AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Daniel H. Wilson

Tell us about your latest novel, Amped, and your forthcoming book, Robogenesis.

My latest novel focuses on the concept of human augmentation, and what that might mean for humankind. After civil rights are stripped away from people who are augmented (or “amped”), a civil war threatens to erupt in America. One man, blessed (or cursed?) with an extraordinary augmentation might be the key to saving our nation from itself.

And the sequel to the bestselling Robopocalypse, called Robogenesis (see what I did there?) is coming out in June of 2014. In the aftermath of a devastating technological singularity, survivors must navigate a new world populated by warring machines that have god-like intellects. Told from multiple perspectives, Robogenesis follows a grievously wounded soldier, a prosthetically-enhanced teenaged girl, and a shell-shocked veteran as they each find their place in a new civilization where the lines between machine and man are blurred.

Since you’re a roboticist by training, why don’t you tell us something interesting (and science fiction-y?) about robots that we might not already know.  

The basic flight dynamics of a micro-air vehicle require it to beat its wings at roughly the same frequency as a housefly—meaning that a human being can’t tell the difference between the two by sound alone.

Speaking of robots, I heard you’re co-editing an awesome anthology called Robot Uprisings with this amazing editor guy who is also totally totally handsome. Want to tell us a bit about that?  

Robot Uprisings is an anthology of short stories that explores the inevitable robot attack from every conceivable angle. I’m excited about my co-editor (a modest fellow named John Joseph Adams) and all of our contributors, but in particular I was honored to include the only short story ever written by Dr. John McCarthy—the late father of artificial intelligence.

What are you working on now?

I’m sitting in a coffee shop doing final edits on Robogenesis. It’s my last chance to add more ass-kicking!

Would you ever consider using Kickstarter to fund a robot army?

In my book How to Build a Robot Army I recommend maintaining the utmost secrecy around the development of any robot army. The fewer people who can forsee your wrath, the better it will be unleashed. However, a modern mad scientist takes funding wherever she can find it. Kickstart it. Thank your followers. Spare only the backers who have pledged enough to earn the right to live.