I am reading We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor — and I am LOVING it. It tells the story of Bob Johansson, a modern day computer programmer and advanced-level geek, who is hit by a car and killed during a comic convention. Luckily for Bob, that very day he had signed up with a cryogenics company that preserved his head, in the hope that they would eventually be able to bring his brain back online, preferably inside a new body. Instead, he awakens over a century later inside a computer, in a world gone mad and with the stars his destination.

What makes this book so very fun is Bob himself, our snarky, pop culture-savvy narrator who takes all this weirdness in his stride. A natural introvert, becoming an AI freaks him out hardly at all, and while he is an opinionated and liberal thinker, his impressive instinct for self-preservation allows him to easily adapt to the strange theocratic future in which he awakens. I just like Bob, like him a lot, which makes his tale — admittedly, not an entirely original one — even more enjoyable.

And he takes a side trip to Saturn just because he can. Rarely does science fiction give us an appropriate wonder of space, and I am thoroughly caught up in Bob’s joy here. And now I need to get back to it, so shhh.

Rachel Hyland, Editor-in-Chief

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor
Science Fiction | Worldbuilders Press | 2016

I am reading xkcd: volume 0 by Randall Munroe.

In 2006, Randall Munroe decided that he would embark on a simple, stick-figure comic strip that would combine and present his thoughts on romance, sarcasm, math, and language. I was instantly hooked. When the book collection was announced, I had to have the 100% uptime version, too.

The xkcd illustrations are basic and remind me of physics textbook drawings. The topics are sometimes simple, sometimes complex, and sometimes incomprehensible. The jokes range from the obvious – such as how people become intellectual toddlers around animals – to the esoteric. My particular favorites are the ones commenting on the human condition and those that are poking fun at academia. I don’t pretend to operate on the same level as Munroe does when it comes to computer programming or advanced physics.

The xkcd comics contained in the book are still available online for free. However, I find that there is a safety and convenience in having a paperback book of comics available for such quality moments as reading in the bathtub. This book also functions perfectly regardless of electrical supply or internet access, and is decent protection against kitten attacks. As an offset in your mental balance book: Munroe is donating all profits from the book to a literacy charity. (I should also point out that there are some jokes with sexual situations and/or socially awkward humor.)

Colleen Reed, Contributing Writer

xkcd: volume 0 by Randall Munroe
Comic Strip/Humor | Breadpig | 2010

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