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Bobiverse #2

For We Are Many

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Bob Johansson didn't believe in an afterlife, so waking up after being killed in a car accident was a shock. To add to the surprise, he is now a sentient computer and the controlling intelligence for a Von Neumann probe.

Bob and his copies have been spreading out from Earth for 40 years now, looking for habitable planets. But that's the only part of the plan that's still in one piece. A system-wide war has killed off 99.9% of the human race; nuclear winter is slowly making the Earth uninhabitable; a radical group wants to finish the job on the remnants of humanity; the Brazilian space probes are still out there, still trying to blow up the competition; And the Bobs have discovered a spacefaring species that sees all other life as food.

Bob left Earth anticipating a life of exploration and blissful solitude. Instead he's become a sky god to a primitive native species, the only hope for getting humanity to a new home, and possibly the only thing that can prevent every living thing in the local sphere from ending up as dinner.

9 pages, Audible Audio

First published April 18, 2017

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About the author

Dennis E. Taylor

14 books6,844 followers
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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,351 reviews
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
793 reviews3,605 followers
March 27, 2022
Away from the only, poor single, Bob technobabble focus towards more characterizations, interactions with real humans, implications, and open questions about consciousness, love, and immortality with a little portion of apocalypse and space warfare.

Do you wanna live forever
As soon as it´s technically possible, a Bob simply cannot die, except she/he is so lazy to keep no backups and have an adrenaline junkie problem at the same time, although there is nobody anymore and the reactions have to be activated. But the fact that a kind of neural correlate of consciousness and personality, a digital mini me, could realistically be constructed after the impossible task of getting the data and working algorithms out of freaking annoying meatspace, is mindblowing.

How much should I uplift you? More stone age tribe pimping
That´s always tricky, because playing around with the prime directive means many duties and less fun, because these stupid aliens don´t do what one wants. They don´t cry for help, instead, they tell one to go home, have their own ideas, keep following the same stupid ideologies and systems humans used to have for long periods of time too. All in all, it´s stress and could be compared to having unthankful kids who both don´t follow orders and have own imaginations about what to do with their life. Terrible.

Space warfare against the dark macho force
That´s just a little, conventional aspect of the whole thing, but the fact that the war machinery is the main protagonist and can optimize its killing ability to a level even pure AIs might not be able to, is an interesting, fresh sci fi aspect. Because there are many collective hive minds or evil insect queens controlling all of its minions, optional with some officers and generals with more activated brainpower in between or bred less degenerate than the worthless cannon fodder warrior caste, but no democratic collective of many clones fighting in perfect coordination for altruistic reasons.

If you´re into it, it´s ok
Real humans and love are already complicated enough, but as soon as androids, AIs, or copies of real humans get involved, it gets even more hard(ware)core or soft(ware)core, depending on the personal preferences. And don´t forget the nasty, conservative, intolerant relatives. This aspect will be examined in more detail in the third part of the series and has some unique thoughts that are the most outstanding elements of the series besides the many multiple mini me with evolving personalities, the consequences of digital immortality on society in general, and the ethical aspect of uplifting. Although they are more of an easygoing side plot without as many philosophical and societal questions, in contrast to how relationships will evolve as soon as mind uploading runs smoothly and any kind of body, gender, or animal can be chosen to mate with. How naughty, but as long as it´s safe, sane, and consensual, who am I to judge. Cough cough. So seductively fluffy and soft…

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,964 followers
April 27, 2017
I love reading great SF, but sometimes we just stumble across a novel or two that just make us beam with wonder and shared nerdiness and delight... and that basically describes these two Bob novels.

The scale is particularly delightful. You've gotta love a snarky nerd engineer-turned-AI distributed over 30 light years who's wondering what the hell the humans are doing. I mean, he's pretty well-adjusted, copying bits of himself into new iterations and letting them rename themselves as cultural nerd-pieces from the reader's culture.

But what's more, he's a pretty nice guy. He's doing everything in his ability to save stupid people and aliens and terraforming new worlds... while running up against an even bigger threat.

This second book can be seen as more of the same as the first book, but with one huge caveat. It's a character novel or (multi-character AND single-character) series. Confused? Don't be. It's all just Bob.

Of course, it looks like Bob has come up against something much bigger than him. And he's also considering a bit of a branching, I think. If he can't bring his crush along the immortality slide, then there's definitely other options opening up... :) A certain alien, perhaps? Humans are so untrustworthy with immortality... :)

Speculation. Just speculation. :)

Easily a series I'll always be chomping at the bit to get a copy of. :)
Profile Image for TS Chan.
699 reviews868 followers
January 1, 2018
4.5 stars.

This is a great sequel to We Are Legion (We Are Bob) that brought about significant development in both the characters and the plot.

Character development in the Bobs, a Replicant, a computer programme, you say? Yes, completely!! Firstly, each clone is a different variation of the original Bob and they do differ sufficiently to have distinctive personalities. One just does not know how the newly cloned cohorts will turn out to be, i.e. which psyche of original Bob will be most dominant. Moreover, the much later generations of Bobs seem to have a more diluted sentimentality to humanity and hence not as inclined to stay put and help out.

It is truly interesting seeing how an AI, albeit one which has human memories and emotions, deal with being an immortal of sorts while interacting with “ephemerals”. All I can say is that immortality absolutely sucks for one who retains much of what it means to be human, i.e. being able to feel compassion and love. And just as some of the older Bobs started getting emotionally attached, I began to feel really invested in the characters. For those who have read my reviews and know my reading ideals well enough, such an investment is usually what it takes to finally tip a book into the ‘great’ category. To cap it all off, the audiobook performance was sublime. The narrator delivered all the Bobs’ emotions so perfectly that I felt I was literally watching them in their virtual reality and listening to their thoughts. Sometimes I even forget that there was only one person narrating this entire book - he was that good!

