells the idea. Bob is at once a like-able character. He and his employees, whom he treats as a family, are sitting around laughing and showing support for Bob who just got out of a bad breakup. He mentions the cryogenics thing, and everyone laughs. As they should, it seems like such an absurd thing to do. Later, Bob is crossing the street and bam! Bob gets hit by a car and instantly killed. He wakes up disoriented, looking for his body. Bob’s conscience has been turned into software and downloaded into a computer!

What follows is light science fiction fun. It involves enemies from other countries, duplication, 3D printing, colonization, and the human race. I laughed out loud many times reading this. Especially with the voice acting from the audiobook. This story lends itself to different voices. There are many, many Bob’s by the end of it. You need to be able to differentiate easily, and even though the writing does help with the differentiation, voice changes from the audiobook speaker help a lot.

My only quibble with this story is it is a bit fragmented. There are so many Bob’s and all their adventures that it can be hard to keep up with who is who and who is doing what. But this small quibble and did not keep me from enjoying the book, far from it. Check this story of the many Bob’s for they are Legion and are coming to save the universe.

Questions

How do you think AI is portrayed in books?

Could AI be benevolent? Most of the time it is coming to take out the human race.

Procurement

I purchased a copy from Amazon.

About the Author – Dennis E. Taylor

I am a retired computer programmer, an enthusiastic snowboarder, and an inveterate science fiction reader.

And, apparently, an author now. Did not see that coming.

Hanging With My Gnomies in “No Country for Old Gnomes” by Delilah S. Dawson, Kevin Hearne

“Never trust quotes placed at the beginning of chapters as if they were diamonds of the brain. They were probably written by a halfling expressly for the purpose of deceiving you.”

Gnomer the Gnomerian, In the Fourth Gnomeric Cycle

About

Go big or go gnome. The New York Times bestselling authors of Kill the Farm Boy return to the world of Pell, the irreverent fantasy universe that recalls Monty Python and Terry Pratchett.

The Skyr is a rich, verdant land claimed by both halflings and gnomes. For centuries, the halflings have worked to undermine gnomish power structures and seize total control–through legal means, certainly, but more insidiously through their extensive organized crime network. Now, threatened with being pushed out entirely, the gnomes are desperate and ready to fight back. Gustave the Goat King faces his first test as a leader: Can he bring peace to a fraught region or will a civil war consume the entire kingdom?


Stats

  • 4 out of 5 Stars
  • Hardcover
  • 352 pages
  • Published April 16th 2019 by Del Rey
  • ISBN1524797774

My Thoughts

“Red sky before night, no need for a fight. Red sky at dawn, don’t yawn. Halflings probably set your barn afire, so gather your war ponies, tie back their manes, and attack–then, my good gnomes, you burn them back.”

Gnute Yakkin, in The Compendium of Gnomeric Resistance Rhymes

First, let me say that I have a deep and intense love of humor, satire, and cheekiness. I am a smart ass in the most profound and deep sense of the word. This was much to my detriment growing up. I can say without hyperbole that this is one of the funniest books I have ever read. Maybe it is my particular brand of punny and silly humor, but this story speaks to me. It is hilarious. It isn’t perfect, the story trips over itself a few times and gets lost in the humor, but generally, this book is laughing out loud funny the whole way through.

The story is the second one thus far that takes place in the land of Pell; the first is the tale Kill the Farmboy. However, if you have read the first book in the series some of the characters are revisited, but this is very easy to keep up with as a stand alone book.

“Few gnomes appreciate how stonking big the culinary accouterments must be to feed the taller folk. More than one gnome has mistaken an oven for cozy guest quarters, only to discover that it’s a box of deadly fire.”

Sonni Smnambulist, in How I survived Twenty-One Terrible Places to Sleep

Pell is a land full of creatures of myth and fantasy tropes. In this edition of the series, the brothers Offi, Onni, and their family head to a town for refuges after their home has been attacked by a halfling gang known as Rogues Under Bigly-Wicke. There is a lot of fun cheeky naming going on. With a cast of characters brought from the four corners of fantasy, a rag tag group set off to fight the halfling horde and by God RESTORE THEIR LAND.

