Book notes: We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor book summary review and key ideas.

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We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor

Synopsis:

“There’s a reason We Are Legion, We Are Bob was named Audible’s Best Science Fiction Book of 2016: its irresistibly irreverent wit! Bob Johansson has just sold his software company for a small fortune and is looking forward to a life of leisure. The first item on his to-do list: spending his newfound windfall. On an urge to splurge, he signs up to have his head cryogenically preserved in case of death. Then he gets himself killed crossing the street. Waking up 117 years later, Bob discovers his mind has been uploaded into a sentient space probe with the ability to replicate itself. Bob and his clones are on a mission to find new homes for humanity and boldly go where no Bob has gone before.

Dennis E. Taylor’s hilarious novel sets the stage for the magnificent performance of Ray Porter, who revels in the brave new world of corpsicles, artificial intelligence, interstellar space probes, and space colonization in tantalizing detail.” -Audible


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Opening thoughts:

this book was recommended by a fellow book reader Jeremy Silva. I’m excited to listen to this book because the fiction books that I’ve gotten personal recommendations from have been amazing so far. Not sure what this book is about but it sounds interesting based on the synopsis and the reviews.


Key notes:

Chapter 1: Bob version 1.0

  • Bob was a rich guy who started a tech company. He was in Las Vegas for a convention with his staff when he got into an accident that killed him
    • Before that, he signed an agreement to be frozen upon his death until he could be revived with future advancements in technology 

Chapter 2: bob version 2.0

  • He woke up and remembered the last few seconds but was surprised about that. However he felt paralyzed as he couldn’t feel his body
    • He also didn’t experience any physical response from his panic attack, only a mental thought process
  • He woke up 117 years later in a machine-like body by a guy who looked like Sigmund Freud
  • He was considered a copy of his former self, an AI being
  • He was simply a computer program copy of the old Bob, as the original Bob’s brain is not salvageable after the copy process 
  • He and 4 other replicant candidates were in a competition to see who would be the best fit for the current project
    • Statistically, the others would go insane or be relegated to a life of menial tasks
  • The doctors and scientists cannot modify personality but they can regulate the endocrine simulation routines. Therefore they can suppress emotions like panic so that subjects can only feel deeply concerned

Chapter 3: Bob – June 25, 2133

  • He finally saw himself which is basically cameras and a speaker and lens
  • He also noticed that the training facility he was in was completely and firmly sealed
    • He wondered if they were afraid of him and his kind?

Chapter 4: Bob – July 15 2133

  • The doctor explained that they put them on standby because when they are left to their own thoughts, they start to experience time at a much higher subjective rate
    • Replicants in the past I’ve gone crazy because of this
  • He found out that the Internet no longer existed and information was carefully regulated
    • It was also policy that he could not reconnect with any descendants. It was also frustrating that the endocrine control system wouldn’t allow him to grieve for his family

Chapter 5: Bob – July 18, 2133

  • In this time, the government had many different factions of religious groups vying for power
    • The doctor admitted that these groups were low on logic and high on rhetoric

Chapter 6: Bob – July 19, 2133

  • The doctor told him he performed well for two days straight which was unprecedented
  • Bob admitted that he liked the idea of working in solitude and being uninterrupted, just like this scenario in the movie Cast Away

Chapter 7: Bob – July 25 2133

  • The doctor told him about the space race competition with the other consolidated nations

Chapter 8: Bob – August 4 2133

  • Unknown to the researchers, one of his rovers was undetected and he was exploring the facility
  • He found the five glowing boxes that were him in the other candidates
    • He decided to not switch off his competition as he would rather not be that guy in order to save himself 

Chapter 9: Bob – August 6, 2133

  • Bob overheard a conversation with the doctor and another minister
  • He gave them another challenge they needed to navigate in order to continue

Chapter 10: Bob –August 10 2133

  • He contemplated his existence. Was he alive?
    • Since he could worry and doubt and think and was self-aware, he believed he was a conscious being
  • He came to the conclusion that the past Bob that died was a hunk of meat, but everything that made him Bob (a collection of his experiences and thoughts) is alive in him. So therefore he must be Bob
  • In order to speed up progress, the doctor said they would take a chance on him and keep him on 24/7 aside from a half-hour of semi-sleep during backup

Chapter 11: Bob-August 15, 2133

Chapter 12: Bob – August 17 2133

  • During lunch, he managed to survive a missile attack against him and the space station