While the narrative still retained an episodic feel of the first book, the story was more compelling with increased threats, tension and emotional resonance in the plot. Following from the success of the first human colony ship landing on a new habitable planet, safety and mortality issues from colonization started to rear its head as bio-compatibility runs both ways. Meanwhile back on Earth, a radically fanatic faction of humans imposed real problems to the remainder of the species. We also have original Bob experiencing first-hand the consequences arising from ignoring what Trekkies know as the Prime Directive. Then, over the past few decades, one of the Bobs eventually accomplished a technological advancement that represented a serious leap in enabling actual physical contact. This development manifested in some emotional scenes which I have never expected to find in a story told from the perspective of a computer.

Someone is out there.

Nothing makes space exploration more exciting than encountering intelligent and technologically superior alien beings and facing imminent danger from its discovery. How will the Bobs successfully counter this overwhelmingly menacing enemy? I guess I will need to wait for Book 3 to find out, which fortunately will be released pretty soon.

This review can also be found at Booknest
Profile Image for Trish.
1,916 reviews3,402 followers
April 27, 2017
Let me begin by saying that I FINISHED FIRST! Yep, this was a buddy-read with (amongst others) Brad and I FINISHED FIRST.

Ironically, this goofy reaction is exactly something one of the Bobs would have done too (so yes, it fits the theme).

This is the second book in the Bobiverse series and it was wonderful again. Sure, some say that it's a bit slow because of the science and exploration and different locations, but that is exactly what I love (apart from the fantastic narrator, Ray Porter, in the audio version).
We follow a number of Bobs all over different solar systems that watch the Deltans (that's Bob#1), finding new planets, even other sentient species, a number help humanity out of sol so we don't die out ... and some make less positive encounters.

All the Bobs are actually very distinct. I can't name each and every one off the bat (there are over 30 now, 8 generations of replicants) but if you give me a name, I can actually give you a characterization, which is a huge strength of the author.
Another strength is that the story is compelling despite not being space opera with huge battles with lots of explosions and black holes devouring planets. Instead, we get realistic exploration, discovery, evolution ... and great implications about science and moral.
Thrown in is nerdiness galore, just enough easter eggs to make it perfect for someone like me, funny situations, a great sense of humour that doesn't make the story too comical, and a fair amount of action.

One of the finer points that is explored through the story is the humanity of the Bobs. It's one of the reasons why I hated The Faith so much ! :D
Also, just follow Howard's story with the Irish scientist!
Or ?!
The greatest blow, however, was .

We also got some huge adversary here. I mean, a Dyson Sphere! So cool! Can't wait to see more of that.

So many things to think about (like how it would be to have so many reincarnations of myself, what this kind of freedom and immortality would mean to me to name just two). Seriously, it's a good thing that book #3 is almost ready to be recorded for Audible so we won't have to wait too long. This is one of the best scifi books I've read in quite a while.
121 reviews57 followers
February 5, 2018
2.5 Stars:✰✰½

If you have an Audible account, you have heard of these books. Actually.... if you have an AMAZON account, period, you've probably seen these books on display somewhere in the emails or ads on amazon.

Because for one reason or another, they literally advertise these books up the butt.

I did a quick search in my gmail inbox to see how many emails they have sent me about this series - and whether it was through direct or indirect advertising, I have received about 24 emails from Audible and Amazon since the beginning of 2017, constantly trying to get me to read these books. Combine this with ads on their website, and I literally can't get away.

I don't know what kind of a marketing deal Dennis E. Taylor made with Amazon, but kudos to him, because it's working. Surely enough, I picked up the first two books when I saw they were available in a sale on audible, thinking that if they would go through such great lengths to literally HARASS me into reading these, then they really probably (should-be) great.

The first book was good. . . I guess. It didn't really have an ending, but I enjoyed it well enough.

This book was also "good", but "good" in the sense that there really isn't anything especially memorable or significant to me about it. "Okay" is a better way of phrasing it. And it also didn't really have an ending.

Here's the thing: the writing in these books takes you deep into the mind of (you guessed it): Bob. A man whose consciousness has been turned into a supercomputer. Bob is not an exceptionally interesting guy. He's basically your typical Star Wars/Star Trek fan, works-an-office-job kind of guy, with an affinity for just general nerd culture. He's really not that exciting to read about. He's not terrible, just honestly he would probably never be considered on anybody's favorite character list.

But let's add onto this the fact that, when you're reading this series, not only do you have to go into the mind of Bob... You go into the mind of literally a dozen Bob clones. And even though they're all actually different from each other with unique personalities (Who knows why this happened?), they are STILL.... not that interesting.

And it got pretty annoying for me.

I can normally handle poor characterization if the plot is good, but once again, we face the same problem. I don't even know what the plot in this book is, because there were actually about a DOZEN plots, for each of the Bobs that were being followed in their journeys across and around the universe. This gave the book a very stringy feel, because the myriad of plots being developed were mostly unoriginal and underdeveloped in that you CAN'T fully develop 12 different plot lines in an 8 hour audio/300 Page book.

It's fun at times, and the author tries to pull emotion out of the readers at times, but I just really didn't find myself caring that much. And again, NEITHER BOOKS HAD AN ENDING. It just drops off.

The writing is almost reminiscent of Ready Player One, in that it doesn't really take itself seriously, and tries to be a little more heavy on the humor, but I felt like this book fell short because it honestly lacks in anything else worth mentioning. Books like Kings of the Wyld and Ready Player One excel because they combine these elements of humor, with a whole lot of heart, a really cool story, and well developed characters. This book made attempts at each of these things, and for that I give it credit. But I felt that for me it ultimately just didn't work.

As a closing remark, I'll say that I think the reason Audible advertises these books so much is because they really are more geared towards somebody who is brand new to the Sci-fi world, and also probably somebody who is new to audiobooks in general. First time Audible users could pick this up and not have a problem getting into it, while a first time audio listener trying to get through The Way of Kings or a heavier Sci-fi classic, like Dune, would most likely drown.

