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I read a short story that was part of a series within the last three years. I think it was published then. I remember really enjoying it and I wanted to read more but I can't remember the title of it or find anything similar to it online.

The basis of the story is self replicating artificial intelligent nanobots escape from a research facility and detonate a large number of nuclear bombs around the world. The story follows a few characters but I only really remember two. One is a New York City subway worker who was underground when the bombs went off and that's why he survived. The second is a female scientist who was part of the original research team. She was also underground at the time of the bombs.

The only other two things I really remember are the nanobots infect some of the survivors and turn them into mutated berserkers, and the nanobots can't infect or hurt the people that created it because the creators programmed the nanobots to not harm people with their genetic markers.

I know this is a little vague but any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • About how long is "a while"? You read it 5 years ago? 50 years ago? – user14111 Nov 18 '15 at 23:36
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    I read it within the last three years and I believe it was recently published around that time. – Jarred Nov 18 '15 at 23:41
1

I think you mean the Daybreak series by John Barnes, which I read in 2016:

Directive 51

In the near future, a variety of groups with diverse aims, but an overlapping desire to end modern technological society (the "Big System"), create a nanotech plague ("Daybreak") which both destroys petroleum-based fuels, rubber and plastics and eats away any metal conductors carrying electricity. An open question in the book is whether these groups, and their shared motivations, are coordinated by some conscious actor, or whether they are an emergent property / meme that attained a critical mass.

....

Just as society in the U.S. seems to start stabilizing, preemplaced pure fusion weapons detonate, destroying Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

This is followed by additional pure fusion weapon strikes, which are determined to be weapons that are being created on the Moon by nanotech replicators.

Daybreak Zero

In the near future, a variety of groups with diverse aims, but an overlapping desire to end modern technological society (the "Big System") create a nanotech plague ("Daybreak") which both destroys rubber and plastics and eats away any metal conductors carrying electricity. An open question in the book is whether these groups, and their shared motivation, are coordinated by some conscious actor, or whether they are an emergent property / meme that attained a critical mass.

The Last President

For more than a year, Heather O’Grainne and her small band of heroes, operating out of Pueblo, Colorado, have struggled to pull the United States back together after it shattered under the impact of the event known as Daybreak. Now they are poised to bring the three or four biggest remaining pieces together, with a real President and Congress, under the full Constitution again. Heather is very close to fulfilling her oath, creating a safe haven for civilization to be reborn.

But other forces are rising too.

Some people like the new life better...

In a devastated, splintered, postapocalyptic United States, with technology thrown back to biplanes, black powder, and steam trains, a tiny band of visionaries struggles to re-create Constitutional government and civilization itself, as a new dark age takes shape around them.

In this series, various plights are released - nanobot swarms, biotech that dissolves plastic and rubber, nuclear bombs and EMPs - to destroy civilization.

0

Book starts on mountain peaks because it is the only place to avoid the nanobots and it is called Plague Year.

Book cover

The nanotechnology was designed to fight cancer. Instead, it evolved into the Machine Plague, killing nearly five billion people and changing life on Earth forever.

The nanotech has one weakness: it self-destructs at altitudes above ten thousand feet. Those few who've managed to escape the plague struggle to stay alive on the highest mountains, but time is running out-there is famine and war, and the environment is crashing worldwide. Humanity's last hope lies with a top nanotech researcher aboard the International Space Station-and with a small group of survivors in California who risk a daring journey below the death line...

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    Can you expand on why you think this book meets the OP's criteria? – Jason Baker Nov 23 '15 at 22:02
  • Plague Year sounds like a good book but that isn't it. Thanks for trying to help though! – Jarred Dec 8 '15 at 22:30

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