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Avogadro Corp

(Singularity #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  5,682 ratings  ·  458 reviews
David Ryan is the designer of ELOPe, an email language optimization program, that if successful, will make his career. But when the project is suddenly in danger of being canceled, David embeds a hidden directive in the software accidentally creating a runaway artificial intelligence.

David and his team are initially thrilled when the project is allocated extra servers and
Paperback, 302 pages
Published November 19th 2011 by Liquididea Press
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Andrew Mayancsik I would read it. It sets a foundation on how the events in book 2 could happen. I just finished book one and book 2. I am now off to book 3.

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Jul 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
I really thought I was going to enjoy this book..
Remotely plausible techno babble - check
AI bent on taking over the world - check
Small band of intrepid heroes - check

And then it all fell apart..

By far one of the worst written books I've read in months - the character development was borderline pathetic, the story drags and then is suddenly over, the ending is so incredibly poor that I was literally shocked.

Some spoilers below, but lets me vent a little easier.. and as I'm going to complain about
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
How ELOPe eloped one day.

Overall, I like how the problem was presented. While there seem to be quite a lot of areas uncovered by the described tech, at least the author made an effort to make things remotely plausible.

Lots of sci-fi lit gets plagued by world setting involving characters lecturing each other on things they actually should already know. So, I'm a buit uneasy about Christina explaining what social engineering is to both David and Mike. Especially considering that it was Mike who f
May 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book teeters between believability and utter fantasy. For example: can we believe that a program like ELOPe, that can improve email communications by analyzing existing emails and altering text to influence outcomes, might exist? Sure. Can we believe that in the span of a couple weeks, entire governments of major western countries would switch all of their email/cloud networking to the secure version of Avogadro (the thinly veiled Google that developes ELOPe)? Hardly. Nothing in government ...more
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utterly believable scenario that rolls out an exciting and chilling chain of events that captivate and leave you questioning just when this may happen (or rather is it happening NOW?)
This is one of those books you just can't seem to put down.

A must read in my book!
Cannot wait for the next book.

This review optimized by eLOPe.
Austin Mills
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
I read this shortly after reading Daniel Suarez's Daemon, and thought that of the two, Daemon was a much better book. The system run amok in this book was almost magical in how quickly it improved itself, and went from being an improved email grammar checker to a system that could... (view spoiler) all in a few months. Also, the plot completely depends on the fact that all of the people being affected (which in ...more
Arto Bendiken
Nov 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
A quick read. This is a decent first novel by the author, but not spectacular. Avogadro is, obviously, a fictional parallel to Google. As technological singularities go, the premise here wasn't wholly ludicrous to begin with, but does get increasingly so as the storyline develops.

The character development leaves something to be desired; it isn't likely that you'll identify with the blockheaded protagonists of the story, and grumpy old luddite Gene Keyes ends up being probably the most sympatheti
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it terribly fitting that the QC comic on the day I finished Avogadro Corp was this:

Errr, or not really. What do I know?

I know about as much computer language as it takes to put the image above into a book review. So there is your baseline. I thought the scenario played out in Avogadro was entirely believable. Having worked in the world of high tech for many years, the only part that wasn't believable was the speed of procurement, but then again, ELOPe could have possibly taken care of
Josh Bancroft
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, kindle, fiction
What if Google literally hatched an AI and it took over the world via Gmail? Change the name Google to Avogadro (both numbers, get it?) and that's the premise of this book. A fun little read, especially if you like singularity sci fi. And I liked all the details of the Portland area, where the story is set. Author obviously knows the town. ...more
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
For Terminator fans, you can think of this as Skynet-Light.

David and Mike work for Avogadro, an Internet company with email, search engine, applications..kind of like Google. David and Mike are working on an email function that scans your existing emails and those of whom you communicate with. When you later write an email to someone, this function offers changes to the way you've written it to optimize a favourable outcome. If you email your boss to ask for vacation time, using this function's
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
As a computer scientist and game AI programmer, this book scared me a bit. I kept trying to think of ways to disprove that an email AI like they created wasn't feasible. It's not... I don't think, but only because there were a few too many leaps between basic pattern recognition and true cause-effect analysis. Nonetheless, it's eerily scary how close it seems we really could get to an AI using a system like the one described. Beyond the interesting idea of how to make an AI, the rest of the book ...more
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure, I received this book through the Goodreads "First Reads/Giveaways" program, and I'm glad I did! This is a book I might have looked past if it were on the shelves, but I'm so glad that I've got it and am reading it.