For that reason, it does have merit. I think we need some books like this for people to ease into the genre. But I'll leave this off by saying that long time sci-fi and fantasy veterans are better off looking elsewhere. This book just didn't really do much for me, because of that.

Happy reading =].

For this review and more, check out my blog: Thoughts of a Thousand Lives.
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews865 followers
January 9, 2018
Geeky fun continues in Dennis Taylor's For We Are Many (Bobiverse #2). It has been 40 years since Bob began exploring the cosmos (Bobiverse #1) searching for habitable worlds. There are many copies of Bob now, all interacting with each other. And there's competition from other space probes launched from Earth right before the nuclear powers started firing at each other. The drama in this book relies on beating out the intractable competition, finding and protecting new sentient life and finding a home for humans who are being displaced because of an impending nuclear winter. Again, this was a fast-paced and enjoyable read (just don't think it quite measured up to the first book).
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,028 reviews2,605 followers
November 3, 2017
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/11/02/...

I’ve been on a humorous sci-fi kick lately, and this series is proving to be the most amazing diversion. The first book hooked me with the non-stop action and laughs, and book two certainly didn’t disappoint me in these areas either.

Following the events of We Are Legion (We Are Bob), our titular sentient AI character and his many clones have been spreading out from Earth for about forty years now, and not surprisingly, he’s made a few adjustments to his mission objectives. While he’s still primarily searching for new habitable planets for colonization and competing against hostile space probes from other nations, many of the Bobs have also found other projects to invest their time in. The Bob called Riker trying to be the mediator between Earth’s bickering politicians as they work together to coordinate a mass evacuation from the ruined planet, and worse, among the survivors there are radical groups who would go to any lengths to sabotage those efforts. Meanwhile, things aren’t going so smoothly at the destination planets either, with cultural clashes and the dangerous local wildlife making it difficult for the new settlers to thrive.

In another part of the galaxy, the original Bob has become attached to the alien race he discovered called the Deltans, involving himself in their lives and becoming something like their skygod. However, in trying to help elevate them, he may have unwittingly done more harm than good, delivering them into the jaws of a far more menacing predator than the ones they had originally escaped from. Deeper into space, the Bob called Mario has stumbled upon an unsettling find—an entire planet where all life appears to have been harvested by a ruthless spacefaring species that considers everything as food. There’s no telling where this all-devouring threat will strike next, and he must get word out to the other Bobs to warn them, or humanity’s second chance at survival may be over before it even begins.

Despite the doom and gloom of many of the story’s threads though, For We Are Many is in fact a light, fun, and profoundly enjoyable read. It’s also full of sci-fi geekery but at the same time accessible enough so that even readers who don’t normally read the genre will be able to appreciate its charms. Any technical explanations are easy to grasp, not to mention many are also presented in a clever and humorous way, pulling in references from pop culture favorites like Star Trek or Star Wars.

The biggest surprise for me though, are the characters—or rather, I should say, the many iterations of Bob. We already had a number of clones to follow in the first book, and this sequel expands the cast some more, introducing additional perspectives to the equation. And yet, this hasn’t gotten old yet, and I doubt it ever will. In my review of the previous novel, I wrote about how each of the individual Bobs had their own unique and vibrant personalities, and this is a trend that continues with no matter how many times they clone themselves. I especially loved the Howard chapters and being able to see a more contemplative, emotional side of Bob. This just shows that while all of them may be aspects of the same person and resemble the original to some extent, the copies are still different enough that even now I could probably name about a dozen of them off the top of my head and tell you their defining traits. They might not be conventional characters, but they do tend to stick with you for a while.

So if you enjoyed We Are Legion (We Are Bob), there’s no reason why you shouldn’t continue with For We Are Many. With more clones being sent out to explore deep space, the “Bobiverse” might be growing ever bigger, but fear not, because you’ll still be getting the same kind of action, adventure, and humor that made the first book so much fun to read. I’m really having a blast discovering all these new worlds, new aliens, and new scenarios, and I can’t wait for the series climax and conclusion in the next book to see how the stakes will be raised yet again.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,867 reviews16.5k followers
August 16, 2019
Dennis E. Taylor is creating some of the best science fiction in recent times – his Bobiverse is outstanding.

I gave his premier book in the series – We Are Legion – a five star and the second in the series, first published in 2017, is almost as good.

Why the gushing praise? I said it in my review of We are Legion, this is what SF should be – tight prose detailing hard science principles and telling a fun story. Taylor mixes in enough pop culture references and nerdy snark to keep any self-respecting SF fan giggling as the pages turn.

For those who missed the first book, you need to go read it. Then come on in to this one and the good times keep a rollin’.

Bob Johanson was killed and he was brought back to life from a cryogenics lab – sort of. He is an intelligent construct where his memories and personality have been uploaded into a computer. And he can replicate himself, make copies of Bob, thus We are Bob.

Poul Anderson would be proud.

In the second book we find all the many generations from Original Bob helping humanity by offloading us from the poisoned Earth, exploring new star systems for habitable planets, discovering sentient life and getting too involved in their evolution, and fighting the evil hive like Others.

And channeling our inner PKD with some androids.

GREAT FUN, and I’m buying book three today.

Profile Image for David Katzman.
Author 3 books451 followers
October 19, 2017
First, a recap of part one is in my review here.

I enjoyed the first part of this series, but part two was a bit of a letdown. The main character "Bob" and all his AI clones (which are all inexact variations of his core personality) have become a little too annoying for me. I mean, who is this book for? It's not a young adult book. But the man (lol, he's an artificial intelligence based on a human template with emotions) has to deal with apocalyptic destruction, species-wide genocide and personal heartbreak and yet he can't muster up a single obscenity? It's like his personality is G-rated. It got on my nerves after a while. Similarly, his humor was not humorous, it has become cheesier than in part one.

The story itself was still relatively interesting. We follow the various threads that book one started: the human species being transported to new planets and the accompanying struggles between human factions; discovery of and interactions with new (alien) species; and a genocidal alien hive race that wipes out planets and lifeforms for raw material. This particular alien race has technology even further advanced than Bob and as such is a tremendous danger to all life.

