We Are Legion (We Are Bob): Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it’s a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street.
Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high: no less than the first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he’ll be switched off, and they’ll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty.
The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. Or so he thinks. Because the universe is full of nasties, and trespassers make them mad – very mad. – Goodreads
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) Review
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) is a book that’s hard to describe. Bob is an interesting character in that he seems like a nobody. I don’t mean that in a bad way. He’s just ‘that guy’. Yes, he got rich by selling off his software company, but he doesn’t even really have time to enjoy it before crap starts. He’s a snarky atheist nerd whom you probably wouldn’t look twice at on the street. But he’s a good guy. Amusing in that way that makes you regret overlooking him initially. I hesitated on getting this book for a while. The synopsis didn’t really catch my attention, and the cover was your basic science fiction one. Really, the only reason I got it was because Ray Porter narrated it.
The tone of We Are Legion (We Are Bob) is overall light, but this is not necessarily a light book. The author uses Bob’s predicament to examine ever-green topics in the world of science fiction. What defines life? Is Bob still ‘human’? What might life look like if we did indeed find it somewhere? What might the habitable planets out there be like? Why can’t we all just flippin’ get along?? And how is this cloning thing going to work out? Can you really clone everything that makes a person a person? Bob’s point of view is a unique one, and watching him puzzle his way through many of these questions is truly fascinating. I don’t think the synopsis does it justice, at all. I mean, in the vaguest of terms, that’s what the book is about, yes. But…not really.
If you are religiously inclined, you need to stay away from We Are Legion (We Are Bob). While it’s not as full of derision as some other books I’ve read Lately, it’s not religion-friendly at all. Fun will be poked at beliefs. I thought it was absolutely hilarious, of course, even as I shuddered because it seemed disturbingly realistic. Religion has been the cause of way too much fighting throughout the ages, and some of the politics are a believable extrapolation of what might happen if religion gained a foothold in the United States government. With the current state of politics in America, it’s enough to make you want to duck and cover.
I debated over this but eventually decided that We Are Legion (We Are Bob) qualifies as a hard science fiction book. From frame rates to the velocities of ship busters, it’s all thought out and included. It’s not even close to being on the info-dump / wall-of-impenetrable-text level, though, so no worries if you’re the type of reader that’s a bit intimidated by that thing. The only reason I even debated over it is because the science is worked so well into the fiction that it never really seemed to be something that I consciously recognized. It was all just a good part of the story.
Overall, We Are Legion (We Are Bob) is a great read made even better by the fantastic narration I’ve come to expect from Ray Porter. If you can get the book in this form, I highly recommend you do so. I’m definitely eagerly awaiting the release of the next book from Dennis E. Taylor.