All I am going to say is goth cardigans…

Read this if you want some light and fun humor. I wouldn’t call the story engaging in a deep plot sort of way, but more like an excellent vehicle for funny jokes which are actually quite good, so give it a try.


Procurement

I received a copy of this from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my open and honest review.

About the Authors

Delilah S. Dawson

Delilah S. Dawson writes whimsical and dark Fantasy for adults and teens. Her Blud series for Pocket includes Wicked as They Come, Wicked After Midnight, and Wicked as She Wants, winner of the RT Book Reviews Steampunk Book of the Year and May Seal of Excellence for 2013. Her YA debut, Servants of the Storm, is a Southern Gothic Horror set in Savannah, GA, and HIT is about teen assassins in a bank-owned America. Her Geekrotica series under pseudonym Ava Lovelace includes The Lumberfox and The Superfox with The Dapperfox on the way. Look for Wake of Vultures from Orbit Books in October 2015, written as Lila Bowen.

Delilah teaches writing classes at LitReactor and wrote the Island of Mesmer world for Storium.

Delilah lives with her husband, two small children, a horse, a dog, and two cats in Atlanta. Find out more at www.whimsydark.com.

Kevin Hearne

Kevin is the NYT bestselling author of the Iron Druid Chronicles, as well as The Seven Kennings, an epic fantasy trilogy, and the Tales of Pell, a humorous fantasy series co-authored with Delilah S. Dawson. INK & SIGIL, a new urban fantasy series set in the Iron Druid universe, will be out in 2020.

Indie Spotlight – Ganesh Nair


I’ve had my leg in two different canoes for a while now. Writing comedy for the stage and screen – mostly in sketch form – and attempting to write a novel that I’d been working on for years: Duckett & Dyer: Dicks For Hire. As anyone who writes sketch comedy will tell you, you need to get out jokes early, quickly and time them for the greatest impact. For the first few drafts of Duckett & Dyer, this philosophy influenced my thinking to a great extent. It’s a funny novel (depending on your taste), so the jokes came hard, they came quick and they came fast, with little regard to anything else except for a tight, if sometimes twisty, plot.

These early drafts sucked. They sucked out of control.

It was early days, so I still had a lot to learn. A long way down the river, if you want to go back to that canoeing metaphor. And although it took me 4 years to see Duckett & Dyer to completion, it was absolutely worth the time spent. During those years of redrafts, I found that the book lacked a certain earnestness. The sketch comedy-style jokes were all well and good since they infused the book with personality, but, unlike the characters or caricatures of sketch comedy, the characters in my novel – the titular Michael Duckett and Stephanie Dyer – were not meant to feel as disposable.

Over time, as I endured the brutal process of aging, I found that the experiences of me and my friends around my age were a wellspring of context that I had neglected to even consider for my novel about two best buds going on crazy adventures. Although my friends and I had been close for years, as we barreled headfirst toward the wrong side of 30, I started to learn more about them. Things I’d never thought about asking them, which helped me realize that there’s a lot of things we keep hidden from people we’re close to – for one reason or another – and simply being there and hanging out sometimes just isn’t enough. We need to take real time to understand one another, because often times we may just be scratching the surface of a much bigger iceberg. (I guess we’re canoeing in Iceland, now)

Transferring that elder-millennial life lesson – that teachable moment of understanding – into Duckett & Dyer really transformed the characters from two-dimensional joke vehicles into a real, living, breathing relationship. Unlike me, Michael Duckett learns this lesson of true platonic empathy a tad bit too late (spoiler alert), but, in the end, he is better for it.

…and then I kept layering in the dumb jokes, because – like Michael and Stephanie – the earnestness and wackiness are the perfect things to play off each other. But, in this case, I couldn’t keep one separate from the other.

