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Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction

127 posts in this topic

I just finished Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson, which is essentially World War Z with machines. Thought it was pretty neat.


Just finished Robopocalypse, which, despite the terrible and generic name, was a really good post-robot-apocalypse story.






Just no.


It is one of the worst books I have pushed through, through stubbornness rather than pleasure.


Its like some terrible internet fan fiction which would has no reason to exist on paper. The premise is fine: World War Z with robots. But there is none of the variance in styles that the zombie book has. And the Max Brooks novel is filled with interesting background stuff like how different societies deal with an existential disaster: here it is just a bunch of lazy cliches and cringeworthy dialogue.


The following excerpt is from near the beginning, when the machine becomes self aware, so it is not much of a spoiler:


[spoiler]The man grabs the equipment rack and shakes it. He presses the emergency stop button again and again. His limbs are quaking and his breathing is rapid. He is beginning to understand that something has gone horribly wrong.


"Stop. You have to stop. You're making a mistake. We'll never give up, Archos. We'll destroy you."


"A threat?"


The professor stops pushing buttons and glances over to the computer screen. "A warning. We aren't what we seem. Human beings will do anything to live. Anything."


The hissing increases in intensity.


Face twisted in concentration, the professor staggers toward the door. He falls against it, pushes it, pounds on it.


He stops; takes short, gasping breaths.


"Against the wall, Archos"--he pants--"against the wall, a human being becomes a different animal."


"Perhaps. But you are animals just the same."


The man slumps back against the door. He slides down until he is sitting, lab coat splayed on the ground. His head rolls to the side. Blue light from the computer screen flashes from his glasses.


His breathing is shallow. His words are faint. "We're more than animals."


The professor's chest heaves. His skin is swollen. Bubbles have collected around his mouth and eyes. He gasps for a final lungful of air. In a last wheezing sigh, he says: "You must fear us."[/spoiler]


It does not get any better.


Avoid. Or read, if you want to read something which is almost so bad that it is good.


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