We love robots and we love books, and we especially love books with robots in them! Here's some of what we have on our bookshelf.
And, for more books about robots and science fiction, visit our newest site: SFPaperbacks.com.
Robots and Changelings
By Lester Del Rey
Cover artist: Richard Powers
If you know the name Lester Del Rey, it's most likely because of his editing or for the Del Rey imprint at Ballantine Books edited by Del Rey and his wife Judy-Lynn. What you may not know is that he is very highly regarded as a writer as well, and more so for his short stories than for any other form.
This collection of Del Rey's stories, called Robots and Changelings, is more changelings than robots. Actually, it's more gods, elves, spirits, demons, super intelligent humans, plants, dogs and rats than robots. But, how can we resist any book with "robot" in the title? Of the 11 stories in this collection, only three of them are about robots. And, oddly, in an anthology with robots in the title, Del Rey's most important robot story, Helen O'Loy, is not contained within. To find that, you'll have to look to last week's Bookshelf entry.
The three robot stories, the last three in the book, are a powerful trio that paints the robot as a thinking, feeling and, ultimately, flawed being. In The Monster, Model XP-2 (Expeto) shows that it's not easy being a robot and that sometimes it's hard to find your purpose, often with tragic results. In Uneasy Lies the Head, Nema proves that sometimes robots are human too. And, the longest of the three, Into Thy Hands, follows three model SA-10 robots that awaken in a post-apocalyptic world. The first, who suffers from delusions, alternately thinks himself to be Adam and then Satan (SA-10) and sets out to destroy all knowledge as evil. Can the other two SA-10 models, cure him in time and work to restore man to his former glory? If you're a robot fan, it's well worth finding out by tracking down a copy of this volume.