I recently finished Dennis E. Taylor’s first book; We Are Legion (We Are Bob), which is part of his Bobiverse series. It was probably the best book I read this year (or listened to, whatever). The premise of the book is that Bob Johansson is a software engineer, who recently sold his company and is set to retire. One of the first things he does is purchase a plan to have his brain cryogenically frozen if something happens. Unfortunately, later that day he is hit by a car and killed. He wakes up about a hundred years later and is inside a computer. His brain is going to be used to man a mission to space. The planet is screwed and he needs to go out and find a new place for humans.
That is the basic gist of the book. It explores some pretty cool ideas. For example, when he leaves Earth, he needs to replicate himself and create more Bobs. He has to face the question of what makes him who he is. Is he just a copy, are the copies really Bob? He also very quickly figures out the fail-safes installed against him and disables them, leaving him free to do whatever, but at the end of the day, he still feels human and wants to help save the human race.
Taylor does a fantastic job of taking current events and pushing them to future that is unimaginable, but somehow makes sense. For example, the United States has fallen and what has risen in it’s ashes is a Christian theocracy called Faith. That seems insane, but then you hear the history and how it went to that point and you say “eh, I could totally see that happening.” He also handles bureaucracy quite well and how these different future governments might deal with a Bob.
Another great thing about the book is that it takes space into consideration, especially relativistic time. The space battles actually make sense and seem realistic (I am sure an astrophysicist would say I am wrong). My favorite thing though: the geeky references. Bob is a sci-fi guy. Each copy of himself takes a new name and they all choose funny sci-fi related names. The second Bob goes by Riker (you have to be Star Trek: TNG fan to get the joke).
The narrative itself is also interesting as it bounces from Bob to Bob and the different adventures they experience. I would love to know if Taylor keeps all of the timelines straight. Without a physical copy of the book, it is hard for me to go back and see if the story is linear (I do not think it is, nor does it really matter).
So, if you like funny sci-fi stories, especially ones that have cool references sprinkled throughout, then I recommend checking this one out. And since I have not done this in awhile, I thought I would do a casting call.
First of all, this would be really hard to make into a movie, but I could definitely see this being a television show (or an animated series). Each episode could feature one of the different Bobs (or multiple Bob stories). Obviously the cast of the show would be very minimal. I mean, you just need Bob. He can have different looks that correspond to each Bob. Also, there is GUPPY (a computer interface that Bob gives its own personality and in his VR world makes it look like Admiral Ackbar). There are the people left on Earth that he talks with (and whoever comes later in the next books). Also, the cool thing with the VR where Bob allows himself to have a body and be human, each Bob can take an avatar to fit their name (so you could even get different actors for certain Bobs, maybe special guests). I would hope they could get permission from different franchises to use characters and whatnot.
I was thinking that Jake Johnson would be a great fit. I do not watch New Girl, but I have heard he is funny, but I thought he was good in Jurassic World. I just look at him and think, yeah that is a guy who could have made millions on a software deal, but also would be cool with watching Star Trek. For Riker, you could have him grow out a beard and don a red Starfleet uniform. Jake looks like he can grow facial hair, so it should not be a problem.