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We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

Bobiverse, Book 1
Written by: Dennis E. Taylor
Narrated by: Ray Porter
Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,237 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

There's a reason We Are Legion, We Are Bob was named Audible's Best Sci-Fi Book of 2016. Unique, hilarious, and utterly addictive, Dennis E. Taylor's debut novel kicked off an Audible-wide obsession among sci-fi diehards and new listeners alike.

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street.

Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high: no less than the first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he'll be switched off, and they'll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty.

The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. Or so he thinks. Because the universe is full of nasties, and trespassers make them mad – very mad.

Listener-favorite narrator Ray Porter (14, The Fold) brings the many Bobs into being in all their glory, delivering a performance that listeners have described as "outstanding," "nuanced" and a "dizzying tour de force."

©2016 Dennis E. Taylor (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Eli
  • 2018-01-11

Didn't think I'd like it, but I loved it

The Narrator does a fantastic job. I Loved it more as the story went on.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Amazing in audio!

Superb performance gives life to each Bob. Engaging story, great if you like sci-fi! Just nerdy enough without getting on your nerves and same for the science-cy bits. It is my first audio book and I honestly did not think I would like it so much.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Highly Entertaining

This is a great book about a future dystopian Earth with lots of references to 80's sci fi TV series. I'm really looking forward the the next one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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great narrator

the narrator is excellent and there are a great deal of philosophical questions about consciousness and such that are brought up by the story. very well-crafted book.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Incredible storytelling

This novel was well written, descriptive and fascinating. A look into a scarily plausible future where artificial intelligence in a post-apocalyptic Earth leads one man on a quest to save the human race. It’s rife with intrigue, action, geeky science fiction references, humor, and it filled me with both hope and fear. I can’t wait to read the next two!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great book.

Great book, and it had some good laughs. "the bobiverse" my family and I listened to this book on a road trip and I quote "do we have to stop dad? I want to listen to the book more"

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Best voice acting I'd ever heard

This voice actor is simply superb. I would listen to other audiobooks, no matter the subject, as long as they were voiced by this guy.

The story itself is fairly interesting and pretty unique. It was a bit hard to follow the constantly changing narrators, and it does end rather abruptly - clearly a bait to continue reading the series. But other than that, an enjoyable and somewhat educational "read". I will have to check out the next book in the series for sure.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Instantly Hooked!

Within minutes I knew I was going to love this book! Dennis E. Taylor came up with a brilliant and realistic concept for a Sci-fi story line and his fun and surprising little sci-fi pop culture references made my eyes light up with surprise and a little chuckle whenever they popped up. I felt completely connected to the main character (Bob) as I travelled on his journey with him. I was hooked on this book almost immediately and enjoyed it so much I bought the entire series which I also highly recommend! Ray Porter did an incredible job of narrating and brought each character to life with their own accent and voice...he even makes a female character sound real. Dennis E. Taylor is definitely one of my new favourite sci-fi authors - can't wait to read some of his other books. This is definitely one of my favourite sci-fi audible book series and I highly recommend to all!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic Series

What a great fantastic series! More books in this series please! I'd love to see these as movies as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ned
  • 2019-05-04

Fascinating story and fantastic narration

I wasn't sure what to expect from this, the title caught my eye and I went out on a limb. Very glad I did, I'm currently half way through book 2 and have book 3 ready to rock. A different twist on space , time and ideology and the existentialism of being. Narrated extremely well too, nothing about this product is remotely negative, if you like space and time stories, this one cannot be missed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • PW
  • 2017-04-12

Ignore the Publisher's Summary! This is Amazing!

While I enjoy science fiction, I'm not a die-hard reader of it. I kept seeing this book pop up in my recommendations, and I kept ignoring it each time I read the publisher's summary. It seemed like a generic plot and nothing notable. I suspect the author of the publisher's summary only read the first few chapters, as they didn't really seem to know what the book was about.

The story is interesting and fast-paced. In addition, Ray Porter is extremely talented and did an incredible job of delivering the story, as well as all the emotion and humor that went with it. I think this is one of his best performances.

I don't write reviews for books, but this one was good enough that I wanted to take the opportunity to potentially nudge someone else that might be on the fence about it.

