Classic SciFi 9: Isaac Asimov I, Robot & Killer Robots

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iRobot Feature

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony,  1 April 2017


Isaac Asimov I, Robot & Killer Robots Today

Introduction

The killer robots come later. I bought two novels at Asia Books in Bangkok in late February and was offered, as part of a promotion, one book free from a remainder pile. I dithered between a beginners guide to Nietzche (not a Belgian — Google it!) and The Robots of Dawn.

The Robots of Dawn is a ‘whodunit’ science fiction novel by Isaac Asimov, first published in 1983. It is the third novel in Asimov’s Robot series (Wikipedia). The first novel is I, Robot (1950).

I, Robot is not really a novel but a collection of previously published stories with linking text, by a fictional researcher cum writer.

The Robots of Dawn I found to be incredibly tedious and lacking in action. I must grudgingly admit though that it contained some interesting ideas about robots and humans. I would only recommend these novels and the additional robot stories beyond those in I, Robot to an Asimov scholar. I, Robot is quite sufficient to gain an understanding of Asimov’s approach to and ideas on robots. Continue reading “Classic SciFi 9: Isaac Asimov I, Robot & Killer Robots”

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Classic SciFi 7: William Gibson Mona Lisa Overdrive

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Mona Lisa Overdrive, First Edition Hardback US, 1988

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony,  18 July 2016


William Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive, 1988

Introduction

Mona Lisa Overdrive takes place eight years after the events in Count Zero and fifteen years after Neuromancer. This is the final article in the series of 5: Neuromancer, Count ZeroWilliam Gibson’s Art of Prophecy and The Art of Prophecy.

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Classic SciFi 6: William Gibson Count Zero

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Count Zero, First Edition Hardcover, 1986
Count Zero, First Edition Hardcover, 1986

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony,  17 June 2016


William Gibson, Count Zero 1986

They set a slamhound on Turners trail in New Delhi, slotted it to his pheromones and the color of his hair. It caught up with him on a street called Chandni Chauk and came scrambling for his rented BMW through a forest of bare brown legs and pedicab tires. Its core was a kilogram of recrystallized hexogene and flaked TNT. He didnt see it coming…


Introduction

Count Zero opens with these words. Turner is one of the lead characters. Previously a security but now an executive extraction expert, he helps technical geniuses to move from one corporation or zaibatsu to another. In other words, as outlined in previous articles, his profession today would be called executive recruitment, but in the Indiana Jones style (just not archaeology).

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Classic SciFi 5: William Gibson’s Art of Prophecy


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William Gibson Neuromancer Featured Image

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony,  10 June 2016


Classic SciFi 5: William Gibson’s Art of Prophecy

Introduction

The articles Classic Scifi 4: William Gibson Neuromancer 1984 and The Art of Prophesy & William Gibson provide a necessary background. The articles to follow on Count Zero 1986 and Mona Lisa Overdrive 1988 will complete the series.

I introduced the Guardian article by Ed Cumming published in 2014 on Neuromancer’s 30th birthday and discussed it a little in the Further information section of Classic Scifi 4: William Gibson Neuromancer.

Cumming’s begins with the truism:

Prescience can be tedious for science-fiction writers. Being proven right about a piece of technology or a trend distracts from the main aim of the work: to show us how we live now.  William Gibson knows this as well as anyone. Since the late 70s, the American-born novelist has been pulling at the loose threads of our culture to imagine what will come out. He has been right about a great deal, but mainly about the shape of the internet and how it filters down to the lowest strata of society.

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Classic SciFi 4: William Gibson Neuromancer

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Molly from Brazilian Cover
Molly from Brazilian Cover

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony,  20 April 2016


William Gibson, Neuromancer 1984

The local came booming in along the black induction strip, fine grit sifting from cracks in the tunnel’s ceiling. Case shuffled into the nearest door and watched the other passengers as he rode. A pair of predatory looking Christian Scientists were edging toward a trio of young office techs who wore idealized holographic vaginas on their wrists, wet pink glittering under the harsh lighting. The techs licked their perfect lips nervously and eyed the Christian Scientists from beneath lowered metallic lids. The girls looked like tall, exotic grazing animals, swaying gracefully and unconsciously with the movement of the train, their high heels like polished hooves against the gray metal of the car’s floor. Before they could stampede, take flight from the missionaries, the train reached Case’s station.

This is my favourite description in Neuromancer.

Continue reading “Classic SciFi 4: William Gibson Neuromancer”