END OF AN EPIC

The first book in this series started with Robert Johanson, a young software engineer, who had just sold his software company, and retiring to a life of leisure. Unfortunately he gets trampled by a car and wakes up a century later to find that US has gone all Christian and declared that cryogenically preserved corpsicles have no rights. He is turned into a sentient computer, put into a space ship and ordered to save humanity from a war. He replicates himself and hilarity ensues.

Bob is a geek, and a Star Trek MONTHfan. His second copy immediately calls himself Riker, after the number two from The Next Generation. What more, like the original Riker, this Bob has no sense of humour. His third clone Bill is a mad scientist. His fourth clone names himself Homer, from the Simpsons, and keeps screaming ‘Duh!’ And in the middle of all this, Bob battles the Brazilian probe, another sentient computer like him.

The second book was a bit of a letdown. It wasn’t as humorous as the first one and nor as action packed. The Bobs in this book have replicated themselves into the hundreds and were losing touch with humanity. When they weren’t grieving over losing their human friends who they had started calling Ephemerals, they were getting their behinds pummeled by a marauding alien species that they called ‘The Others’.

This book is a return to form for Dennis E. Taylor. The ‘Others’ are on the move, and not only humanity but all the species in the known space are in danger from being wiped out of existence. The Bobs have transitioned from being introvert humans to being god-like beings who call themselves ‘Homo Sidereans’, Latin for ‘of the stars’. With that, around 500 Bobs take a decision that they are not human slaves and begin to shirk responsibilities and take more emphatic actions.

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