I first encountered Daniel H. Wilson years ago at a small bookstore in Mountain View, CA. At that time I had no idea who he was, but a friend had asked me to go to his book signing of “Where’s My Jetpack?” and get a signed book. I remember being amused by this young, geeky robotics PhD student turned writer. But that was the last I thought about him. Until I saw the book Robopocalypse while I was surfing through Amazon’s “Best Books of the Month” and decided it pick it up. I have to admit, when I first read the back cover I thought, “oh, this will be entertaining but probably a pretty standard ‘Oh no! The Robots are taking over the world what will we do!’ ” kind of book. Which in a lot of ways it is. But the book takes a very common premise and makes it something incredibly interesting.
Mr. Wilson traces several different people as they try to deal with robot uprising. By painting “history” in these vignettes, it gives you a better sense of the scope of destruction and the war happening between man and robot. Some of his scenes between robots and man were so realistic, that for awhile I would gingerly step into elevators, afraid that they were out to kill me, even though I knew that the thought was ridiculous, at least for now. He also throws in a few twists at the end that I was completely not expecting which definitely led to a better and more fulfilling finish (no spoilers, promise).
I hope to hear more from Mr. Wilson, although he might be busy the next few months / years working with Steven Spielberg to turn his book into a movie. And I think it’ll be an amazing movie – I can’t wait to see it come out. It’ll take a bit of careful treading to make sure the movie reflects the best parts of the book.