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Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution


Book written by P.w. Singer and August Cole 

Book review by Rick Howard


Bottom Line

I don't recommend this fiction book for the Cybersecurity Canon Hall of Fame, but it is an interesting novel that gets the cybersecurity details right.


** Wasn’t great, had some good pieces.

: Recommended for Tom Clancy and Michael Creighton fans

: Recommended for readers interested in the in-between time of artificial intelligence development today and whenever Skylab wakes up and kills us all.

: Recommended for techies interested to see what might be in our near future.


I totally appreciate what Singer and Cole were trying to do. From the same well that Tom Clancy and Michael Creighton pulled from, Singer and Cole project out 20 years in terms of technology evolution and social change and try to write a story that is compelling enough that the readers don’t feel like they are being lectured to. They succeed in explaining the tech but just miss on the story.


: Artificial Intelligence (AI)

: Almost sentient robots

: Drones (Flying robots)

: Self-driving car  (Robots on wheels)

: AI Cops (Robots with a badge)

: Augmented intelligence (quite interesting)

: quantum encryption: algorithms that detect any attempt to secretly monitor the conversation because it would change the quantum state.

: nanotechnology

: automation and visualization.


The narrator, Mia Barron, was serviceable. She didn’t stand out in any way but she wasn’t bad.


This quote from Goodreads reviewer Ryan sums it up nicely:

"Reads like a power-point review, intended for Marine Corps Captains, that has been fleshed out to book length form.”


And another from Jerry Lenaburg from the New York journal of books.


"The novel reads like an eccentric amalgam of Neuromancer and the Hunger Games, blending a great deal of detail on emerging technologies that is at times downright scary, with a tale of humanity struggling to come to terms with an unknown future."





"Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution,” by P.W. Singer & August Cole, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 26 May 2020.


"Details Matter: "Burn-In" Book Review,” By Wes O’Donnell, In Military.


"Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution,” by Jerry Lenaburg, New York journal of books.


"A Review of Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution,” By Reid Barbier, American University, 10 June 2020.