Robot books

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by ArthurFrayn, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. ArthurFrayn

    ArthurFrayn the puppet master

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    I'm in the middle of Barrington J Bayley's The Rod of Light which is a sequel to The Soul of a Robot. These are turning out to be two fine robot books.
    And I'm thinking: "you know, I like a fine robot book".

    So I thought it might be fun to ask the folks of this forum to go nut and list their favorite robot books.
    Specifically, books about robots, as opposed to books with robots. Lay it on me... :D
     
  2. Gkarlives

    Gkarlives Mystic and Misfit

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    Robots of Dawn by Asimov. Whelan's cover just struck the right cord for the dilema Giskard faced as a mind reading robot.
     
  3. PlanetRetcon

    PlanetRetcon Podcaster

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    I'll second Robots of Dawn, and in fact any book by Asimov with the word Robot in it. Except those that also contain the name Foundation. :D
     
  4. Ropie

    Ropie Member of the Month™

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    *Goes nut*

    Having not yet read SoaR I'd have to say I,Robot
     
  5. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    In which case, Asimov's The Complete Robot would be one to go for perhaps (though they are short stories, not novels). Most of his robot stories in one book.

    Ones of Asimov's that involves robots that are androids - Caves of Steel?
    Naked Sun?

    I even liked the Asimov/Silverberg rewrite, The Positronic Man, though think I preferred Bicentennial Man on which it was based.

    I'm sure Arthur knows all these already though. Any more other than Asimov?


    Hobbit
     
  6. ArthurFrayn

    ArthurFrayn the puppet master

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    Yes, I knew people were going to list the Asimov books. I also expect John Sladek's Tik Tok to be mentioned, but if they're favorite robot books, put 'em down. :D
     
  7. Monty Mike

    Monty Mike Journalist

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    I suppose the SF Masterwork's The Complete Roderick can also be mentioned here, though I have not read it myself.
     
  8. Goony

    Goony Registered User

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    non-Asimovian

    Hello Arthur,

    There are some non-Asimovian material that could be of
    interest to you.

    1- Hebrew mythology has been dealing with the subject of
    breathing life into "Golems" for quite a while. Here is a
    link that is fun to see:

    http://emol.org/kabbalah/golem/

    2- Jack Williamson's novel, "The Humanoids" and the reference
    that speaks for itself (haven't read the book myself):

    http://homepage.mac.com/ttorretti/Science/rvw11.html

    3- There is a plethora of stories that have been scattered
    all across vintage sci-fi/fantasy magazines. I posted a link
    for "vintage cover art" earlier and if you look at the covers,
    you can see the issues that had robot-related stories.

    4- If you are into comics (even for research purposes), this is
    a nice reference:

    http://www.jeffbots.com/comicbots.html
     
  9. Banger

    Banger Staff

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    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by P.K. Dick. Great robot story :)
     
  10. Gkarlives

    Gkarlives Mystic and Misfit

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    Unique Find

    Robota by Doug Chiang and Orson Scott Card. It has a great cover that I have not figured out how to past into here yet. Doug had the idea and did all the artwork in the book and Orson fleshed out the story.
     
  11. Monty Mike

    Monty Mike Journalist

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    I assume this is the cover you mean:

    [​IMG]

    A slightly better quality version in this link ;)
     
  12. Ropie

    Ropie Member of the Month™

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    Looking at this thread, it doesn't seem that there are many stories about robots out there. Plenty of books with robots in but not many specifically centred on them.
     
  13. Gkarlives

    Gkarlives Mystic and Misfit

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    Yes. Thanks Monty Mike
     
  14. Goony

    Goony Registered User

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    Well everybody,

    what do you think about "Rossum's Universal Robots" by
    Karel Capek , the man who started it all? :rolleyes:
     
  15. ArthurFrayn

    ArthurFrayn the puppet master

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    It's one of those things like George Melies' A Trip to the Moon-I know about, but have never seen or heard except for a clip, or in the case of RUR, read a synopsis of. I'd be curious as well to see if anyone here has read it, or heard a performance (I think there's an audio recording) . Did you read or hear it, Goony?
     
  16. Goony

    Goony Registered User

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    I am in the same boat, Arthur!

    I have read so much "about it" and have seen pictures of the
    set designs and advertisements for the play. I have also read
    synopsis of it and some discussions by critics.

    Capek wrote in an era when labor unions were in continuous struggle
    for survival, unity, higher salaries, and job security; and industrialists
    were pushing aggressively for more automation and less human dependency.
    The factory owners considered the human workers as part of the assembly
    line, with the common attitude that: This is my factory, that is your job,
    go and do your job. I have always been very curious as to how much
    Capeck was influenced by the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.

    I would really like to see a discussion among our expert comrades on this
    forum in regard to this original play. I think the puppet master should take
    the lead...
     
  17. Mithfânion

    Mithfânion Lord of the Wild Hunt

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    This Robota book by Chiang and Card, does it acually have a decent story or it just art? Because it seems rather thin...

    Is the story good then?
     
  18. Gkarlives

    Gkarlives Mystic and Misfit

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    Yes, Robota has a decent story with a nice twist in it. Hey every one, how about Metropolis? I have yet to watch or read the whole story, but does it not center around a robot?
     
  19. ArthurFrayn

    ArthurFrayn the puppet master

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    Couple of things

    >You might have something there, Ropie. I did a Google search in consideration of that point, and came up with-asimovasimovasimovasimovasimovasimov...
    so apparently he owns this category.;) And there are a series of pastiches set in his world of robots called Robot City written by Michael P. Kube-Mcdowell and Mike Mcquay. They might be worth investigating:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0671038931/104-9389528-6997547?v=glance&n=283155


    >I'd like to thank folks for responses made and to future respsonses. Thanks for links Goony. That one page has a nice stash of Magnus Robot Fighter covers. ;)

    >I did finish the sequel to The Soul of a Robot entitled Rod of Light and while it didn't turn out to be a five star book, it's a 3 and a half or 4 star. I like the main robot character Jasperodus, and would love to see him in further adventures. This one is a richly textured read, and goes into greater depth concerning the issue of robot conciousness. Both books are very recommended. Fun, with a nice big chunk of metaphysics, which is Bayley's specialty.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2006
  20. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    For what it's worth Arthur, I've got the first of those Robot City books and didn't think much of it. So memorable that I can't remember much about it.

    Though now you mention it, I have remembered Caliban by Roger McBride Allen which was OK (but again based on Asimov's ideas). Stil not sure it's what you want, though. More like The Naked Sun or The Caves of Steel if I remember right.

    Hobbit