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.

6 comments

  1. This sounds like an fun, light sci-fi! Thanks for sharing your thoughts; I’d love to pick this up.

    1) How do you think AI is portrayed in books?
    Most books with AIs that I’ve read do a pretty good job of depicting them as interesting, standalone characters or at least using them to effectively place a mirror in front of humanity.
    2) Could AI be benevolent? Most of the time it is coming to take out the human race.
    In a nutshell, yes they can be. Essentially, AIs learn from humans so if an AI is only ever exposed to benevolent human actions, it will pick up on that.

    1. Ohh that is a fantastic point. AI learns from humans, it’s benevlonce or otherwise is in direct correslation with what it sees. That would be an interesting angle for a story.

  2. I really enjoyed this trilogy, although I agree that it got a little tough to keep track of everything. The early stages of the first book were my favorite, as Bob adjusted to his new situation.

    1. I think I need a diagram. Although the voices helped a lot. I don’t think I could adjust that easy. He took it all in stride, or maybe that was because his freak out feature was turned off.

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