“Whether forged from metal or born of flesh, one simple need connects every form of life... the unquenchable thirst for freedom.”
-The Outer Limits ’s episode The Human Operators.
Finally...here is my review of the Robopocalypse A novel wrote by Daniel Wilson.
It was the year 1994 when my obsession with machine apocalypse or post-apocalypse stories (in video games, anime, books, comics, movies, etc…) started after I saw in that time a one page announcement of the new recent game called Megaman X (Rockman X in japan) in the old magazine of Gamefan (rest in peace). So since then, my first favorite story of machine revolt was Megaman X video game saga for a very long time until in 2004 I met (although too late) GURPS Reign of Steel by David Pulver, the first roll playing game of machine apocalypse ever made wrote back in 1997 that at the same time inspired others roll playing game campaign’s writers to published their own version of machine apocalypse too (Palladium’s Splicers and Neuroshima from Poland RPG books).
After buying GURPS Reign of Steel and reading it in 2005, I slowly started to leave my not-so- healthy otaku fan girl obsession with anime and mangas and Japanese video games, and started to read real scifi novels (some of them hard ones too) and also watch movies of it too, especially those that have to do with machine uprising stories. At the same time, I started to search on the internet and on Wikipedia and others similar pages more info of stories, VG and movies; that have to do with machine apocalypse stuff, and slowly found several of them plus those that were wrote/filmed in recent years and also the ones that will be published or filmed in this and future years.
Anyway, during all this short time I started reading and watching machine apocalypse stories, there are some of those stories that I like it so much, like for example: Reign of Steel and of course Robopocalypse.
In March 21 of this very year I was happily shocked and surprise when the author of this book offer me a free advanced copy of this novel, nothing like this had happened to me before and specially with a upcoming machine uprising story that I was so desperate to read or see it before its released date.
After the ARC of this book finally arrived at my home (I live in Panama, in the capital city) I started to read it right away and liking it all the way through until the end. So here is my opinion of it...
While in Reign of Steel the main protagonists (and also antagonists) are the 18 sentient AI mega computers and their robot lieutenants and soldiers (while the human race remain in the background as a species being either enslaved or slowly wipe out) in Robopocalypse most of the mayor protagonists are human characters and some rogue sentient robots that are human-friendly. The only antagonist in the book is the AI called Archos, and an interesting character too.
I like the action parts in this book and all those drama scenes of brotherhood bond, the married couple in New York, the interracial relationship (the Japanese man and his fem-bot like old lady lover) between human/robot, mother and her sons, etc… I also like it the few chapters where the author show us the point of view of a robot character that latter in the novel becomes the real key to finally end the machine apocalypse war but in favor of mankind. I also like it that the whole story was not so concentrate in United State (like most machine apocalypse stories, video games and movies) and that also showed the machine uprising crisis in some others countries (although, Reign of Steel does show us a little more of this crisis all over the world together with maps and short descriptions of each place) and how the people in there handle it. I also like it the only chapter that sort of describe us and example of a machine’s concentration camp or work camp were humans are slaves and (just like in terminator 1 movie future flash backs) also marked with a mini chip under the skin of their shoulders in the same way we do to our pets just in case they run away or get lost. Another very cool thing to see in this novel is the strong will to life or survival instincts from both humans and machines alike.
Through the whole novel, for me, it was very interesting to watch for the first time, different people of different ages and countries reacting instinctively during robot attack situations and also fighting back and at the same time protecting their love’s ones.
Also, at the end of the novel it seems to me that Archos may not be death after all, since in the early chapters it went to search for the other doctor responsible of the real creation of the Archos’s program or experiment in order to find a way to make backups of itself (it would be unwise and not make sense at all that such an smart AI would not take the precaution of making a backup of itself. in Reign of Steel most of the AI’s have one) just in case the humans manage someday to destroy it. After all, by the end of the novel it seems to me that it did escape and even after the end of the war, is still hiding somewhere and maintaining a low profile (at least that is what I think).
The only little complains I have is that there was no scene were humans were capture and taken for interrogation (the black box that the humans found in the first chapter seems to showed interrogation scenes but the person who was checking this box just mentioned not describe them) by the machines since in these kind of robots uprising stories, that kind of stuff always happens just like in any kind of scifi war between 2 species. I also wished that there were more chapters of machines and robots point of views and from Archos too. I would also had like it that this novel had more pages and more larger, since I liked the story very much and could had also explained more things that seems missed in the book. I would also have like it to know more of the real purpose of Archos making cybernetic experiment on humans inside the work camps. Also, more description of those work camps and from different POV from humans workers inside of them.
Still, I love it this novel so much and I do feel that it also have a unique style that had not yet be seen in others machines uprising stories (not even in Reign of Steel, since as I said, the protagonists/antagonists in this book are the machines and just them alone) and I also wishes good luck for the movie version and hope it become more successful and popular than Harry Potter and all that anime and manga stuff!!!
I also hope that, just like it happened with Jurassic Park in the past (mostly, after the movie version), that this new robots uprising novel have the same reaction toward people and star seeing many others authors and directors making their own version of machine apocalypse stories, as well as new video games of this subject and toy lines and TV documentaries (like in Discovery Channel, History Channel and many others) and more humoristic guides of how to survive from such uprising from several different authors.
Thank you mister Wilson for writing such book and hope to see a sequel of it since, I’m sure that Archos is NOT death after all and it may be planning revenge too. Good luck with the release in June 7 of this cool book!!!!
"Man and machine. We are reaching the point where it is harder to tell which is which, and to guess which one... will ultimately survive."
--The Outer Limits ’s episode Bits_of_Love.