I liked the basic idea: Bob gets cryogenically frozen and wakes up 150 years later to find that his mind has been replicated in software on a von NeumI liked the basic idea: Bob gets cryogenically frozen and wakes up 150 years later to find that his mind has been replicated in software on a von Neumann probe. Bob clones himself and starts colonising the galaxy while the humans on Earth blow each other up with nuclear weapons. You will enjoy this book if you are attracted to the idea of an entire galaxy populated by slight variations on a computer guy who F**king Loves Science and Star Wars jokes.
We Are Legion doesn't explore the implications of the fantastic technological advances which must have been needed to recover Bob's mental state from his cryogenically-frozen body, and enable him to effortlessly pilot an interstellar spacecraft using artificial machine intelligence. The science boils down to this: humans discover an undescribed mathematical "subspace theory," which enables them to build the SURGE reactionless drive called and super-powerful SUDDAR scanner. Humans apparently have already figured out how to build fusion-powered spacecraft which harvest energy from the interstellar medium. As a former software engineer reanimated in a computer on a spaceship, Bob easily figures out how to fly around the galaxy, blow up enemy spaceships and build faster-than-light interplanetary virtual reality networks.
A lack of good science doesn't stop a book from being good fiction. But as mentioned above, the characters are all slightly different clones of Bob, who suffers badly from engineer syndrome ("It took a very frank discussion in which I explained in detail the reasons for my atheism before the colonel really began to believe me") but attains wealth and social status through his entrepreneurship ("With all due respect, colonel, at one point, I did Project Management for a living"). (view spoiler)[Bob develops a military strategy to defeat hostile von Neumann probes, imposes political order on the 15 million humans remaining on Earth, and discovers a planet full of extraterrestrial life. (hide spoiler)]
(view spoiler)[Unfortunately, extraterrestrial life turns out to be pretty much just like Earth's. According to one of the quotes from a science fiction conference which regularly introduce background information, carbon-based life "will probably be DNA-based." The Deltans are initially described as a "bat/pig mashup" with "a spiderish appearance," but they live in an Earth-like environment featuring Earth-like trees ("the kind of tree that I loved to climb when I was young ... a pretty clear case of convergent evolution"). The Deltans have human-like intelligence, a human-like society, and they are preyed upon by the gorilloids until they learn to build axes with which to "split ... more gorilloid skulls." Bob never considers using his machine learning powers to communicate with the gorilloids. (hide spoiler)]
This was more Charles Stross than Greg Egan. I'm going to give the rest of the series a miss....more