While I certainly was disappointed in this part, the plot has enough interest that I may try part three. Certainly, he's done a nice job of building the tension and desire to discover what happens to humanity and how Bob will defeat the unstoppable hive species. I just wish Bob would fucking grow up.
Profile Image for Veronique.
1,231 reviews169 followers
April 27, 2017

Having loved We Are Legion (We Are Bob), I couldn't wait to start this sequel. The combination of Taylor's words and wit with Ray Porter's perfect rendition, and you have a winner :O)

Confession: I like all the Bobs. I mean, I get their humour, their pop culture references, their sense of right and wrong. What is there not to like? In this instalment, we get more of what the first book served (second half), i.e. trying to help the few humans survivors, who are still trying to kill each other (near extinction and they still haven't learnt), find other viable planets, nurturing a new sentient species (Archimedes), dealing with the threat of a Borg-like 'Others' that decimates everything in its patch, and of course try to get back to actually exploring space...

This 'more of the same' could have jaded the reader, but as it happens, you just get completely taken in by the various plot strands. It is compelling because Taylor makes you care for all these Bobs, and the rest of the cast (the good ones that is). The humour is ever present but not at the expense of the rest of the emotions scale. In fact, there is plenty of heart-ache too.

The only negative thing I can say is that we have to wait for book 3... :O)
Profile Image for RJ - Slayer of Trolls.
764 reviews179 followers
December 18, 2022
Looking for a rollicking good well-written self-published space adventure with meaningful character arcs and a gripping narrative? Well, keep looking! This is an unholy mess. It's like if Science Magazine got into the catnip, hopped the fence and impregnated John Scalzi’s blog. The plot is a continuation of the first book in the series, about sentient self-replicating Von Neumann probes whose annoying personalities are formed from an equal mix of high-tech science and geek-chic references, a la Ready Player One, and their actions are governed by the simplest of themes, such as we might find in the original Frankenstein film: “Friend good!” “Fire bad!” The parts of the book that focus on outer space exploration and even the space battles are the most readable portions of the book, while the on-planet interactions with other species and the conversations between the various “Bobs” are about as much fun as waiting in line for a Shatner autograph. If you decide to stop after reading the slightly more entertaining first installment you won’t be missing much.
Profile Image for Sonja Arlow.
1,080 reviews7 followers
January 12, 2018
This is one of those books you read for shits & giggles – is this a universal saying? Its fun escapism that should not be overanalysed.

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) really took me by surprise, it had a unique angle to the space theme and I liked the main protagonist(s). With this second installment you know exactly what you are going to get. Exactly!

There is very little new to be had. There are plenty of Bobs, and I mean plenty. And I think that caused a slight distraction for me – there were just too many to keep track of and they all sounded the same.

The storyline at times felt like the reimagining of the computer game sim city….. inter-galactic style.

Bob rarely stops to think about the impact of his meddling. When he encounters sentient life on a planet he doesn't think twice about blowing holes in the ecosystem or introducing more advanced technologies into their civilization without considering the fact that he's taking away opportunities for them to develop things on their own.

I was also not surprised by the presence of “The Others” but as I said this book is fun fluff, so a slightly predictable storyline was not a deal breaker for me.

If you are a fan of the Bobverse then I am sure you will enjoy this one too.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
September 11, 2019
If you liked the first Bobiverse book, We Are Legion, this is pretty much more of the same thing. And after a bit of a bumpy start, I really did have a good ride with it ... enough that I immediately bought the third book. Got to see what happens with the Others, aka The Worst Space Aliens Ever!

Profile Image for Scott.
290 reviews300 followers
August 23, 2017
Do you feel like a holiday from the world? Do you feel like like you need to read something fun, something easy to race through, something that will immerse you in an interesting and entertaining universe? If so, Dennis E. Taylor's Bobiverse series should be your next reading destination.

Dennis E. Taylor writes books that are pure pleasure to read and We are Many is no exception.

The pages of We Are Many fly past, the story progresses in interesting and exciting directions and conflict is ever present.

Things happen in Taylor's books. Interesting things. And often. Some might consider this to be vanilla storytelling, free of unreliable narrators, confusing chronology or weird stylistic tics, but who cares when a book is as enjoyable as this one?

If you loved the first book in the Bobiverse (and why wouldn't you? It's a great read) you're going to love this too as it pretty much continues from exactly where book one left off. Bobs are out exploring the galaxy, fighting armed Brazilian probes, discovering new worlds and seeking out life and better, more lifelike versions of Spike, Bob's VR cat.

Original Bob continues to shepherd the still-primitive Deltans, and his friend Archimedes, through threats and conflict, while one Bob falls in love and Bill, the resident of Epsilon Eridani gets ever closer to building an android that can physically embody the consciousness of his fellow Bobs.

But while the Bobs prosper, humanity nears extinction.

Earth is a war-wracked near-frozen ruin, with the last fifteen million humans huddling in shelters and around the equator, waiting for the Bobs to evacuate them to new colony worlds. Bobs are frantically building transport ships and moving people as fast as they can, but earth is dying quickly, and building colony ships is slow work. Some of the last humans can be saved, but for millions death looks certain.

This would be conflict and tension enough for many writers, but not for Taylor - on top of everything else a near-unstoppable existential threat makes itself known, to the terror of the Bobs and their human friends.

The Others, an insectoid race that outguns and outnumbers the Bobs by an order of magnitude are spreading, stripping solar systems bare of both life and metals to build a vast Dyson sphere in their home system. Extrapolation of the others' expansion shows that it is only a matter of time until they destroy another sentient civilization, and after that, move on to earth itself, where they will convert the last humans into alien chow.

The Bobs are faced with having to defend not only humanity, but all life in the path of The Others.