Chapter 13: Bob – August 17, 2133 on route

  • He was finally able to sort through all of the transmission data and clean it of any kill orders
  • He had many advantages to being an emulation like never getting tired or having physical body constraints, and had God-like focus when solving a problem or doing research
  • He finally switched off the endocrine controls and felt the surge of repressed emotions
    • He was finally able to grieve for the loss of his family and past life
  • There were signs of nuclear explosions on Earth and he found he was now on is own officially

Part Two 

Chapter 14: Bob – August 2144

Chapter 15: Bob – September 2144 epsilon Eridani

  • He managed to survive the attack by the Brazilian ship through his planning and attack strategy

Chapter 16: Bob – September 2144 Epsilon

  • He finally got over his hesitation and decided to start building more bobs

Chapter 17: Bob – July 2145

  • He made 4 clones of himself and found that everyone had different personalities
  • They were all variations of the original Bob

Chapter 18: Bill – September 2145

  • Bill was the one who decided to stay on EE while the others went their separate ways

Chapter 19: Milo – July 2152 – Omicron Squared Eridani

  • Milo discovered 2 planets Vulcan and Romulus supported life and seemed to be the jackpot for a potentially habitable place for humans

Chapter 20: Bill – December 2145

Chapter 21: Riker – January 2157

  • When they got to Earth, they found there was still a military presence that attacked their decoy
  • They also found they were dropping 4 asteroids on China

Chapter 22: Bill-September 2150

Chapter 23: milo – February 2153 – Omicron Squared Iridini

  • After exploring Vulcan and Romulus, Milo decided to not build more Bob’s here and leave to another spot

Chapter 24: Riker – April 2157 – sol

  • Riker and Homer were able to successfully divert the four astroids away from Earth

Chapter 25: bill – September 2151 – EE

  • Bill and Garfield created new technology that allowed for faster communication

Chapter 26: Riker – April 2157 – soul

  • Riker spent a few weeks going over what has happened in the past few decades with the colonel from the USE and found out most of humanity has been wiped out by each other and then by the Brazilian replicants
  • But they are surviving underground. They had hoped one of the probes would send back an inhabitable alternative to Earth

Chapter 27: Bob – April 2165 – DE

  • Bob discovered intelligent life that was tending to fire on this planet that had trees and resembled earth

Chapter 28: Calvin – November 2163 – alpha Centauri

  • Calvin and Goku managed to destroy Brazilian probes being built and chased one away
  • They decided to build more Bobs and attack ships to prepare for retaliation

Chapter 29: Riker – September 2157 – soul

  • Riker and Homer came up with a plan to try and help as many people on Earth as they could while also getting ready to depart Earth

Chapter 30: Bob – April 2165 – DE

  • Bob built more Bobs and also found a more intelligent being he named Archimedes and kept tabs on him

Chapter 31: Riker – January 2158 – Sol

  • The Bobs were scouring the area for more resources while Riker and Arthur were trying with little luck at communicating with surviving groups on Earth

Chapter 32: Bill – October 2158 – EE

  • Bill received the report from Milo about the two habitable planets and forwarded it to Riker on Earth hoping there would be people who needed it

Chapter 33: Riker – March 2158 – Sol

  • After hosting the new United Nations meeting, he started to take personal calls and messages, mainly pleas for their respective groups to get priority assistance

Chapter 34: Homer – 2158 – Sol

Chapter 35: Bob – July 2165 – DE

  • Bob helped out Archimedes to create more weapons and survive the gorilloid attack
  • The village started to make advancements in their defense

Chapter 36: Riker – September 2158 – Sol

  • Among all of the arguing and debates, he managed to broker a potential agreement between the tribe that had the vaults of important information and the USE group

Chapter 37: Bob – August 2165 – DE

  • Bob saved the Deltans from a gorilloid attack
  • The other Bobs decided to leave except for Marvin who agreed to stay for a while

Chapter 38: Riker – November 2158 – Sol

  • The survivors of FAITH and their minister brought a woman named Julia to speak with Riker, who is apparently the three-times great-granddaughter of his sister when he was alive

Chapter 39: Bob – October 2165 – DE

  • Bob decided to use the new understanding of their language to encourage the Deltans to go to their old, flint-rich land

Chapter 40: Linus – April 2165 – EE

  • Linus rescued Henry, the Australian replicant who went insane and built him a VR that was as realistic as possible
  • He then started to question him about the Australian program

