July 18, 2011

Behind the Robopocalypse

What did you say?

Some nice press for Robopocalypse came in today.


First off, the Canadian Globe and Mail has a piece on "The art of making scary robots." They've got a solid interview with some of the background pieces that went into Robo in order to make it as frightening as possible. 


Meanwhile, Chris Barton at the LA Times has a (slightly snarky) review of Robopocalypse. He calls me the "heir-apparent" to Michael Crichton, which is nice. But he also says other sci-fi authors must be stabbing voodoo dolls of me with needles, which is not as nice to think about. 
“A fast-paced and decidedly cinematic novel with chills mixed in with the thrills. Wilson's war includes darkly comic touches, such as the fastidious robots compulsively clearing away the human remains after every attack, and a murderous elevator communicating with its familiar "ding" as it cheerily lures elderly retirees to their deaths. These details add a richly haunting atmosphere to the robots' tactics. Robopocalypse is a crisply efficient and intermittently chilling summer read”
I have to mention, 1) the robots clear away human remains because the machines are built to operate on flat surfaces; they keep the streets clean so they can move, not because it's somehow funny; and 2) the elevator "ding" is kind of funny, but mostly that detail is because I find that inserting ordinary moments into horrific situations increases the terror because the familiar suddenly becomes grotesque. :)


And finally, I did an in-depth recorded interview with bloggingheads TV that has aired. It goes into why I think self-driving cars are inevitable, what it feels like to sell something to Mr. Spielberg, and why Asimov's three laws don't have anything to do with robotics!