648 of 681 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 2017-08-04

Beguiling

I have been attempting to expand on the science fiction authors I read. I discovered this debut novel by Dennis E. Taylor and decided to try it. I try to read debut novels to support new authors. The idea of the story I found intriguing. A brilliant software engineer was hit by a car and died unexpectedly. He had requested his brain be frozen at his death. When he is revived a hundred years later, he discovers that his mind has been co-opted by a group of religious fanatics called FAITH. Bob’s mind is now the computer AI of a space probe sent out to explore the galaxy for a new planet to inhabit. Bob then creates more of himself to spread out around the universe looking for an inhabitable planet. It turns out two other groups are hunting for an inhabitable planet also and will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal.

The book is well written. I found the idea of the human mind in the role of a controlling AI fascinating. The characters are interesting; the plot well developed. There is humor, good dialog and the story is highly entertaining.

The book is nine and half hours long. Ray Porter does an excellent job narrating the book. This is an example of how a great narrator makes the story better. Porter is an actor and award-winning audiobook narrator.

205 of 220 people found this review helpful

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  • Burns with God’s Light
  • Philadelphia, PA United States
  • 2017-09-15

If you're on the fence about whether to read this, get off and read it!

So, I've been seeing this book around for a long time. And for just as long I thought the title seemed stupid, and so I avoided looking at it. Even after I read the description, I thought it sounded derivative and uninteresting, so I still avoided reading it. And then for no apparent reason, Nathan Lowell recommended it. Now, if you have any sense, when the reigning master of must-read, different-than-anything-else Science Fiction tells you to read something, you sit up and pay attention.
As a happy coincidence, audible had it on sale for under $5 this week, although at this point I probably would have dropped a credit on it even if they hadn't.

This book was nothing like I expected. You really get to know the different variations of Bob, what their personalities are, how they relate to the others, etc. The technology is interesting, the story is interesting, and the whole book is a great deal of fun. I was really sorry when it was over. Rarely have my expectations been so overturned by a book. I will definitely read others in the series if they appear.

56 of 62 people found this review helpful

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  • bluestategirl
  • Vermont
  • 2016-12-29

Dizzying Tour de Force Performance of Great Book!


So many Bobs, so little time --

If you love sci fi, you already know about this awesome book. It's a pretty original concept -- governments clone human-personality-infused-AIs and send them into space as self-replicating probes to find new planets for humans to inhabit. Some of the probes go insane, some turn into weapons of mass destruction, and some . . .

. . . well, Bob is different. A bit of an independent loaner with no political axe to grind, Bob sets about creating a 'world' HE can live in first! Still, the prime directive is all about replicating, so bring on the Bobs!

Ray Porter does an amazing job voicing the various Bobs -- and all the other characters in this book -- while the pop culture sci fi references provide opportunities for a few homages to beloved characters. The book would not have been as fun to listen to without him!

I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. FOR. BOOK TWO!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


ALSO, ahem. Sorry. Also, here's a shout out to Jim the Impatient for the recommendation! Thanks big guy!

150 of 169 people found this review helpful

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  • Rory
  • Calgary, AB, Canada
  • 2016-11-08

Only an Hour into the Book !!

I know there are a ton of people who have listened to this book already and have provided excellent reviews ... hell, that's why I bought the book.

I'm only an hour into this book, but it's already done something that no other audiobook that I've bought has done before. I was taking the train into work when I laughed out loud with a thunderous "HA!". I think I knew that I did it, but after glancing around the train car, virtually everyone was smiling at me.

Dennis Taylor can write ... and Ray Porter is giving me a great performance.

Thank you to everyone's review I read that convinced me I had to listen to this book.

And for everyone reading this ... buy it. You won't regret it.

175 of 202 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2016-09-29

THE UNIVERSE AS MY PLAYGROUND

I'M GLAD TO SEE A BOB FACTORY IN OPERATION
This is what Science Fiction is meant to be. The fans for this book will be Legion. This is full of lots of space travel, exploring of planets, terraforming, discovery of aliens, science talk, colonization, and of course THE BOBS AND THE BOBIAN FEDERATION. I was reminded of THE MARTIAN, although not as funny, Frederik Pohl and James P. Hogan. There are some space fights, but those who love space and all the possibilities, will enjoy this most.

SO THIS IS LIKE ANDROMEDA STRAIN?
As usual, Ray Porter makes this even better.

ALL HAIL BOB!