Just like We Are Many, this is a fun book, and could be read together as one (which is kind of how I read them). I can’t emphasise enough what a seamless, cruisy reading experience this book and its predecessor are – I love complex, weird or experimental novels, but it’s great to read a book that is simply a straightforward story done well.

I'm looking forward to reading book three, and so far this is a real winner of a series. Taylor is an entertaining storyteller with a great imagination and deserves to be in the to-read pile of any sci-fi fan.
Profile Image for Char.
1,634 reviews1,487 followers
October 1, 2018
FOR WE ARE MANY (Bobiverse #2), in my opinion was even better than the first book and Ray Porter plays a large part in that.

For those who don't know, in the first book the first Bob had his head frozen and he was woken up many, many years later having had his consciousness installed in an AI. Since then, many things have happened, and Bob has created many clones of himself, as he was designed to do. His, (their), goal is to save humanity, (we are killing our planet and there are only about 15 million of us humans left), by finding or making proper environments to which we can be relocated. Which also involves providing food, finding a way for us to get to this new environment, and a way to protect us while on the way there. He, (they), also has to play referee to the factions of humanity that are left, because we never stop arguing amongst ourselves, do we?

While doing this, the Bobs, (the Rikers, Homers, Hals, Howards, Charlies and so forth), face numerous obstacles-the scariest of which is a Mandarin speaking species that the Bobs call THE OTHERS. If you are a Star Trek fan, the best way I can describe them is a combination of the Borg with Species 8472. To be blunt, they give no fucks about humanity or anything else, we are either a food or an enemy-neither of which is a good option for Bob/us.

I have to say that the narrator here, Ray Porter, imbues the Bobs, Admiral Ackbar, Guppy, (who sounds like Sean Connery), Butterfield, and everyone with their own personalities and voices. I don't know how he does it without getting confused, but he does do it and he is SUBLIME. There's no other word I can think of to properly describe his performances in this book. In fact, I am SURE that I would not have enjoyed this volume as much as I did if I had read it instead of listening.

I am going to keep my Audible subscription even when it goes back up to full price because I have to get the next book and I need to listen to it on audio. Reading it will just not do.

Bravo to Dennis E. Taylor and to Ray Porter for bringing the Bobiverse alive- in all its snarky glory, humor, and love for humanity.

My highest recommendation!
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,887 reviews1,925 followers
March 6, 2018
This entry in the three-book series is less of a romp than the first because, of course, because the territory is no longer new or fresh; but it's still a hoot and a holler. I had such a great time going back to the Bobiverse! These books are a pleasure to me because their humor resonates with me:
At times like this, I wondered if I hadn’t gone a little overboard with the level of detail in my virtual-reality environment. There was no reason for me to even have nether regions, let alone for them to pucker.

And that should tell you what you need to know about the suitability of the series to your reading needs. If that neither makes you laugh nor gives you a sense of the subject of the books, best you pass them by.

This installment brings us past the previously known Bobiverse...the bubble of space that Bob's previously created new selves have gone off to explore...and into contact with more new species. There are new threats, new ways of getting the heck rid of old threats, and plenty of the old threats come around again:
I sincerely hoped that in the fullness of time, they’d have the opportunity to get all bent out of shape about environmentalism.

Seems that "intelligence" is a menace...and maybe VEHEMENT had a point. (Bobiversals will get that.) But there's nothing like a replicant on a mission to make the Universe safe for sentient life. The Bobs come through this book without a hint of middle-book-itis. The action doesn't slack. The stakes don't falter. The pace of the book doesn't dilly-dally and the Bobs, bless 'em, don't shilly-shally as they tackle problems on a greater-than-human timescale. I can't spoiler stuff since the Anti-spoiler Activists get so stroppy about it. But I can say that there's no good reason for someone who liked the first book not to get the second ASAP and there's no reason for someone who didn't like the first book to even consider this one.

As for me, I'm on to book three and might even have bumped this one up a rating point had it not been for the clear affection and acceptance herein shamelessly flaunted for a lifeform utterly unworthy of it:
The cat’s A.I. was realistic, right down to the total lack of loyalty.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,260 reviews222 followers
May 27, 2017
The Bobiverse is growing rapidly and the Bobs have their hands full.

The handful of survivors on Earth are being evacuated but there are people trying to sabotage that. the The Deltans, the first alien species that the Bobs have encountered are at risk from an even nastier danger than the gorilloids, and they're having growing pains besides. The Vulcan and Romulan colonies have their own issues. The mad Brazilian is still out there. And worst of all, the terrifying discovery that one of the Bob's made at the end of the first book looms large and incredibly dangerous.

Through it all the Bobs need to deal with their increasing alienation from ephemeral humanity while also not having their hearts broken as their favorites don't last for the long haul. And to top it all off, the alien threat may be just too big for even the many Bobs to handle.

This was great, wrapping up a lot of the plotlines left dangling from the first book and setting many more in motion. There's obviously a third book here and with the nature of the protagonists this could well be a much longer series. Why explore just one SF trope when you can have the same protagonist explore all of them?
Profile Image for Suzanne.
1,611 reviews
April 22, 2017
4.5 stars - rounded up because the concept of this series is just so fun. The Bobs are expanding and finding places for humanity to settle. I love the exploration aspects, the humor and the creativity. I had this with whispersync, but I mostly used audio because the reader is excellent.

Profile Image for Stuart.
718 reviews267 followers
May 29, 2017
For We Are Many: More adventures in the Bobiverse
Originally posted in Fantasy Literature
I really enjoyed Dennis E. Taylor’s We Are Legion (We Are Bob) last December after discovering it by accident as Audible’s Best SF of 2016. I generally tend to read fairly serious, literary, and ambitious SFF books and realized I needed a light break and For We Are Many was the perfect change of pace. The BOBIVERSE series really is a fun place to spend some time, and it is the narrative voice that makes the books worth reading. In fact, I think the audiobook narrator Ray Porter is absolutely perfect for this series, his delivery is so perfectly in tune with the breezy, snarky tone of the book that his performance deserves a star all its own.

