8

The book started with a young guy testing out a Von Neumann machine that he had designed. He was watching a planet from his space ship and the machine went crazy and started replicating until it covered the planet.

He was then enlisted by a mysterious government agent who wanted to use his machine to distract a rogue AI. The agent had a spaceship made of Von Neumann machines that could absorb additional mass and reconfigure itself, even creating a copy of itself at one point to distract an AI.

6

This sounds like Recursion by Tony Ballantyne. A summary from fantasticfiction.co.uk:

It is the twenty-third century. Herb, a young entrepreneur, returns to the isolated planet on which he has illegally been trying to build a city-and finds it destroyed by a swarming nightmare of self-replicating machinery. Worse, the all-seeing Environment Agency has been watching him the entire time. His punishment? A nearly hopeless battle in the farthest reaches of the universe against enemy machines twice as fast, and twice as deadly, as his own-in the company of a disarmingly confident AI who may not be exactly what he claims.

Little does Herb know that this war of machines was set in motion nearly two hundred years ago-by mankind itself. For it was then that a not-quite-chance encounter brought a confused young girl and a nearly omnipotent AI together in one fateful moment that may have changed the course of humanity forever.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.