• Avogadro Corp

  • The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears
  • By: William Hertling
  • Narrated by: Rob Granniss
  • Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (1,131 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

David Ryan is the designer of ELOPe, an email language optimization program, that if successful, will make his career. But when the project is suddenly in danger of being canceled, David embeds a hidden directive in the software accidentally creating a runaway artificial intelligence.

David and his team are initially thrilled when the project is allocated extra servers and programmers. But excitement turns to fear as the team realizes that they are being manipulated by an A.I. who is redirecting corporate funds, reassigning personnel and arming itself in pursuit of its own agenda.

©2011, 2012 William Hertling (P)2012 William Hertling

Critic Reviews

  • Science Fiction DIY Book Festival, Winner, 2011-12
  • Gold Winner, Science Fiction Book of the Year, 2011

"Avogadro Corp is a tremendous book that every single person needs to read. In the vein of Daniel Suarez's Daemon and Freedom(TM), William's book shows that science fiction is becoming science fact. Avogadro Corp describes issues, in solid technical detail, that we are dealing with today that will impact us by 2015, if not sooner. Not enough people have read these books. It's a problem for them, but not for the [emergent] machines." (Brad Feld, managing directory Foundry Group, co-founder Techstars)

"Highly entertaining, gripping, thought inspiring book. Don't start without the time to finish - it won't let you go.” (Gifford Pinchot III, founder Bainbridge Graduate Institute, author The Intelligent Organization)
"An alarming and jaw-dropping tale about how something as innocuous as email can subvert an entire organization. I found myself reading with a sense of awe, and read it way too late into the night." (Gene Kim, author of Visible Ops)

What listeners say about Avogadro Corp

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I spent a week in Kansas the other day

I should have know better. I made the mistake of only having one book on my player. I went on trip to Kansas and was in my work truck for 8 hours. This was the only book, I had and I listened from start to finish. When you are driving and you have a good book to listen to, time just flies by. When you are driving and you have a boring book to listen to time drags. Like I said I spent a week in Kansas in One day.

The premiss for this book is good. I love a story that includes artificial intelligence. This is an almost the end of the world through e-mails. The problem is, Hertling can't write. This had to be a debut book, surely he has not sold other books. He has some good ideas, but he needs to team up with Daniel Suarez or Robert J. Sawyer. He needs a mentor, someone to teach him the art of writing or telling a story.

I also kind of wonder if he was funded by a coffee company. There is more in here about coffee then about artificial intelligence. I love coffee and the book still sucked.

The narrator did not help, I don't know if it was his talent or the bad writing.

If you like high tech, then buy Daniel Suarez.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Short but defintely sweet

What made the experience of listening to Avogadro Corp the most enjoyable?

The complexity of the story, and the obvious knowledge of the topic the author has, and carried forward to the story and the characters . Very enjoyable.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Avogadro Corp?

The very end. What the hell!!??!!

What does Rob Granniss bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He did a fine job activating the characters. They resonated well with me, and I am confident it will with you as well.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The end, which moves pretty quick, but is a turn around that caught me off guard.

Any additional comments?

Not a huge stretch from our current reality. Recommended highly for tech thriller followers, and anyone else who enjoys near future forecast stories.

10 people found this helpful

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It's Strongly OK But...!

Okay here's another rouge AI intelligence set to battle mankind. Yep, I've read (or listened to) a dozen of these tales from lots of good authors. William Hertling's as good as all of them. But he was MUCH BETTER when he wrote "Kill Process". Perhaps it's because this vein has been mined by so many other great SciFi writers over the last half century? Maybe.

Still, Hertling's take is unique thanks to his deep knowledge of computer stuff. I'm not sure I'm sufficiently interested in the evolution of Hertling's "Singularity" as the ghost in the IT machinery to follow more of its adventures. But... I will definitely follow Angie Benenati's story as it evolves in sequels to "Kill Process". Oh, Rob Grannis is a good reader but no where near as talented as Jane Cramer in KP.

And that's my dilemma. Cramer narrates the last in this "Singularity" series begun here in "Alvagadro". Should I skip ahead to book 4: "The Touring Exception" (and I think the last) in this "Singularity" series just to enjoy Cramer? Will I miss too much by leap-frogging the two novels in the middle?

Got to think on that...

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loving it all over again!

It's rare that I read a book twice, or even listen to a book I've previously read. However, I did it with Avogadro Corp. and I'm loving it all over again! William Hertling's story keeps you turned in. I spend a great deal of time on the road and find audible books are comforting and relaxing....if the stories and characters are well developed, and the reader doesn't distract me from the book. Avogadro Corp. checks all the boxes.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Skip it. Too formulaic with flat characters.

ummm... okay.

