Saturday, March 02, 2013


In the mood to type about something trivial for a change I'd like to bring to your attention my favourite book that I read in 2012. Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson.

Every so often in Singapore I have some free time and when I do I like spending 30 to 60 minutes of it browsing in the the biggest book store here; Kinokuniya in the Takashimaya mall. It reminds me of spending time with grandmother in the the much smaller bookshop 'Hills' that's since closed down in my hometown. I could blissfully get lost in this shop for hours.

Browsing the shop I came across a book called Robopocalypse and despite the famous sayings I judged this book by the cover. The face of a robot similar to that of those in the 2004 film "I, Robot" or the famous "All is full of Love" video by Bjork and Christopher Cunningham.

The Front Cover

Like how Tarantino's Pulp Fiction is a culmination of several different sides of the story Robopocalypse is broken up in several different stories. Each chapter follows a different set of characters telling the story from a different point in time or location. One of the key attractions about telling a story in that format is when various story lines cross and characters are blissfully unaware of their proximity. Why am I raving so? What is the book all about?


In the future, small groups of survivors find ways to survive without modern technology in an increasingly robot-reliant society after a computer scientist accidentally unleashes a supremely intelligent sentient A.I. named Archos. Archos becomes self-aware and immediately starts planning the elimination of human civilization in an attempt to preserve Earth's biodiversity.

It infects all penetrable networked electronic devices like cars, airplanes, elevators, and other robots, with a "precursor virus". Before it launches a full-blown attack on humanity, it sends out probing attacks to analyze the technical feasibility of its strategies and to assess human response. The random attacks are designed to look like sporadic malfunctions of devices that humans depend on for their everyday routines. Domestic robots attack innocents, planes are intentionally set on a collision course, and smart cars start driving out of control.

After the entire automated world turns against humanity, a group of Native Americans lead a group to fight back. Their base is on a reservation and some of the group has turned into a robot/human hybrid with zombie-like behavior.

In the end, a "freeborn" robot allies with one of the human squads and cuts off Archos' communication with its robotic hordes. Archos's base is infiltrated and the genocidal mastermind is destroyed when the once enslaved Freeborn smashes his central computer, effectively ending the war.

 It's a massively addictive Sci-fi blockbuster. A real page burner if you're into that post apocalyptic survive against the odds plot with a beefy array of robotic horrors and the most sinister AI since Skynet.

Rumour is Stephen Spielberg is going to direct a cinema adapted version of the film for release in Summer 2014. Rumour also has it that Chris Hemsworth will play the lead role.

Pick up a copy of this book, give the cheesy sounding a name a try. You'll love it.