We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

Ursa major

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We'll have to wait and see...


...and we won't have to wait very long (if, as it seems, book three is close to being published).
 

Ursa major

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Can I just say that I am already getting impatient about the absence of book three.

August the 8th 2017 is simply too far away for my liking!
 

Vertigo

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Great book, well done @Dennis E. Taylor, here's my thoughts:


In approximately the present day Bob has just struck it rich through the sale of his software company for an exorbitant fee. Revelling in his unfamiliar new found wealth, Bob has signed up to have his head cryogenically frozen in the event of his death, and shortly thereafter, before he has had a chance to really get down to enjoying that new found wealth, he find himself rather abruptly dead. On awakening he discovers that he has not, as he might have hoped, had his brain placed in a nice newly grown body but instead it has been destructively scanned and loaded into a computer matrix. He also finds that, as a ‘replicant,’ he has no rights and is owned by the state, destined to be the controlling intelligence in an interstellar von Neumann probe (hence the eventual “we are legion” of the title). Fortunately, being a consummate geek, this is not actually such very bad news for him!

As a debut novel (as I believe this to be) We Are Legion is exceptional; it is confidently written and the flowing prose is remarkably easy to read especially for a book that is, at its core, a pretty hard science based story. In fact I would make a strong comparison with Andy Wier’s The Martian; the content is completely different but the style is, in many ways, very similar. Both are debut novels, both are self-confessed geeky stories, neither are comedies though both are filled with snarky, geeky humour with many references to present day pop culture – Star Trek, Star Wars, The Simpsons etc., etc. – and both manage to hold the reader’s attention despite much of the dialogue actually being internal monologue. Its three hundred and twenty pages passed, for me, in the blink of an eye. That humour keeps the read light and easy but don’t be lulled into thinking all the topics are going to be light and easy; they aren’t. Taylor unflinchingly and somewhat acerbically addresses the insanity so often manifested when humans replace humanity with politics; the craziness so often portrayed in We Are Legion is, sadly, all too plausible.

I so often complain about the poor editing I encounter, particularly in debut or self-published novels, and so it is with great pleasure that I found the almost complete absence of such problems here. It just shows that it can be done if the author and editor take the time to do it right. My compliments to both (I am assuming it wasn’t self-edited).

My only complaint here is that Taylor is not brilliant at smooth endings. Many chapters ended very abruptly and the final end of the book felt more like just another chapter ending. There is no real conclusion to any of the threads; everything is pretty much left hanging making this feel more like the end of one part of a long book rather than the end of one book in a trilogy. But, as the next book is already published and the third will be out shortly, that is not as much of a problem as it might have been, and I will certainly be continuing with those two before too long. One final observation (as opposed to criticism) is with regard to the title; though I do, in my own geeky way, love the title, I feel Taylor does himself a bit of a disservice with it; it seems to suggest a spoof which it is not. There is a good dose of humour but, that aside, this is a good, serious, hard science fiction novel and I hope he doesn’t lose potential readers through misunderstanding.

4/5 stars
 

Brian G Turner

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Just a heads up that All These Worlds, the third book in the series, was published this week. I've already got it on Kindle from pre-order, and should hopefully be able to start it soon. :)
 

Parson

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Good news this! I am on my way to get it myself. :)
 

Brian G Turner

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Brian G Turner

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Something I find wonderfully ironic about the entire series is that we have a humanist clone playing God for humanity and the universe - especially so, when he was created as a tool by a religious fundamentalist group!
 

ralphkern

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I especially like the undertone (Actually... on reviewing my post before clicking reply... its not even an undertone, but I'll keep it in) of self-awareness of the character. This is a geek, who is undoubtedly well versed on say 2001... and at one point he creates a monolith (I hope not too spoilery as I don't give context).

It then makes me as the reader wonder if the sense of bemusement Bob feels about the universe is something any 'superior' being would feel. I love the idea of the monolith builders, or the designers of Rama, or whoever actually being total nerds rather than the higher beings portrayed in, say, a Baxter novel.
 

Ursa major

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I loved the entirely in-universe geekiness and, in particular, how it was not only used for humourous purposes but could be quite emotionally charged... or even combined, as with
two vignettes (from All These Worlds) at HIP 84051, involving BobversionJacques and the alien species, the Pav:
I climbed into the cargo bay, then turned to face the soldiers. As the doors started to close, I gave them the Vulcan salute.
in chapter 48, followed by
As the doors were closing, I saw Hazjiar give me the Vulcan salute.
in chapter 74.
 

Robert Armstrong

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I'm digging this series as well. I almost put down the first book, so glad I didn't! Some of the reviews on Amazon are hilarious as well. I have no idea where they are coming. All of us authors get those I suppose.
 

Parson

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Yep, I noticed he wrote LOTR somewhere, instead of writing it out fully - because the readership could be expected to know exactly what he was referring to. :)
That was in book three, and I was surprised that narrator also used LOTR.
 

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