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Three Laws Lethal

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  38 reviews
A science fiction thriller in which fleets of self-driving cars make life-and-death choices

In a near-future New York City, where self-driving cars roam the city streets, rival entrepreneurs Brandon and Tyler compete to produce the smartest AIs, training them in a virtual game world to anticipate traffic and potential customers better than the competition. As the two riva
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Pyr
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  168 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: science-fiction
Yes, I am giving my own book five stars. If I don't think it's awesome, why would you want to give it a try?
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I’m a big fan of David Walton, having greatly enjoyed his books like Superposition and The Genius Plague, but Three Laws Lethal has elevated my admiration for his talents and storytelling skills to new heights. It never ceases to amaze me how he can run with an idea and turn it into an entertainingly wild and engaging techno-thriller, and yet still deliver a high level of realism with sympathetic, relatable characters to make the premise feel entirely a
Craig DiLouie
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
David Walton’s THREE LAWS LETHAL tells the story of two entrepreneurs who have a dream of converting the nation’s car stock into autonomous, self-driving vehicles, and the woman whose brilliant research holds the key to making it a reality. It’s a fun, engaging techno thriller, kind of like something Michael Crichton would write, except with very memorable, well-developed characters.

I first read Walton when I picked up THE GENIUS PLAGUE, which introduced me to his strong formula of e
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I was a kid, I thought that by now we'd have flying cars; instead we have blankets with sleeves. Read that somewhere and thought it might be appropriate.

This is a classy, well-constructed story. The science behind it is more-or-less real, believable and … inevitable. Setting up the framework for the plot, and developing the characters, makes the first third of the book a little tedious, it becomes gripping after that. There are a couple of too-good-to-be-true coincidences at the
Sean Randall
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, now, yes. Walton's done it again. This is perhaps one of the most perfect examples of this type of literature in its class. Eminently readable and with characters that virtually leap off the page, I was hooked, humbled and fizzing with enthusiasm all-the-way through.

Naomi is so brilliantly-drawn, a few parallels with some of the students I work with struck deep and meaningful chords. Tyler's naivety is also rather touching, and of course, the climactic, heroic act that ends the d
Peter Tillman
His pitch, at Scalzi's:

"Don’t look now, but intelligent robots are about to decide if you live or die.

Somehow, while we weren’t paying attention, we slipped into a universe where the robots from Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics” stories are about to surround us by the millions. The self-driving cars being sold by Tesla and other manufacturers aren’t quite there yet, but we are quickly entering a world where AIs will be making moment by moment choices about your surviv
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
David Walton's newest novel, Three Laws Lethal - title inspired by Isaac Asimov's three laws of robotics - begins with what certainly is an ethical quandary that typifies our increasingly AI-driven age, in this case, driven literally. A mother with her children are passengers in an AI-driven automobile. She can turn around and tell them to stop arguing, without risking an accident. She marvels at being in the driver's seat with her hands off the wheel. And then ... A big tree falls in front of t ...more
Angie Boyter
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf-possibles
A first-rate story that also make you think
It is the somewhat near future. Self-driving cars are on the road, but they are fairly new, expensive, and a bit controversial. Although they are safer than human-driven cars, it is still news when someone dies from an accident with a self-driving car, so a lot of attention is being given to making them even safer. Tyler and Brandon are grad students at the University of Pennsylvania, working on what they hope will be the start for their own entry
Kat  Hooper
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Will review at
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WOW, just wow... I just finished this book and it is so very good.. best thing I have read this year.. if you enjoy science fiction, or a good book set in the modern day wold looking at real issues, philosophical ideas of identity and conscience etc, are interested in AI or self driving cars, want a good beach read or the next book for your book club to discuss.. THIS Is WHAT YOU SHOULD Buy and Read. This is not my normal genre but i loved it and read the last 40 pages in one breath and chapters ...more
Mike Shultz
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love stories about the development of artificial intelligence, and this is a great spin on that classic idea. In this one, a complex simulation algorithm overtakes control of a fleet of self-driving cars owned by an Uber-like company. The details of how the AI arose are super-cool, and I really like how the characters discover what is going on along with the reader. If you are hooked by science thrillers and unfolding mysteries like I am, you’ll love this one. Highly recommended.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A futuristic story that is terrifyingly plausible, Three Laws Lethal is another terrific book from David Walton.

