Amped: Daniel Wilson's followup to Robopocalypse is a wild ride through the Singularity's civil war


29 Responses to “Amped: Daniel Wilson's followup to Robopocalypse is a wild ride through the Singularity's civil war”

  1. Here’s hoping Wilson learned how to not write crap after the awfulness of Robopocalypse. Somehow, I doubt it.

    • Talia says:

       I quite enjoyed ‘Robopocalypse.’ But there’s always ‘Twilight’ and the latest Dean Koonz book, if those are more your cup of tea.

      • cfuse says:

        I enjoyed Robopocalypse too, but it wasn’t well written – the whole thing felt like the first draft of an excellent book crying out for a tidy up.

      • L says:

         Cute, but Koontz is actually a good writer trapped in a bad idea person’s body. Meyer, well…that’s just a low blow.

  2. Jim Saul says:

    Sounds extremely interesting. 

    It’s amazing to read people arguing that intelligence enhancement is impossible, now that we’ve lived in that world for years. Though there’s more than a century’s rich history of fiction struggling with issues of transhumanism, there’s plenty more room for it now that we’re in the curl of that wave.

  3. CoryR says:

    I don’t get it – if the elites want bionics, why don’t they just get them? 

    • edgore says:

      Yeah – I can’t think of a single elite that would not get upgraded if the technology existed (note, religious fundamentalists are not elites)

    • allium says:

       They don’t want hoi polloi to have them, because without that distinction how would they know they were elite?

      • howaboutthisdangit says:

        Exactly.  You’ll have medical augmentation, which will be outrageously expensive, as are all things medical, and then you’ll have the really good, top-of-the-line augmentation which will be priced only for the inbred super-elite.

        • Jim Saul says:

          Remember, though, how that works in this country. It’s not enough to have more. To really feel confident that you’ve made it to the inner circle, you need to make sure everyone else has less.

          • Thomas Shaddack says:

            Which will work until the first hackerspace or a garage lab comes up with a DIY way.

  4. SedanChair says:

    Look at us. Amps. We’re morons smarter than Lucifer. Cripples stronger than gravity. A bunch of broke-ass motherfuckers stinking rich with potential. This is our army. Our people. Strong and hurt. We’re the wounded supermen of tomorrow, Gray. It’s time you got yourself healed. New world ain’t gonna build itself. And the old world don’t want to go without a fight.

    From your lips to Denis Leary in Demolition Man‘s ears.

  5. Smoobly Renfrew says:

    I just want a t-shirt with the book-cover graphic. Same colors, too. Who prints the Boing Boing shirts?

  6. Powell says:

    Seems to me the elites would be the ones benefiting the most from future bio-medical enhancements. That stuff costs money, they would not waste it on the poor. I think he has it backwards.

    • novium says:

      I don’t know, people can be funny. The weirdest things can be turned into status symbols under the right circumstances. And many people might be a little hesitant to chop off limbs or remove eyes to replace them even with super-powered prosthetics.

      Besides, I don’t think that’s really the point. I can’t tell for sure without reading the book, but from the description above, I see it as more being an exploration of the ugly mental gymnastics of privilege that mostly go unseen, but that get nasty fast when challenged… that happens frequently in the real world, but it still stays relatively invisible. By going the speculative fiction route, you can take it to the extremes and make it obvious.

      • edgore says:

        “The weirdest things can be turned into status symbols under the right circumstances.” 

        There is that – look at “high-status” cellphones…they are all pretty much 2002 technology.

    • ldobe says:

       Personally, I think that as sensory augmentation/addition and strength enhancement prostheses become practically available (read works >=66% of the time) it will become a basic requirement for special forces and other military positions.

      Wanna become an army ranger?  Then you are required to forfeit your biological eyes and get IR to UV spectrum implants, and a piece of brain software that makes you comply with orders.

  7. signsofrain says:

    I just started reading it (little aside: It’s great to see a book review on Boing Boing for a book that’s actually out) and so far it’s good. Wrenching right off the bat. I had to stop reading it because the behaviour of anti-amp people was so disgusting and disturbing. Almost a shame this wasn’t released a month later. Now I’m gonna end up finishing it way before my beach vacation, and it seems like a perfect beach read.

  8. Andrew Singleton says:

    Which side am I on?

    As someone who has difficulty functioning without outside aid in modern society? 

    Amp me.

  9. Erik Creed says:

    Read the article, not the book.  I know I may sound too much pop commercial, but, since I saw the first Transformers movie, I wanted a prequel, on how a world with self-aware machines would end acting as humans, and I had a similar idea like the “Amps”, specially computers connected to human brain.  With disabled or injured people connected to cyborg implants, & cyborg computers, and , eventually migrating from extensiosn to human body to full, independent, self-aware machines.

  10. Chris Roberts says:

    Read the book yesterday.  It was a lot like how people are describing robopocalypse (a book I have not read).  It seemed like a great idea for a book crying out for a bit better execution.  I also agree with one review I read that the main character is basically a marty stu self insert.  The love story aspect also didn’t work very well.  The plot was pretty interesting though, and the combat scenes were very gripping.

    • Chris Roberts says:

      Also, should add that this book is basically a super-hero novel, and really doesn’t address any off the sorts of transhumanist issues that are begging to be addressed on this subject matter.

      • Jake Casella says:

         Yep, read it today…very poorly written, and a pretty dumb handling of a potentially interesting topic.  Shallow characterization, little explanation, the technology might as well have been magic or comic-book superpowers.

  11. Jake Casella says:

     For implanted-tech fun, I’d suggest…anything cyberpunk; Gibson’s stuff 3 decades ago is more inventive than this.  For tech-as-social-division exploration, tons to pick from; Nancy Kress’s “Beggars in Spain” springs to mind.  As does most of Cory’s work.

    • garyg2 says:

      “Beggars in Spain” was the first thing I thought of when I read the synopsis.

      That and the plot of the first x-men movie…

      But I’ll read it now just to be fair.

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