Two canoes aren’t going to get you anywhere. But tie them together to make a raft, then you’re onto something.

Aw, crap. I forgot the oars in my metaphor.

Hmm… metaph-oars?

I’m gonna need to workshop that one. Let me get back to you.

Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q5Q789W

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44686297-duckett-dyer

Website: https://www.ds-df.com

Blog: https://www.makemommarvel.com

Online Excerpt: 

No real online excerpt, but you can look within the book on Amazon!

Social Media:

I only really use twitter, so you can tweet me @GaneshNair or e-mail me at nairforceone@gmail.com

About the Author

G.M. Nair is a crazy man who should never be taken seriously.

Possessing both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering has enabled him to masquerade as an intelligent, functioning member of society. If he approaches you to talk about cosmology or the state of the American Space program, try to appear as large as possible and make loud screeching sounds until he flees.

Mr. Nair writes and draws as a hobby and as an attempt to pay off the legal settlements he has incurred for beating up small children as “payback”. In a statement released by his lawyer, Mr. Nair asserts that “they know what they did.”

He is part of the New York City-based Sketch Group PEP and can be seen writing and acting on their monthly sketch show “Clip Show”. He has also written for the History Channel’s Join Or Die with Craig Ferguson.

Mr. Nair currently resides in a state of ignorant bliss.


What Am I Reading Wednesday? April 17th, 2019

What am I Reading?

Station Eleven

by Emily St. John Mandel

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.

Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.


Hallow

by Olga Gibbs

Being one of the most formidable archangels with the power to end the world doesn’t serve you well if you don’t know how to use it.

Thrown into a battle of courts and factions, tangled in a web of intrigues and palatial games, naïve Ariel is surrounded by powerful angels, chasing their own agendas.

There’s no one she can trust. Everyone stands to gain something from her death.

To avoid the bloody battle that Baza brought to her door at Uras, Ariel retreats back to Apkallu (Earth) to find her sister, but the Heavenly battles and intrigues she flees follow her, as Baza’s immense hold on Apkallu forces Ariel and Rafe to make uncomfortable choices.

Ariel’s fight for survival is far from over and it looks like it’s going to be a deadly one.


The Warning

by Edward Laroche

Sadistic entities from beyond known space have invaded the planet and the joint military action known as Operation: All Weather has failed. The world burns and chaos unfolds as the remaining members of GLADIATOR TWO-SIX scramble to mount a counter attack against a seemingly unstoppable enemy.

Collects THE WARNING #1-5


What Have I Just Finished

The Oracle Year by Charles Soule

From bestselling comic-book franchise writer Charles Soule comes a clever and witty first novel of a twentysomething New Yorker who wakes up one morning with the power to predict the future—perfect for fans of Joe Hill and Brad Meltzer, or books like This Book Is Full of Spiders and Welcome to Night Vale.

Knowledge is power. So when an unassuming Manhattan bassist named Will Dando awakens from a dream one morning with 108 predictions about the future in his head, he rapidly finds himself the most powerful man in the world. Protecting his anonymity by calling himself the Oracle, he sets up a heavily guarded Web site with the help of his friend Hamza to selectively announce his revelations. In no time, global corporations are offering him millions for exclusive access, eager to profit from his prophecies.

He’s also making a lot of high-powered enemies, from the President of the United States and a nationally prominent televangelist to a warlord with a nuclear missile and an assassin grandmother. Legions of cyber spies are unleashed to hack the Site—as it’s come to be called—and the best manhunters money can buy are deployed not only to unmask the Oracle but to take him out of the game entirely. With only a handful of people he can trust—including a beautiful journalist—it’s all Will can do to simply survive, elude exposure, and protect those he loves long enough to use his knowledge to save the world.

Delivering fast-paced adventure on a global scale as well as sharp-witted satire on our concepts of power and faith, Marvel writer Charles Soule’s audacious debut novel takes readers on a rollicking ride where it’s impossible to predict what will happen next.

