Book of the Month:
“The Humanoids” by Jack Williamson
Great conversation this past weekend about last month’s novel, “Autonomous”. There was a lot to talk about and, overall, seems like people really enjoyed it. The group was impressed by Newitz’s approach to Human/robot rights and personal empowerment. It was a well-developed world and asks a lot of important contemporary questions.
Let’s reflect back and take a look at an earlier approach to human interaction with robot-kind. This month’s selection is the 1947 book “The Humanoids” by Jack Williamson.
It is a classic approach to the scifi genre and should be a fun romp that investigates natural versus artificial life. This from Goodreads:
“A brilliant scientist creates the humanoids–sleek black androids programmed to serve humanity. But are they perfect servants–or perfect masters?
Slowly the humanoids spread throughout the galaxy, threatening to stifle all human endeavors. Only a hidden group of rebels can stem the humanoid tide…if it’s not already too late.”
First published in “Astounding Science Fiction” during the magazine’s heyday, it has been republished a couple of times and is sometimes called “Humanoids #1” as there is a sequel. Some versions of the book also include a prelude novelette, “With Folded Hands” (which was chosen for the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 1996). I’ve heard mixed reviews about “With Folded Hands”, if your version does have it, you might want to read it AFTER you finish “Humanoids”, up to you.
A couple of notes about where to get this:
– “The Humanoids” is absolutely available from Amazon and is available for $5 on Kindle right now.
– You can a free pdf on ZLibrary at: https://b-ok.cc/book/4747182/59bf13 You can also download ebook file if you become a member and donate via Amazon gift card.