World, Writing, Wealth discussion

'Bot War
This topic is about 'Bot War
10 views
Book and Film Discussions > January 2017 Group Read Wrap-up #BOM_January_17

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Alex (new) - added it

Alex (asato) I would like to thank Ian J. Miller for allowing us the privilege of hosting his most recent novel as our book of the month read.

For those of you who read his book, I encourage you to leave a review. I will be doing just that this week.

I'd also like to encourage everyone to ask questions.

Here are a few questions that I've compiled over the course of reading Bot War.

1) What's the sequence in this trilogy? (1) Puppeteer; (2) Bot War; (3) Troubles.
2) What was the inspiration behind "beebots"?
3) What's the background on how the US became dependent on biofuels? I believe that might be explained in the Puppeteer, right?
4) How did the various federal and local governments become so debt-ridden that it couldn't afford police; hence police corruption and the rise of private security firms?


message 2: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11242 comments From Alex -
(1) That is the sequence. 'Bot War lies between the two, but they don't run together. There are fairly large gaps. Conceptually, Puppeteer was about 2030, 'Bot war about 2040, and Troubles, about 2048.
(2) The beebot was inspired in part by a TV item I saw where the US Defence Department was apparently designing small drones that would be used to fly into windows and check out what was in there. My view was, if it could do that, the next step was to weaponise it. A bullet was out of the question, so that left poison, and after thinking about insects, delivered by a sting.
(3) The idea was (when I wrote Puppeteer) that oil would be running out, the price would go way up, and gradually die down. I did not want to give the implication that there would be no electric cars, and one of the problems of writing a sequence about the future, you are stuck with your previous "history". So it was either discard the previous book, or have a shortage. It was also useful to be short of oil for Troubles, so I stuck with it.
(4) Basically, the concept was that debt is great when then economy is expanding, but when it starts contracting, tax takes go down, but the very large deficits keep growing exponentially. A bit like Greece, except that when it is due to a structural problem, like oil being very expensive, then happens to everybody, so there is no bailout. I sup[pose the governments could just cancel debts, but I am not sure how popular they would be at that moment. Troubles is based on the governments getting out of the hole, to some extent, due to cheap energy, due to the invention of fusion power.

Hope that helps. You may argue that couldn't happen, and I am not trying to tell the future. It won't happen like that, but I hope it was at least an enjoyable story, and maybe helped some people think. After all, if you disagree with my picture, at least you thought about it. :-)


message 3: by Alex (last edited Jan 30, 2017 06:58PM) (new) - added it

Alex (asato) Ian wrote: "From Alex -
(1) That is the sequence. 'Bot War lies between the two, but they don't run together. There are fairly large gaps. Conceptually, Puppeteer was about 2030, 'Bot war about 2040, and Trou..."


thanks for those explanations! indeed, i found these ideas to be thought-provoking. this is what sci-fi is about: setting up hypothetical science-based situations and figuring out how people would react.

the beebots were quite inventive and an excellent extension of the technology.

the rise of private security firms for the ultra-rich parallels what happened in Iraq after the US ousted Saddam Hussein and took over the country. i thought that was a probable development.


message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11242 comments As for the private security firms, yes, I think that is inevitable in times of government collapse.


message 5: by Kent (new)

Kent Babin | 176 comments Your discussion made me think of a couple of tv series:

Have you guys seen Black Mirror? The final episode of season 3 features robotic autonomous bees that were created because real bees became extinct. I won't say anything more, in case you haven't seen the series. In general, Black Mirror is really well done. Lots of food for thought and fodder for future sci-fi novels.

Also, there is a Norwegian series called Occupied. It is based in the near future. Norway is the last remaining supplier of crude oil but it is also championing thorium as a source of power. The EU and Russia aren't ready to switch to thorium, so Russia hijacks Norway and blackmails it into turning the oil back on.


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11242 comments Kent wrote: "Your discussion made me think of a couple of tv series:

Have you guys seen Black Mirror? The final episode of season 3 features robotic autonomous bees that were created because real bees became e..."


Thanks, Kent. Haven't heard of either of those series, but if they turn up, I would be interested in watching them.

Actually, thorium is a great alternative for energy because it is impossible to make nuclear bombs from it (at least by any reasonable technology) and its fission products have short lifetimes, so it does not take long for the hazards to die away.


message 7: by Alex (new) - added it

Alex (asato) I wrote my review:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

(The Amazon review should be available shortly as well.)


back to top