If you’re looking for a fun SF adventure featuring multiple AIs originating from the same individual (Bob, of course), Von Neumann probes exploring the galaxy, the moral dilemmas of whether to assist a primitive race as a mechanical god, encountering an implacable alien race that considers planetary systems and sentient species as raw materials and food, then you’ve come to the right place. After listening to the melancholy, deadly-serious, artistic, and brooding Viriconium by M. John Harrison, handled by the skillful British narrator Simon Vance, Ray Porter’s light, matter-of-fact, and sardonic delivery was a welcome relief.

In For We Are Many (2017), the second installment in the Bobiverse, Bob and his other AI counterparts are now scattered throughout the nearby star systems, most intent on exploration and terraforming in order to create new homes for the surviving remnants of humanity. The original Bob took a special interest in looking after a primitive but sentient race of Deltas in the Delta Pavonis system, and he spends a lot of time making sure they are not killed off by the local gorrilloids. When a new and more formidable predator shows up, he is faced with the Prime Directive dilemma popularized in Star Trek — how much do you intercede in the affairs of another sentient race, just because you like them? Is it ok to play God and take sides? Well, Bob is as human as you or I, and a very reasonable and humane person to boot, so he sets aside philosophical questions in favor of helping out his beloved Deltans, particularly the family of Archimedes, a Deltan who is especially intelligent and ambitious.

Terraforming new worlds to establish human colonies is not an easy business, and the author devotes quite a lot of time to describing the science and technology of it, but in a very understandable and reader-friendly way. Perhaps because Dennis E. Taylor is a computer programmer by trade, he knows how to describe things clearly, but I found his technical explanations not only logical, but actually interesting, and I am a liberal arts type. I’ve had to slog through many a page of technical exposition in other books (I’m thinking of Alastair Reynolds at the moment), but Taylor pitched his material at exactly the right level for me.

Meanwhile, in one of the only story elements in For We Are Many that I took strong exception to, there is a radical environmental terrorist group called VEHEMENT whose basic attitude is that the Earth would be better off without human beings, so why not just help the process by hatching various plots to kill off humanity. Of course SF is about extrapolation of current world trends, but SERIOUSLY, how many of us think that radical environmental terrorists are going to be the biggest concern in the coming decades? We have plenty of other unpleasant political trends that are happening around the world right now and I refuse to get into that debate, but I’d say there are far worse threats to humanity in some of the world’s current leaders and politics than tree huggers gone wild. So I’d have to voice my displeasure with Taylor’s choice of villains here, and the satire is so exaggerated as to lack any conviction. Okay, stepping off soap-box now.

The terraforming story on Vulcan involves a bit of a love story for one of the Bob AIs, something I wasn’t expecting. It’s not overdone, and it is a natural issue to arise when immortal AI personalities interact with humans, though some dismissively label them “ephemerals.” I actually found this storyline quite moving, which was an added bonus from a book where I was mostly expecting light-hearted space adventure.

Finally, we have the implacable advanced alien race that likes to turn star systems into raw materials, and treats sentient beings as food. Having read Alastair Reynolds’ REVELATION SPACE series just last year, this reminded me of that series’ unstoppable alien machine race, so much so that I wondered if Taylor wasn’t making a bit of fun of it, but since he treats them as a serious threat, I don’t think that was his intention. In any case, these aliens are indeed bad-asses and painfully lacking in any sense of humor, so fighting them to save humanity is no mean feat. I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say that we will have to wait for the next installment to find out what happens with them. Finally, did I mention that the Audible version of For We Are Many is only $4.99 on Amazon and adding the Audible narration is only an extra $1.99? That is incredible value for the money, so go out and get it before they decide to hike the price!
Profile Image for Karen’s Library.
1,063 reviews163 followers
February 25, 2022
I seriously cannot get enough of the Bobiverse! This series is perfect for us sci-fi nerds. And the icing on the cake? The performance of Ray Porter in the audiobook!

In book 2, we have so many Bobs that I've pretty much lost track. But it doesn't matter. Each of them have their own little quirks and I'm enamored with them all.

The Bobs are now spread out over 40 light years throughout the universe and have discovered several viable planets for colonization as Earth is no longer habitable. Among other things, they run into a race of others who destroy entire planets for food and resources.

Book 3 can't get here soon enough. I need more Bobs!
Profile Image for Sinisa Mikasinovic.
136 reviews26 followers
April 25, 2017
Dennis, I hate you!

To put my emotional outburst into perspective, please, allow me to tell you a story.


This is a story of a small boy. A very happy, cheerful, boy.

Boy likes ice cream.

Boy likes ice cream so much, when mom told him they're going out to have one later, he couldn't contain his emotions and shrieked out of pure joy.

Ice creams. Bringing out our inner shrieking child since 1660.

Boy is impatient now. Boy cannot wait.

He can barely think straight, waiting for the moment to go out and get his tasty, sweet ice cream!

But there's no way around it - wait he must.

Just when he thought he couldn't take it anymore, mom yells "Ice cream truck is here!"

She hands the boy some Audible cred-- money, and the he quickly runs out!

All the while sprinting towards the van from Eden, he imagines this heavenly goodness.

So close. So close!

And finally, after what seems to be hours, he gets his impatient little paws on the prize!

One thought emerges. Basic. Primal. Overwhelming.


Eventually, the primal urge subsides. But is it too late? Half the ice cream is already gone!

Mind flashes the alarm! Cacophony of buzzing sounds fills the boy's head and every single warning light goes off!


Shocked realization and disbelief quickly make place for panic.

"What do I do?!"

Keep eating furiously, and risk running out before desire is fully sated?

Or stop, forcing himself to enjoy whatever is left over?

This is a torture!

One quick look around reveals all of his friends dealing with the same enigma.

Do we eat? Do we... wait?

Whatever we do, this is the last of it.

Last, until the next time Ice Cream Man comes around. And it can take months!