Still going pretty strong with this book, but it is slow going. I haven’t been able to dedicate the necessary time I need to solidly get into this. But, so far so good. I am enjoying the writing style immensely.


Ghosts of Gotham by Craig Schaefer

Irresistibly drawn to mysteries, if only to debunk them, reporter Lionel Page exposes supernatural frauds, swindlers, and charlatans. His latest case is an obsession—at least for an ancient and wealthy heiress: verify the authenticity of a lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript circulating through New York City’s literary underworld. But the shrewd Regina Dunkle offers more than money. It’s a pact. Fulfill her request, and Lionel’s own notorious buried past, one he’s been running from since he was a child, will remain hidden.

As Lionel’s quest begins, so do the warnings. And where rare books go, murder follows. It’s only when Lionel meets enigmatic stranger Madison Hannah, his personal usher into the city’s secret history, that he realizes he’s being guided by a force more powerful than logic…and that he isn’t just following a story. He is the story.

Now that the true purpose of his mission is revealing itself in the most terrifying ways, it may finally be time for Lionel to believe in the unbelievable.

This is a new author for me, but I can understand all the love for his writing. This is turning out to be a very cool story.


What am I Reading Next?

The Bastard From Fairyland

by Phil Parker

The world’s sea levels have risen and washed civilisation away. Survival is a constant compromise, made worse when the Fae invade; a cruel and sadistic race eager to turn humanity into slaves. Robin Goodfellow is an elite Fae warrior with a long life steeped in blood and his loyalty rewarded by betrayal. Now he lives among humans, growing bitter and lonely, and wants no part in the war. 

But Robin holds the key to victory for the Fae, the man who betrayed him demands his help and he’s brought Robin’s ex-lover along to ensure his cooperation. Trapped in the middle of the conflict and despised by both sides, Robin races across a flooded English landscape to rescue the two children who can help him make a difference. 

What he doesn’t know is that powerful members of the Fae are manipulating him to succumb to his psychotic alter-ego, Puck, who’s ready to cause even more bloodshed.

I was supposed to be finishing this up this week, but had to push it back a bit.


Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.

Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by
death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of Yan at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

When I Arrived at the Castle by Emily Carroll

About

“A castle, a killer, and prey all bound and blurred by lust and blood.”

Like many before her that have never come back, she’s made it to the Countess’ castle determined to snuff out the horror, but she could never be prepared for what hides within its turrets; what unfurls under its fluttering flags. Emily Carroll has fashioned a rich gothic horror charged with eroticism that doesn’t just make your skin crawl, it crawls into it.

Stats

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Paperback
  • 72 pages
  • Expected publication: June 19th 2019 by Koyama Press (first published April 16th 2019)
  • Original Title When I Arrived at the Castle
  • Edition Language English

My Thoughts

The once was a girl that lived in a deep and damp and dark celler…

Caroll has crafted another beautifully atmospheric and decadent novel that skirts the line of horror and the gothic. A curious and courageous cat-eared girl braves the castle of a vampiric countess with plans to destroy her. Plans change and go pear-shaped when the strange catgirl instead finds that the countess is waiting for her. Soon, the girl is sent into a maze of tragic fairy tales and stories that she must claw her way through holding as best she can on to her purpose and sanity. The tales trapped behind red doors, the house, countess, and her; all is not what it seems.

This story is a rich work that you need to read a few times to get all the meanings. It is beautifully executed, much is conveyed in the simple palette of three colors; bone white, black, and blood red. It is gothic; ornate when it needs to be and simple when it doesn’t. The backgrounds are simple with repeating patterns, but still very useful. It is a hauntingly scary work for a short graphic novella much in the style of her other novels (Out of Skin, Through The Woods) and shouldn’t be missed.


Procurement

I received a copy of this from Edelweiss+ in exchange for my open and honest review.


