This is the second of the Bobiverse space opera trilogy. I missed the first book, and had a bit of catching up to do in this volume, because they are not true stand alones; each builds quite a bit on what went before.
The basic idea is this:
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. The world is in a state of apocalypse with a kabillion population, and humanity quickly on its way to total annihilation. 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.
Original Bob clones himself, and eventually there are a whole bunch of Bobs piloting space ships which are locating and terreforming and populating habitable planets with the humans brought from Earth. Each Bob clone names himself, and the story arc bops back and forth between what each Bob is doing in his particular area of the universe.
There are First Contacts with some alien species, some baddie aliens, and lots of fun references to Star Trek. There are also a lot of holes in the plot, many of which concern the virtual realities each Bob builds in which to appear, since each is really only a computer program. More holes as to the exact science of getting from one remote section of the universe to another, but really, it is such a fun read.
Heads up, ladies. This is a guy’s book. There are only two female characters – one a human doctor that one of the Bob clones falls in love with, and the other is the female mate of an humanoid species on one of their discovered planets. It’s a man’s world, written by a man, for men. For nerdy, Star Trekkie men. Boys club. No girls admitted.
Fun premise, pretty interesting, actually. Not sure if I will bother with the third book in the trilogy.