I'm about a third of the way through and am enjoying this book immensely. Totally believable - great story, well told. I keep thinking that my husband, who is a programmer, will really enjoy reading it as soon as I'm finished - and will see so many things from his job
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book came to me through recommendations of Facebook and Amazon. Not through friends, mind you, but automated suggestions based, evidently, on my past activity on both sites. The interesting thing is that this book is about a seemingly innocuous e-mail generating database that has the Google-like ability to anticipate and 'help' make e-mail writing more productive and "positive' for business, personal, and governmental outcomes. Through the course of the novel, it basically becomes an AI, an ...more
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
All I can say, the pain was over quickly. An email application takes over the functions of a Google-like company, bringing about world peace, stability and great healthcare within a year! I bought this from a Kindle daily deal. I must not have read the reviews! There are so many clumsy plot points, and the writing is so terrible that it was entertaining. I've never done so many highlights in a book. The whole idea was preposterous and unbelievable. For example, the application manages to buy, re ...more
Dec 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had a really interesting premise that was let down by poor writing. The pace was all over the place, the closer to the end it got the more improbable it was. There is a big deus ex machina part that ruined the rest of the book for me and the ending was just plain odd. While it was a quick read I wouldn't rush it to the top of a to-read pile. ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great take on an AI taking over. Hertling doesn't let somebody create an AI that goes rogue, but the singularity "happens". Fun read with quite a cliffhanger! I opened the next book in the series immediately. I love my techno thrillers :) ...more
❤Marie Gentilcore
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, e-book, sci-fi, 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was fast paced and full of drama. It's about a programmer named David at a company called Avogadro that is quite a bit like Google. David has created a program called ELOPe which is an email language optimization program which basically will take what you write and re-write it so that your message is more effective. It does this by analyzing tons of emails and applying the best strategy for getting what you want accomplished. It sounds pretty good, right? But, ...more
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm a sucker for any fiction written around The Singularity , which is for Geeks like the Christian and Islamic Second Coming. I'm particularly interested in stories where it occurs in our times, which would be hard to do. This is the first book of the Singularity Series. It's a hand-waving attempt at the story I wanted to read.

The prose is this book is technically good. Dialog, descriptive prose and action sequences are OK. However, it is only workman like in a literary sense. Frankly, t
Oct 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
TL;DR: Dan Brown but with computer nerds. Avoid, unless you really like Dan Brown and computers!

- It is, for the most part, well readable. I was rarely confused what was happening. Occasionally it wasn't clear who was saying what, but that hardly matters, because the characters are all the same anyway.
- I was never bored. In fact I was compelled to finish this book, even though it is REALLY BAD.

The characters
The protagonists are:
* David, a nerd who is married and worries a lot.
Mal Warwick
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
You’ll recognize Google in the eponymous company, Avogadro Corp, which is at the center of this disturbing science fiction novel. The range of products is similar. The company’s cofounder is Sean Leonov and is the son of Russian immigrants. It’s an obvious reference to Google’s Moscow-born cofounder, Sergei Brin. To a considerable extent, then, the story is grounded in fact. And if you’re familiar with email and Google Search and are minimally tech-savvy, you’ll follow the frequent technical ref ...more
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
William Hertling sets "Avogadro Corp" in modern day Portland, Oregon. Avogadro Corp is a thinly veiled fictional Google, with AvoMail as key aspect of the story. While "Avogadro Corp" is the first in a series of three (so far), it easily stands alone as a terrific, and stunningly believable, account of how the first sentient artificial intelligence might accidently arise. In a man vs. machine conflict, our protagonist David Ryan, as a contemporary Dr. Frankenstein, battles to destroy the thing h ...more
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Avogadro corporation is the world's largest Internet service provider with a wide range of services. David Ryan is a computer programmer hired to make improvements to the company's e-mail program. The program David came up with was named ELOPe.
Much as the spell checker and grammar checker programs available now, ELOPe would analyze previous e-mails and make suggestions on wording to provide the optimal result. The problem was that ELOPe analyzed ALL the e-mails written and thus used a lot of com
Matt Robinson
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I definitely enjoyed the references to Portland Oregon, where I live, and imagining a Google-like company here. I probably wouldn't have read the book if I didn't live here in the same city as the author and have so many people I know recommending the book, but I'm glad I did. It was a fun, fast paced read with a slightly possible scenario for the emergence of an AI. The benevolence of the AI reminded me a bit of the overlords in Childhood's End, which I just finished reading, but the uncertaint ...more
Fahad Naeem
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, mystery, science
I'm a big fan of William Hertling. He never disappoints me. I intended to read every book he's written in 2019. He normally writes about technology and I learnt a lot about coding styles and how-to-build-a-system in particular. I enjoy reading him.

