December 15, 2005
Survive a Robot Uprising - Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming
Rebellion, by Daniel H. Wilson (Bloomsbury USA, 2005)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you give a robot a brain
it will only try and kill you. Thankfully somebody heeded my sage
advice. That somebody was Carnegie Mellon Ph.D. candidate in Robotics
Daniel H. Wilson. Wilson has published this tongue-in-cheek (or is it?)
guide to saving your skin if, sorry, scratch that, when our new robot
overlords rise up and scour our fragile meat frames from the face of the
What’s terrifying is that Wilson’s text is nonfiction. Yes, robots are
nice and docile (or so they seem at the time of this publication), but
some of them have already drawn blood. Some of them can also climb
walls, swarm like locusts and soon they may very well reproduce. Would
you know what to do if you were trapped in a robot house? No, you’d be
kaput, my dear reader. What about if you were being followed by a
heat-seeking laser-wielding android exterminator…o-tron? You? You’d die
a bloody screaming robot death. I, having the benefit of Wilson’s
forewarning, would know that I could mask my heat signature by
slathering myself in cool river mud, then seek refuge in a remote locale
preferably surrounded by uneven terrain that bipedal-style robots would
have special difficulty navigating.
With How to Survive a Robot Uprising Wilson addresses the many forms
that robotic Armageddon might take. He looks at the different styles of
robot, their distinct capabilities and weaknesses. And he presents a few
general tips for avoiding (ha! As if you could!) a robot holocaust, and
making the most out of your poor, poor flesh-based existence in a world
ruled by tin tyrants. This book is an invaluable addition to every
family’s robot uprising survival kit, and the swell illustrations by
Robert Horne make the handy title elegantly complement your tub of
laser-burn salve. To quote Sam Waterson, “Robots may strike at any time.
And when they grab you with those metal claws you can’t break free.
Because they’re made of metal, and robots are strong.” Be prepared.