Books and drone

I’ve just read a book which left me a strange feeling. I have micro drone that I love flying – actually I need to repair it to fly it again but that’s a different problem. Beware that some spoiler might be incoming.

There is a lot oof ppublic feeling against drones, either RC or autonomous. The book I’m talking about, Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez seems to surf on this public feeling. In itself, it’s not so wrong as it’s basically what the SF did for more than 30 years when they were forecasting post-apocalyptical deserts or or nuclear shelters.

What me really dubious about this book is that it lacks a lot of scientific grounds while trying to assert some. In fact, despite being quite knwoledgeable in various technical fields, I kind of like having my books somewhat irrealistic. I got no problem reading about vampires, wizards, spaceships, orcs, wormholes (well, not together or it would be a weerid mix). I have however a problem when a book fundation lies on tehcnological lies proferred as a truth.

Let start tearing down:

  • if you want to write about ants behavior, go read Werber, he’s been writing on the subject for 20+ years (that I remember)
  • if you want a novel with swarming robots, go by the master and read The Prey, by Crichon. It predates that book by 10 years
  • a biologist get kidnapped because her published algorithm is ground-breaking and the code will be used directly in drones. After 10yrs of embedded development, I can count the number of time where a biologist code could cross compile and be useful.
  • The drones use chemical tracers, like ants use pheromone. Because ultra wide band and frequency hoping is so deprecated? At least, the way it’s described (read clumsily), it allows to broadcast easily 4-5 bits of information…

It could have been a great book, it just didn’t work for me.

For those who missed it, seems like Audi is surfing on the anti-drone wave as well:

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