Review: How To Survive A Robot Uprising by Daniel H. Wilson

Title: How To Survive A Robot Uprising: Tips On Defending Yourself Against The Coming Rebellion

Author: Daniel H. Wilson

Series: N/A

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Genre: Humour/Help Guide

Summary (from Goodreads)

An inspired and hilarious look at how humans can defeat the inevitable robot rebellion—as revealed by a robotics expert.

How do you spot a robot mimicking a human? How do you recognize and then deactivate a rebel servant robot? How do you escape a murderous “smart” house, or evade a swarm of marauding robotic flies? In this dryly hilarious survival guide, roboticist Daniel H. Wilson teaches worried humans the keys to quashing a robot mutiny.

From treating laser wounds to fooling face and speech recognition, besting robot logic to engaging in hand-to-pincer combat, How to Survive a Robot Uprising covers every possible doomsday scenario facing the newest endangered species: humans. And with its thorough overview of current robot prototypes—including giant walkers, insect, gecko, and snake robots—How to Survive a Robot Uprising is also a witty yet legitimate introduction to contemporary robotics. Full of cool illustrations, and referencing some of the most famous robots in pop-culture, How to Survive a Robot Uprising is a one-of-a-kind book that is sure to be a hit with all ages.

What’s Good About It

The illustrations. No, seriously. Get yourself a copy just to flick through the illustrations – they are hilarious.

But in terms of the actual writing, that was pretty funny too – there are a lot of pop culture references, and some completely random statements that illicit a snort of laughter. The advice seems pretty sound too – Wilson clearly knows his robots (as he should do with a Ph.D in them) and the descriptions of current prototype robots are fascinating – great research for any budding science fiction writer.

The ‘How to Survive the Uprising’ section was the best bit – there were some really funny ‘what to do only in a last ditch attempt’ sections based on popular films, which made me laugh. And you could really imagine some hardened survivalist actually doing some of the things suggested.

What’s Not So Good

A pedantic point, perhaps, but I didn’t like the size of the book. It’s supposed to be a pocket guide sort of deal, but the pages were quite stiff and difficult to read.

It was also a bit repetitive at times. As someone who has studied presentation of informative writing numerous times, I felt I could have given Wilson some tips on how to present his information. The old ‘Subheading-Information’ routine got a bit dry by the end. I wanted diagrams and tables and charts etc. But perhaps that’s me being a total nerd.

Rating: 3/5

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