Chapter 41: Riker – May 2162 – Sol

  • Riker and Homer built the instantaneous communication device and relayed information back to Bill
  • Bill relayed the information about the twin planets and then he relayed it to the surviving humans

Chapter 42: Bill – APril 2162 – EE

Chapter 43: Riker – September 2164 – Sol

  • Riker and the others tried to come up with plans to save more people but didn’t have any good ideas that wouldn’t set the current plan back
  • They knew they couldn’t save everyone

Chapter 44: Bob – January 2166 – DE

  • Bob convinced Archimedes to talk to his village and persuade them to go back to the old flint villages

Chapter 45: Bill – January 2165 – EE

  • Bart filled Bill in on how Calvin and Goku attacked the Brazilian probe, set up a Bob factory, and then took off

Chapter 46: Milo – August 2165 – 82E

  • He found two potential planets but was caught off guard and destroyed by the Brazilian probe

Chapter 47: Riker – January 2166 – Sol

  • Homer and Riker were trying to solve the food problem when they found that Arthur was blown up and didn’t have a backup

Chapter 48: Bob – May 2166 – DE

  • The Deltans started the migration and soon many other villages joined in

Chapter 49: Riker – May 2166 – soul 

  • Homer came up with the idea of building a space station to grow food for people on Earth
  • He also spoke with the minister in FAITH about the attempted hack and he said it might be Australians in New Zealand
  • Riker also contemplated the proposal of moving them up the queue because they were offering to share their provisions

Chapter 50: Bob-June 20166 – DE

  • Bob helped the Deltans fight off a large gorilloid attack and then help them prepare a long-term strategy with new technology

Chapter 51: Bill-January 2174 – EE

  • Bill received Milo’s last message about viable planets before being destroyed. Bill decided it was time to take care of the Brazilian general

Chapter 52: Riker – January 2168-sol

  • Homer’s project of creating donut-like space stations to grow food was successful in making great progress

Chapter 53: Bob – June 2166 – DE

  • Bob didn’t want the Deltans to become dependent on him and decided he would leave after a generation

Chapter 54: Riker – October 2170 – soul

  • The Bob’s and everyone on earth witnessed the completion of the first two exodus ships to leave earth

Chapter 55: Bob – July 2166 – DE

  • The Deltans reached the destinations and started to set up camp in that ideal area
  • However Bob and Marvin knew that the more they got involved, the more they would be seen as gods

Chapter 56: Bill – March 2167 – EE

  • The two projects Bill is working on was bringing water from ice astroids to Ragnarok and also creating an android body for replicants to live in that felt realistic

Chapter 57: Mario – August 2169 – BH

  • He found evidence of intelligent life on this planet, but they have been wiped out by some other alien being using gamma radiation and then their corpses were harvested and taken away

Chapter 58: Riker – April 2171-soul 

  • Finally the exodus ships took off and left earth

Chapter 59: Bill – May 2172 – EE

  • Bill hosted the first Bobiverse meeting with a handful of the Bob’s were able to connect in to the main VR

Chapter 60: Khan – April 20 185 – 82E

  • Eight Bob’s attacked the Brazilian general and took out three active probes but only one Bob made it out
  • They had to figure out his new cloaking technology and vowed to go back after him

Chapter 61: Howard – September 2188 – O2E

  • The first two colony ships arrived at O2 E and were ready to settle in

Closing thoughts:

I absolutely loved this book! It was so enjoyable and engaging. The storytelling was masterful, the world building was well-thought out, and the narration for the audiobook was top notch.

I’m writing this summary/review in retrospect after completing the other 3 books in the series so I know how it all turns out. But after reading this first one, I was so excited to read the rest of them. Thankfully I wouldn’t be disappointed.


One Takeaway / Putting into practice:

Honestly, I can’t really think of any takeaways. But I do love Bob’s personality. He’s a new species that’s essentially immortal. And yet he still has his humanity and integrity, which is shown by his desire to help the humans survive, but also not to hurt others in order to save himself. This was demonstrated when he had the opportunity to shut down his rival replicant during the training process, but didn’t want to live with being that person.

I guess the takeaway could be:

  • Even with all your advantages, remember to live with integrity, humanity, and compassion

Nutshell:

Bob get’s turned into an immortalized “replicant” and is tasked with helping to save the human race from wiping itself out. This includes finding them a new planet to call home.


Similar books:


Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

4.5/5

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