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Book : We Are Legion
We Are Legion
My Rating :
Read : Aug 3, 2017

Coincidentally, this book which also titled "We Are Bob" was recommended to me by my friend Robert, a local sentient programmer Bob, much like the protagonist.

This isn't hard sci-fi like the works of Greg Egan that I love, but not too much of a space opera either. It's entertaining, not mind-bending. It isn't closer to Heinlen's work either, because Heinlen bends the mind about social norms. Time Enough For Love for instance wasn't heavy on science, but was incredible in questioning a social norm that even hardcore liberals would find to be taboo. In any case, We Are Legion was thoroughly entertaining. Personality differences between the different clones kept it interesting and that was neatly explained away.

For better or worse, Heinlen would've made him create a female version of the clone and taken it to the next level. I did appreciate that this book didn't have a romantic interlude.

I listened to the audiobook version. Voice acting by Ray Porter was really well done.

Self-replicating machines, both physical and virtual, are of particular interest to me and I'm facinated by John von Neumann's work. So I was sold the moment Rob told me what the book was about.

One of my favorite books on the subject is The Recursive Universe, which goes into a bit of von Neumann's seminal work. I'm reading Prisoner's Dilemma by the same author, which has sections that are essentially a biography of John von Neumann. He is the Richard Feynman of computing. The man designed the Universal Constructor without using a computer! I plan to learn of his work more deeply, but that's going to take me years.

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high: no less than the first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he'll be switched off, and they'll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty. The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. Or so he thinks. Because the universe is full of nasties, and trespassers make them mad - very mad.
Average Rating:
4.33 / 5
Source: Goodreads