Painfully coming to realization that all ice creams are made to be eaten, sooner or later, boy takes the final bite enjoying it to the fullest.

It was the sweetest, most delicious, bite of ice cream he had ever had.

And now, silence.

Everyone is looking around at one another, and caught the little boy's look.

With a glimmer in the eye, he is determined to wait.

To wait for Dennis the Ice Cream Man to come our way again, and deliver the next round of most delicious ice cream we had in a very long time.

And wait we will.


For we are many.

We are legion.

Profile Image for Stevie Kincade.
153 reviews100 followers
May 17, 2017
Firstly a moment of self congratulation, I was literally the first person aboard the Bobwagon and spread the Gospel of Bob far and wide for its brilliant premise and unique blend of humour and hard SF. I was excited to see the book develop a cult following and eagerly anticipated the sequel.

The good news is that narrator Ray Porter returns and I am convinced he is one of the absolute best narrators working today. He slides easily between drama and comedy and has that rare ability to actually sound like a completely different person when switching character voices. In We Are Legion Porter elevated some very funny lines into absolute hilarity. Unfortunately in the sequel so much of the dialogue and humour felt lame and forced. In a Herculean performance Porter elevated a lot of clunky writing from "awkward" into "mildly amusing" territory.

As far as the comedy goes I noticed about 1/3 of the way through I hadn't laughed once where at a similar point in We are Legion I had enjoyed plenty of hilarity. Unfortunately We are Many never produced a laugh out loud moment and I credit most of the "wry amusement" I got from the book to Porter's performance and not Taylor's writing.

The initial premise of the series, (self replicating Von Neumann probes based on a human personality) was a big part of my love for the first book. Now that Taylor has to deliver on the premise and not just introduce it, the flaws in his writing become much more apparent. This book feels rushed and in desperate need of a good editor. The frequent, unforced humour of book 1 is gone and while the plot certainly moves forward in book 2, it is far from what I was hoping for. I was particularly interested in the Archimedes storyline and it felt like this part of the story was mostly glossed over. We have some new elements added for future volumes but nothing that fills me with anticipation for book 3.

The major flaw in We are Legion was the Taylor has no idea how to end a chapter. They largely just cut off in an unsatisfying way that might work in a movie with a good editor but feel extremely awkward in audiobook form. Book 2 has 77 chapters and I would guess 55 of them end in an unnatural way. Porter was fairly incredible with what he was given. The final chapter was so jarring I had to listen to it again and could only conclude it was one of the roughest endings to a book in recent memory. It seems Taylor can only write "scenes" and has no idea how to transition from one to the next or how to get out of the scene he just gave us.

This was disappointing but with more time and effort put into the polishing of book 3 I still think this can be a great series.
Profile Image for Efka.
453 reviews253 followers
October 9, 2019
The second book of “The Bobiverse” picks up right where the first one ended, and basically it just follows the same patterns and the same story. There are a lot more of Bobs, though, and sometimes it gets a tiny little bit hard to follow them all, especially since everyone of them are operating on a different timescale.

It’s not an issue though, and in any case, all those minor nuisances are counterbalanced by the appearance of The Big Bad Yuckies (also known as a hostile, technologically advanced alien race, but why would anyone call them that when you can call them yuckies). Bobs are preoccupied – some became some sort of mad scientists, some dove head-first into colonization or terraforming projects, some are quickly becoming sort of politics and are negotiating a rescue operation, challenged by such insignificant goals like transferring 15 million (15.000.000, yes) people from Earth to colonies some few light years away… Well, really, what’s not to like if you’re a nerd? My objective rating would me 9/10, as there were some minor flaws like getting a bit repetitive at moments, etc., but as I usually tend to round ‘em up upwards, it’s still a 5* rating.
Profile Image for Brent.
348 reviews144 followers
August 8, 2017
Another great adventure in the Bobiverse.

Will the growing race of Bobs settle into the role of benevolent minor deities, shepherding their biological neighbors, or head for the galactic horizon? How will their humanity be expressed now that they are starting to really understand what it means to be immortal?

Assuming, of course, that they survive the coming danger.

Can't wait for the next book.
Profile Image for Rob.
848 reviews535 followers
June 18, 2017
Executive Summary: Another fun entry in this series. Not quite as good as the first book, but still has me looking forward to the next one.

Audiobook: Ray Porter once again does a good job here. He's speaks clearly at a good volume and with good inflection. He does a few voices, though as most of the characters are variations of Bob, he doesn't go too crazy with it.

Full Review
My one complaint with the first book was too much time with Bob 2.0, and not enough time with Bill. This book definitely had more Bill. I also found Bob's story more interesting than in the first book. For me the real draw continues to be the exploration, and the overarching story of human colonization.

This book introduced some interesting new Bobs. In particular Howard. That may have been my favorite subplot this go round. I'm impressed at how well Mr. Taylor explores variations on the same character such that most of the Bobs feel distinct from each other, yet still similar enough to feel like they are still Bob.

Things get set up nicely for what I believe will be the final book. I'm very eager to see where things go. Depending on how it ends, I wouldn't mind if he did another series set in the same universe. I'm particularly interested in seeing how the AI develops over time.

Overall I highly recommend this series if you're looking for some fun Space Opera with geeky Easter Eggs.
Profile Image for Gary K Bibliophile.
209 reviews52 followers
March 20, 2021
It had been over a year since I read We Are Legion - We Are Bob. At that time I knew nothing of the storyline. I certainly didn’t expect it to be as funny as it was. For my weird sense of humor and love of science and technology it was a pleasant surprise really.

Given my love for the first book you might think I would have jumped on the second one “For We Are Many” right away. There “Were Many” reasons I chose not too 😀 First of all - I knew this was a series and I tend to spread out my other series books (my one exception was The Dark Tower series that I read straight through).

The main reason I delayed though was that I felt I would be let down by the sequel. This time around I knew I was getting into and I expected some of the “thrill to be gone”. Truth be told - it was kind of like that. There weren’t as nearly as many new or novel things as in the first story. That didn’t mean the storylines were any less engaging. They picked up right where the first book left off.

