If you like: Skynet * War * Technology
Robopocalypse is the story that I want scientists to read when I hear that they are working towards making sentient robots. It takes place in a not-too-distant future where technology is even further integrated than it is today. There are microchips in cars, planes, and the multitude of household and workplace robots. The prevalence of this technology makes for a safer and more efficient world until Archos, a sentient computer system, is created.
Wilson crafts an excellent story in which robots strive to join, if not surpass, humanity. The progression of the robot takeover is eerily believable. (Especially when there is a reported computer virus spreading on military drones.) At the same time, the conversations that take place between Archos and the protagonists of the story make it hard to blame it for wanting to utilize freewill—the birthright of all other intelligent life on Earth.
If you enjoy the zombie genre, I think you will appreciate this story. The structure reminded me of World War Z. (I will review this sometime in the near future—I just need a few more sunny afternoons when I’m not home alone to finish it.) The initial robot attack is also similar in many ways to your standard zombie outbreak. One or two isolated incidents kick things off, and then one day, out of the blue, a full scale attack obliterates the majority of the human race. In spite of these similarities, there are enough differences to make it an interesting page-turner. Fighting an enemy that is smarter than you and constantly evolving new atrocities also builds tension.
If you’ve ever wondered if that webcam is watching you back, this is the book for you.Wilson, Daniel H. Robopocalypse: A Novel. New York: Doubleday, 2011.