(Doubleday, $25.00, 347 pages, ISBN 978-0-385-53385-0)
Through the magic of literature, the MBR NO. 16 will jump from the long-ago, (MBR No. 15), to the not so-distant future, with a book called ROBOPOCALYPSE, about a war between robots and humans. It’s a thriller-diller of a novel I found near-impossible to put down. Like the works of Stephen King, ROBOPOCALYPSE will thrill, entertain and scare the bejeezus out of you, all at the same time. Futurists have already predicted the day will soon come when AI, or artificial intelligence, will attain sentience, the ability to think for itself, making humans unnecessary, and that is the premise of the book. Robots have achieved the ability to think, to reason, and create themselves. Bingo! They start a war against humans, who are wreaking environmental disaster on the planet, thus threatening the existence of all life. The first sentence grabs hold of the reader and the story never lets up as it follows the course of the war through the eyes of Cormack “Bright Boy” Wallace and the Gray Horse Army as they fight for survival. A great read for all those who enjoy edge-of-the-seat thrillers.
A couple of additional tid-bits: Daniel H. Wilson, the youthful, nerdy-looking author, holds a PhD in robotics from Carnegie-Mellon University. Although the novel is about a high-tech subject, the characterization is what makes it so readable, “the writing is about fear, love, courage and hope.” Its been optioned for the movies by Stephen Spielberg’s DreamWorks SKG. McKenna’s prediction: it’ll be a world-record breaking smash hit on the order of Avatar. Yeah. It’s that good.