David Walton has done it again! If I can say anything about this author, it’s that he’s consistently good. Each book of his I’ve read—and this is my third—is completely different from the last and meticulously researchereview.The
Rick Allen
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
David Walton’s latest novel takes on a subject I’ve never seen before in science fiction: the ethics of self-driving cars. Something most people have never thought about, but David introduces it cleverly, through both examples and discussion. One of the basic questions is how a self-driving car should make decisions when avoiding an accident. Is it OK to do an avoidance maneuver if that would cause another car to crash?  Does it make a difference which car has more occupants?  These are question ...more
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Smart book that's both entertaining and educational, raising interesting issues with AI and the future. It's an easy, fast read, but a smart one. I particularly enjoyed the main AI character, Isaac. It's a great read for those who like science fiction (making references to a lot of great science fiction from the past) and for smart teenagers.

Lines from the book that caught my eye:

"So much of the human experience depended on the biological architecture of our brains. Our e
Vinay Badri
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 4.5 starrer.

Yet another outstanding book from David Walton, this one a techno-thriller as compared to this previous one, Genius Plague that was a medical thriller. However, common threads do emerge, notably the presence of a sentient being (be it the plague or the AI, in this case) which pretty much has its own existence at its core and not bothered about the humans in the picture.

This one however does hit closer to home esp as autonomous vehicles have begun to emerge. In the best traditions
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I hate science fiction... seriously hate the genre... I read a lot... and, given the choice.... I’d never ever choose sci-fi...

That said, my favorite podcaster recommended TLL highly and called it “idea driven fiction.” It was a new way to frame the genre, which I found intriguing. I looked for reviews on TLL and pretty much everything I found was four/five stars - including a five star review here by the author, which I thought was hilarious. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find TLL in my library sy
Pedro L. Fragoso
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked this one up after reading the author's essay on Scalzi's Big Idea, which was interesting, and intriguing. The book turned out to be brilliant. There's this concept of a talented, professional, writer at the top of his game, showing off their powers to enthrall and mesmerize, and this is an excellent proof of that. It's also very literary, in a genre way, full of quotes and citations of a very specifically defined cannon, which I loved. The plot is full of action, and tension, and confli ...more
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a phenomenal book. After loving The Genius Plague, I was eagerly anticipating this release. David continues to weave action-packed science fiction, prescient social & technological issues, and deep philosophical matters. Well researched, plausible, and entertaining. I could gush more, but I don't want to give anything away.

For added fun (and fear): Listen to the audiobook while driving!!! The narration is top-notch!
Zoey M
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent book by David Walton! I loved The Genius Plague, and so it was no surprise when I also loved this book. It examines the ethical delimmas associated with self-driving cars and Artificial Intelligences, and is an interesting read.

"That the time will come when the machines will hold the real supremacy over the world and its inhabitants is what no person of a truly philosophic mind can for a moment question."
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are a die hard sci-fi fan then check this one out. It was beyond out there and I loved every second of it. This title became a new favorite after chapter one and this author has been added to my auto buy list. This title was just that good. I will totally have to see if the author has any other titles out there because I totally have to read them.

This one had a great cast of characters with amazing pacing and a great ending. This book will shatter you so be warned!!
Ronda Bradley
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I met the author at Capclave and was intrigued by his reading of the introduction to this book. It was a very fun read, I enjoyed the references to other SciFi authors in the story (even one of his own books, lol).
Karla Eaton
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
So goooood! Absolutely engaging with plot twist and characters that grab the reader but most importantly a sci-fi novel that forces readers to ask real philosophical questions we are beginning to ask now. A great way to force modern readers to see the potential and dangers in the paths ahead.
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Intelligence meet

Nice coming of sentience novel. Weaves, builds and speaks as an emergence. A complex multi level presence of a concept with recognizable personhood. And, in part, uses value of both competition and choice as it’s shaping.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Excellent! The pace was even and the character development dug in little by little. A group of friends are in the business of renting out self driving cars which are run by a different kind of program.
J.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: own

It was okay. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either.

Good narration.
Susan Walker
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a thriller of a RIDE!
I like how this book explored the potential nexus of self-driving cars and AI. It's too bad these concepts were couched in a simplistic, predictable good guy vs. bad guy plot dynamic.
Matthew Schaffer
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best book of 2019!!!!
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well that was proper. There is nothing like good intelligent science fiction, with good characters.
Terry Blanz
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting premise, that makes the reader think about AI and the future of self driving cars.
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SciFiBN: June 2020: "Three Laws Lethal" by David Walton 1 1 Oct 11, 2019 06:50PM  

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David loves to read science fiction and lives near Philadelphia with his wife and eight children. His latest book, THREE LAWS LETHAL, is about self-driving cars and the AIs that drive them.

"Three Laws Lethal gives the reader exciting insights into the threats and the promises that are coming our way."
—Vernor Vinge

"Walton has brought hard sci-fi roaring back to life."