Avagadro Corp is just like his every superb book. I did not like the ending when the protagonists became slave of an A.I and letting it handle the world problems. We humans have one basic flaw relying heavily on data and logic which is the basic buildi
S.H. Jucha
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: a-i
This review applies to William Hertling’s Singularity series comprised of Avogadro Corp, A.I. Apocalypse, and The Last Firewall.

As someone who worked in the software industry and in IT, as an entrepreneur, I found Hertling’s series very intriguing. He is technically detailed, which adds to the stories’ realities and the possibility of a future for our world, but only for those who appreciate the intricacies of our connected society.

Had I the opportunity to score these books a 4.5, I would have d
I'll never look at e-mail spam the same way again! Full of technobable I won't even pretend I understood all of, this was still an entertaining look at the 'birth' of an AI, and the ramifications it could have for the human race as it grows with its only objective being to protect itself. A quick read, yet one that is thought provoking enough to linger. My biggest complaint... Avogadro Corp. is supposedly made up of some of the most brilliant minds in the world, and yet not one of them ever made ...more
Michelle P
Dec 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am officially freaked out. The plot was realistic enough to scare the pants off me. Not for the technically faint of heart (there were times I felt like I was at work coding) the book takes a path that is not impossible...which means it is possible...which means I'm still freaking out a bit after finishing it a few days ago. The ending floored me and I am definitely looking forward to the next in the series. ...more
Mar 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A programmer in a big Email hosting company can’t get enough sever capacity for an experimental application that would help craft very effective emails. Frustrated, he inserts some code to enhance the process and unwittingly turns out an effective AI which proceeds to work to protect itself from harm when the programmer discovers what he has loosed on the world. Not bad in a high tech kind of way.
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book thinking that it wasn't my preferred genre but I would give it a shot nonetheless. I'm glad I did. This book had me from the beginning. I enjoyed the characters and could relate even as far fetched as the premise might originally seem. I won't spoil the story. Pick up the book, download it, whatever. I don't think you'll be disappointed. ...more
Cameron Mulder
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great little scifi book. The plot is interesting and the book is fairly fast paced. This is a first novel and it might not have the best writing in the world, but I still found it entertaining and the ideas engaging. The book made me want to read more in the series. If you are interested in scifi and/or the singularity then this is a book you should check out.
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book from a first-time novelist. Plausible creation backstory for a strong AI that leads to the most basic drive for all living things: survival. I enjoyed this book so much that I bought the sequel immediately after I finished.
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Goodreads Librari...: Redundant entry? 2 18 Sep 15, 2017 08:14AM  
It's happening 1 5 Aug 23, 2016 06:10PM  
Realistic Sci-fi ? 4 27 Jun 24, 2014 12:44AM  

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Singularity (4 books)
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11 likes · 4 comments
“Mike rejoined them, carrying coffees on a tray and the New York Times, interrupting David’s introspection. “Guys, you are never going to believe this!” “They still print paper newspapers?” David said sarcastically. “You’re right, I don’t believe it.” 1 likes
“sequined flapper dress. He smiled, happy to be celebrating, and with good cause, too: his project was successful, he was married to a smart, funny woman, and he had a great friend and technical lead in Mike.” 0 likes
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