I was actually a bit concerned I had waited too long between stories and that I would have a hard time remembering what was going on. The author used a technique that worked perfectly to jog my memory. While he didn’t have a “Last time you remember” section - he did have little recap sections as the various Bob’s reconnected. Since not all of them had the SCUT communication system when they did connect they needed to be caught up with what they missed. Since they all have SCUT now he may have to do something different for book 3... For me personally I just won’t wait as long.

Another reason I delayed in reading I feared a “Bobby Boom”. At the first book probably about halfway through the Bob’s started replicating quite rapidly splitting off various parallel storylines. For me personally I’m terrible with names... that’s why I struggle with short story collections. By the time I figure out the story’s characters the story is over and you move onto the next one. In the first Bob book I could easily keep up - especially since the Bob’s adopted fun pop culture names. I feared in this one that 12 Bob’s could easily turn into 48.... and I would be hopelessly lost. That didn’t happen though. There were new Bob’s for sure, but not enough that I couldn’t keep up. Ones with pop culture names like Hungry (oh - you don’t recognize that one?!? that was pretty funny - you’ll have to read that connection on your own though 🤫). For the most part they continued with the main threads in the first book.

Although some aspects of the story seemed episodic there were some new things covered. Some of the Bob pecking order and politics was interesting. They also delved into more about dealing with the human mind being stuck in a machine and still having human feelings. Also as the humans began to age the ephemeral nature of human existence becomes an issue.

There are new bad guys, the return of some old bad guys, new discoveries, new technology, failures, successes, and of course - the snarky humor. A fun addition to the series.
Profile Image for Jean.
1,707 reviews742 followers
August 20, 2017
I enjoyed book one of the Bobverse series so much I delved right into book two. Bob and his replicas are searching for habitable planets. In book one they had settled some people who had escaped from Earth onto the first two discovered habitable planets they called Vulcan and Romulan.

The book is well written and I enjoyed the dry humor and wit. The main theme is “What does it mean to be human?”. The Bobs are AI programs running on sophisticated hardware and therefore are immortal. The Bob’s personalities and world views are diverging more so with each generation. Some have even built androids for themselves. The author has borrowed some items from Star Trek such as “the prime directive”. I am getting a big kick out of this series.

I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is nine hours long. Ray Porter does an excellent job narrating the book. Porter is an actor and multi-award-winning audiobook narrator.
Profile Image for Sensei_cor.
259 reviews82 followers
August 23, 2022
Vaya disfrute... Me encanta como te cuenta las cosas que van pasando en distintos lugares de forma paralela y como avanza el tiempo y todo va evolucionando... Maravilloso.

Tal como dije en la reseña del primer libro, no es tan científico como los de Andy Weir ni tan simpático (aunque tiene golpes muy buenos) como los de John Scalzi y aún así coge lo bueno de cada uno y lo une con su estilo propio dando un resultado genial.

Te deja con ganas de saber como terminarán los múltiples arcos que tiene así que de cabeza a por el tercero y termino la trilogía que va por MUY bien camino.
Profile Image for aPriL does feral sometimes .
1,889 reviews428 followers
April 7, 2021
'For We are Many' by Dennis Taylor is book two in the Bobiverse series. I strongly recommend this series, but I must insist you begin with book one 'We Are Legion (We Are Bob)' before starting this particular science fiction novel. The first book explains what the Bobiverse is. It is a thrillride! The second book maintains the same level of energy, snark and speculative science. Gentle reader, are you aware of how rare it is that second books in a series are as good as the first in a series?

Briefly, because I do not want to reveal too much and spoil your reading pleasure, Bob is a replicant. His body is a space ship. His original mission was to look for habitable planets outside the Sol system. However, Earth people were not all on board with the plan. A religious organization was divided in opinion about their sponsorship in building the space ship, mostly because the idea of a dead person's personality being uploaded into a computer seemed blasphemous. Other countries wanted to be the first to build a spaceship, develop the replicant technology, and beat the United States (which isn't the United States anymore - see 'We Are Legion") to any other planets where people could live.

Stuff happens, which results in Bob being his own, um, 'man', free to think for himself. He wants to help Earth people even if those who are politicians keep trying to destroy each other and Bob. He maintains his sanity because he develops a terrific internal VR reality for himself and a computerized cat called Spike to love. Bob also duplicates his personality per his original orders from Earth and installs each copy into new spaceships which he builds in 3D printers using metals and other resources he finds out in space. The Bobs discover every new Bob is not exactly the same personality as Bob-1. But all of them have Bob's genius engineering skills! The technology Bob keeps developing in each book is so cool and outrageous it is one of the reasons I plan to continue with the series.

Bob finds habitable planets. There are nefarious plots and sabotage, but after much travail and mayhem, he helps Earth people move to their new homes. But there be enemies and frenemies from the competitive Earth countries who complicate Bob's mission. Shockingly, one of the Bobs in this novel (all of the Bobs have renamed themselves after famous Earth TV characters) comes across an advanced technological culture! The Bobs had found primitive ones, so they are not surprised there are other lifeforms on other planets in the solar systems they are exploring. But this culture appears to be murderously evil! The Bobs have been creative in inventing new tech, but they've got absolutely nothing as good as the technology this new ravenous culture has.

The new settlements Earth people have begun on the interesting planets are small and weak! One of the Bob's, Howard, is in love with an 'ephemeral', a woman, who is working on developing one of the settlements. It's an impossible relationship, of course. What is going to happen?

The speculative science technology is wonderful, and delightedly, the tech keeps getting improved! The different Bobs are snarky and as noble (and occasionally ignoble) as the knights of King Arthur. They often are faced with the possibility of needing to sacrifice themselves when dangers threaten, and unfortunately sometimes they are unable to make backups - True Death.

This is a surprisingly heartwarming series! I am enjoying it very much.
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