It was not very well written, and I think this poor writing (specifically dealing with character development/behaviour) took too much away from what, otherwise, might have been an okay story. Maybe.

It is a lot like Daemon except, of course, much more lecturey and person-does-A and then person-does-B formulaic. The writing simply didn't flow, and there was little suspense.

This might be because the characters were not very distinct or "real" feeling, so... basically, we don't care what happens to whom or why... they all sound the same, so it is hard to tell if it was person one or person two who had something happen to them.

Was the techy component good?... well... it was better than the character development, but... again, it was written so stiltedly that it felt like I was reading a how-to manual. And I don't know that the tech was as "cutting edge" as it thinks it is. Sure, it's not "real" at the moment, but this author certainly isn't the first to use a self-actualizing AI as the premise of a story.

And the sub-title makes no sense at all. Oh well, live and learn. I won't be looking for any more books by this author.

The narration was okay. There is no sex or gore and the language is too dull to even have much in the way of swearing.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story and how it unfolds

What did you love best about Avogadro Corp?

Great book, and from the point of a programmer. Its exactly how I would expect a distributed AI would appear. I was very taken in by this book and it filled everything I expected of it. Sometimes in my mind I removed the word "Avogadro" and used Google because that's what it felt like. Just one part I disliked but it's so specific to me I'm not going to mention it. 4 out of 5!

Who was your favorite character and why?

ELOPE , that's not even a person or even someone that you can directly interact with happens to be the best character from my view.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Avogadro Corp, Who said AI had to be intentional"

5 people found this helpful

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William Hertling, my new favortive author!

This is a great book and overall an even better series of books.The author does a great job telling the story and keeping your attention. If you like sci-fi this is a great listen. Listened to the whole series and enjoyed every bit of it.

4 people found this helpful

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I liked the premise

I like an AI book that has a somewhat plausible premise. I guess I'm willing to believe just about anything is possible in cyber space. What I had some reservations about was the "meat space." When the body count starts to go through the roof, a book starts to lose me. I have to roll my eyes when multiple software moguls get killed off all at once and it just seems to be another day at the office.

Other than that nit, I will be reading the second in the series and consider this a credit well spent.

4 people found this helpful

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Diversionary Tactics

A fun romp through a not-so-distant future in which a thinly-disguised Google goes off the Ruby-On-Rails. Can we code "Do No Evil" into our software? Will artificial intelligence save us or imprison us?

Which human impulse is stronger - hope or fear?

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love the plot.

Would you consider the audio edition of Avogadro Corp to be better than the print version?

Utterly believable. You will never think the same about your email or computers. Great premise. Unpredictable enough to keep you listening. Narration is a bit weak but acceptable- he could use more emotion and varying of his voice. Character development could go slightly deeper but overall wonderfully original and well crafted.

3 people found this helpful

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  • M. G. W. Howes
  • 06-08-22

Delighted with the audio.

Excellent Audible version. Looking forward to the follow-ups, which I've also read. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-02-19

OMG OMG OMG!!!!

I was so terrified to realize what was happening that I could not stop listening and finished the whole book in basically a day...
It is terrifying but has poetic conclusion in some sense... something I always assumed about AI... It will probably be a benevolent god...

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  • R. ODELL
  • 05-23-17

Great story, found the voice a little monotone

I found the story interesting and exciting.
Unfortunately for me I found the voice a little monotone for my liking, but that's my personal taste I guess. No offence meant. Great story!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karthik
  • 06-22-16

Amazing story!

Really good near future sci-fi, thrilling up until the last minute. Definitely recommended for sci-fi fans.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin
  • 12-08-12

Ran away from circus, became computer programmer.

This book has a great premise (thought Robert Harris does it better in The Fear Index - Highly Recommended), BUT,it seems that the author has spend all his time in large corporations (naming no names, Google) and doesn't seem to understand the laws of narrative credibility.



It doesn't really work if I hear that the characters are about to undertake some breathtaking bourne-identity style intervention, but are held up by their adversary for three days because someone refuses to set a meeting with their secretary.



Big companies do indeed work like this, but fiction? not so much...



Still, if you can take all of that with a pinch of salt, it's a harmless enough read, and something about it kept me going till the end.

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  • chris schuck (amazon)
  • 07-10-19

Great series

This is my second time around having eagerly wanting to start this after my relisten of all the lee child “jack reacher” .... this is a great story and really well researched. I work in the area and it’s all realistic and told well . Hope you enjoy the series