About the Author

My name is Emily Carroll, and I was born in June of 1983. I grew up in London (Ontario) but moved to Vancouver for work after graduating Sheridan College’s Classical Animation program. I have since moved back to Ontario, and now live in Stratford with my wife, Kate Craig. We have a very large cat

#musicmonday Centuries by Fall Out Boy

I feel like I should be a 13 year old girl rocking out to this song, but honestly it is amazing. Fist pumping sing at the top of your lungs amazing.


Centuries by Fall Out Boy

Some legends are told
Some turn to dust or to gold
But you will remember me
Remember me, for centuries
Just one mistake
Is all it will take
We’ll go down in history
Remember me for centuriesRemember me for centuries

Mama, fight my teenage dreams
No, it’s nothing wrong with me
The kids are all wrong the story’s aloof
Heavy metal, rock my heart
Come on, come on and let me in
I’m cruising on your thighs, leave my fingerprints
And this is for tonight
I thought that you would feel
I never meant for you to fix yourself

Remember me for centuries

And I can’t stop till the whole word knows my name
‘Cause I was only born inside my dreams
Until you die for me, as long as there is a light
My shadow is over you ’cause I am the opposite of amnesia
And you’re a cherry blossom
You’re about to bloom
You look so pretty, but you’re gone so soon

He’s been here forever
And he’s the chosen fruit
I could scream forever
We all poisoned you

Some legends are told
Some turn to dust or to gold
But you will remember me
Remember me, for centuries
Just one mistake
Is all it will take
We’ll go down in history
Remember me for centuries

Remember me for centuries

As always, a nod to Drew at Sarcastic Book Geek for the #MusicMonday idea.

First Chapter, First Paragraph – Thad Saves the Galaxy – An Outrageous Space Adventure by C.T Fleck

About

When adventure calls, sometimes it’s best to send it to voicemail. 
If you like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure with a bit of Dude, Where’s My Car? sprinkled in, you’ll love Thad Saves the Galaxy!

When an alien named Zinka drops into Thaddeus Kinglsey’s life, he finally gets the adventure he’s been waiting for. Zinka’s being pursued across the Milky Way by the evil galactic tyrant, Derask and needs help repairing her ship. Thad jumps at the chance to do something extraordinary and begins an adventure he will never forget. Unfortunately, helping Zinka has some unintended consequences.

With the Earth a smoldering cloud of dust, Thad and Zinka begin a quest across the galaxy to put an end to Derask’s tyranny. This dynamic twosome recruits a colorful cast of characters to their cause: Tik, a mighty Demerian with a penchant for mind altering substances, Pangaea, a sarcastic humanoid who is more then she seems, Danny, the only other Earthling left who happens to be a dreadlocked pot dealer, Leonidas, a lovesick Voltan hero, and Preet, the shapeshifting Queen of the Mercenaries. But they need more than a gang of friends to defeat Derask. They need ships, and lots of them.

Can this oddball team find a way to take down the galaxy’s most powerful dictator? Does ‘winging it’ ever really work? Can you find love on a planet full of mercenaries? These questions and more are answered in this whimsical romp across the Milky Way.

Thad Saves the Galaxy is a humorous galactic adventure with a vibrant cast of human and alien characters, space battles, and outrageous good times.

Download Thad Saves the Galaxy and join the valiant crew of the Gravity Bong today!

First Chapter, First Paragraph

The sun peeks through the blinds of my bedroom windows. I get out of bed and check the clock. Why the hell did I wake up at seven in the morning on a Saturday? Why does morning have to exist? Oh well, bitching does nothing productive. I get up and head to the bathroom. Time to get ready for the day. I shower in my ordinary shower. I dress in my ordinary clothes. I brush my ordinary teeth.

At least I don’t have to g to work today. My job is one of the most loathed occupations in existence. Probably should have tried harder in school so I wouldn’t be stuck in a shitty fast food job. I can’t tell you the place I work for, you know, lawsuit reasons. I will say this, though: I’m not lovin’ it.

lol bitter aisle 1. I think this story is going to go from ordinary to extraordinary. Probably much like Author Dent, the narrator is about to go on an adventure. Probably sans towel though.

What do you think?