We Are Legion, We Are Bob was a pleasant little romp. I’ve been on a bit of a sci-fi kick lately, so a good buddy recommended this (previously unheard of) novel to me that is, apparently, the first of a trilogy. I liked it!
The premise is straightforward: in the near future a nerd/software designer/engineer gets his consciousness converted into an operating system for a Von Neumann probe and sets off to explore space. What follows is an intelligent, fast paced story about Bob and all his many self-made copies as they tackle various logistical, ethical, and scientific problems.
Since this is a spoiler free review, I’ll just say that my only criticism of the book was the lack of a strong antagonist. For the most part, the story follows various versions of Bob geeking out over new planets, trying to save the lingering human race, or shepherding an alien species to peace & prosperity. The action is concise, the chapters are brief, and the different Bobs all have just enough distinction to be separate characters while still plausibly coming from the same source.
Newcomer Dennis Taylor writes Bob with such an excitement and passion that you almost get the sense that he’s living out his own fantasy by having all the Bobs explore the galaxy- which is perfectly fine. While I would classify this as “hard” sci fi, it’s not heavy. This was a fun read that went in a lot of very interesting directions, none of which hit a false note. I particularly enjoyed this book as it was a light-hearted break from the super-heavy Hyperion series, which I’m currently working through. I’ll probably pick the next book in the series, For We Are Many, soon.