Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Avogadro Corp (Singularity #1)” as Want to Read:
Avogadro Corp (Singularity #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Avogadro Corp

(Singularity #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  4,774 ratings  ·  394 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Avogadro Corp, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jerome Definitely. It's a very plausible explanation on how events such as those in book 2 and 3 could get started.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Josh Bancroft
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, ebooks, 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.
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
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.
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 :)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, the p
Oct 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2018
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.
* M
Doug Sharp
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
There’s a lot to like in Hertling’s thought-provoking book. I thoroughly enjoyed its plot and its take on the next few years of our future and the rise of the Singularity.

I’ve read many sci-fi and non-fiction books about the Singularity (the point at which technological progress reaches an infinite rate,) but Avagadro Corp’s S genesis story is one of the cleverest and, in its way, most convincing of them all. Imagine Clippy (MSFT Word’s derided and discarded helper) evolving into the Singularit
Jan 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This comes across as a refresh of Colossus which was originally written in the mainframe and Cold War era. The innovation in this novel is how he took today's technology and put together a plausible case for the emergence of an A.I. that is out of man's control. Unlike Collossus, this A.I. is much better at cultural manipulation. Collossus used the more of a dictatorial approach. This book lost a star on a few fronts: First, it felt like the acceptance of ELOPe as a force of potential good happe ...more
Daniel Kenefick
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Really guys? Almost 4 stars?

Allow me to narrate the next part of the review as if I were Hertling:
The reader read the book quickly. He determined it is about google. And NEURAL NETWORKS and TECHNOLOGY and API SECURITY INTERFACE CONTRACTOR KILLER ROBOTS. And people from Seattle like coffee.

The writing is not great (almost as if a computer program wrote it…) and the characters do not have very many dimensions. The best that can be said about the book is that it’s a page turner, and therefore over
Sujeet Gholap
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sujeet by: Pararth Shah
Can an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) be created without its creators ever thinking they were doing so? What would happen if an AGI comes into being accidentally? If the creators intended an AI to be "morally good", how likely is it that it would still turn bad? Would an AI created without any morality in mind turn out to be a hero or a villain?

Avogadro Corp asks these questions and answers some in a fast-paced, gripping, don't-want-to-put-the-book-down science fiction thriller.

I loved ho
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Redundant entry? 2 17 Sep 15, 2017 08:14AM  
It's happening 1 4 Aug 23, 2016 06:10PM  
Realistic Sci-fi ? 4 27 Jun 24, 2014 12:44AM  
  • Counting from Zero (Mick O'Malley #1)
  • Computer One
  • Kill Decision
  • Heaven 2.0
  • Crux (Nexus, #2)
  • Zero Day
  • Silicon Man (Silicon World, #2)
  • Pandora's Brain
  • WWW: Wake (WWW, #1)
  • Trans-Human (Post-Human, #3)
  • The Tide (The Tide, #1)
  • Dead Team Alpha (Dead Team Alpha, #1)
  • Genosimulation
  • Immortality
  • L.O.S.T. (L.O.S.T., #1)
  • Rhubarb
  • Code Breakers: Alpha (Code Breakers, #1)

Other books in the series

Singularity (4 books)
  • A.I. Apocalypse (Singularity #2)
  • The Last Firewall (Singularity #3)
  • The Turing Exception (Singularity #4)
“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
More quotes…