255 of 298 people found this review helpful

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  • Alison in CA
  • Santa Clara, CA
  • 2016-12-27

Excellent plot-loved the story line details

This is a great story for the typical sci-fi story lover; especially someone who is familiar with 80's and 90's sci-fi TV references. The narrator does a great job playing multiple characters, using several different voices-the one from the Star Wars Admiral is awesome. I listened to this book and then went and saw Rogue One the same night and chuckled because the narrator could have been the actor on the screen. (if you listen to the book you'll now what I mean.) If you like books like Player One, Monster Hunters, Ancillary Justice, anything by John Scalzi, and TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Dark Matter and The Expanse then I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy this book. And if you don't, Audible has that great return policy. I look forward to listening to the next book in the series!

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2017-09-13

Lives up to the reviews, a great story

I had been skeptical whenever I saw this book recommended for me, as my general preference has been non-fiction. However, it was time for a change, and as reluctant as I was, the overwhelmingly glowing reviews here won me over. The plot itself is very attractive to me, being/controlling Von Neumann probes and all of the exploration and wonder that would come with that mission. The author has done an excellent job of keeping things interesting, realistic, and covering his bases in terms of the actual science involved and other issues that many would not think of initially. I never had a "this wouldn't happen in real life" moment, and I am a fairly skeptical person. Ray Porter does an excellent job bringing life and personality to the various characters, including having to do multiple versions/personalities of Bob.

As far as the main plot goes, it is outstanding. If your version of heaven is living forever, being able to duplicate yourself, and playing real time strategy games all day for high stakes in between diving into Wikipedia and Youtube for education and edification, I think this story will appeal to you. I was never bored, and plan to purchase the next 2 books. This was an outstanding purchase and one I would recommend to other Sci-Fi fans and Audible customers.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Phil Keeling
  • Savannah, GA United States
  • 2018-05-02

Dull, dull, dull.

Imagine you die, and then find your mind centuries later trapped inside a sentient robot with the task of saving all of humanity on your shoulders.

Pretty heavy stuff, right? Well, not according to We Are Legion (We Are Bob).

Like a teenager who sort of wants to learn the guitar, Legion begins with some big ideas, but sort of fizzles out when it seems to realize how much work actually goes into it. The idea of “is sentient life really life?”, it turns out, is more than just learning the basic chords to Wonderwall.

When these ideas are addressed (do I violate the prime directive? Am I a real person? Oh my god everyone I’ve ever known and loved is dead!), Bob gets over it with very little struggle or conflict. Everything seems to work out just fine, from beginning to end. Instead of introspection and existential questions, we’re treated to pop culture references.

But the biggest sin We Are Legion commits is that it is mind numbingly dull. This book is a perfect example of why writers are asked to “show, not tell”.

Bob creates replicas of himself, and is surprised to find that, while they share many aspects of himself, they tend to have their own personalities and quirks. Cool idea! Will one of them become megalomaniacal and evil? Will they argue for hours on end on how to handle a situation?

Nope. They’re just quirky. One of them takes after Homer Simpson, you guys!

Bob tells us everything, and shows almost nothing. We have tons of information explained to us, so there aren’t really any surprises: no drama, no conflict that isn’t overcome in no time flat. What few antagonists we have are incredibly two dimensional, and you really don’t feel any fear that they’ll somehow defeat Bob or spoil his plans. When characters are lost, it’s a footnote, and you rarely know them well enough to care, anyhow.

It’s a real shame. The ideas put forward in this book could have been fascinating and unique, but instead we get the sci-fI equivalent of easy listening. No drama: no fear. Just the same safe note played over and over again.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • D. Berzack
  • 2017-01-13

A literary bag of Doritos

This is an irreverent comedy adventure takes, akin to "Ready Player One" and "Magic 2.0", and if you enjoyed those then you'll probably love this. It's also been compared to "The Martian", which is entirely wrong. In terms of sophistication and internal consistency, "The Martian" is a fine wine, and this is grape soda. Either can really hit the spot, but you should know what you're in for.

The initial set-up is novel and intriguing, but after establishing the core idea, the story meanders and offers more fan service (celebrating geekdom and pop culture references) than provocative food for thought.
It's suitable for young adult readers or sci-fi enthusiasts wanting some amusing filler between heavier reads, but don't expect anything too substantial or timeless.

58 of 71 people found this review helpful