Have Robot, Will Travel by Alexander C. Irvine

Have Robot, Will Travel book cover

Derec and Ariel have been exiled to Nova Levis, the site of the cyborg lab that was uncovered at the end of the previous series by Tiedemann. Derec has been focusing the resources of his lab on containing the mutating plagues released by Kynig Pyrapoyos. There is a murder on Kopernik station which appears to be committed by a robot, which Derec is summoned to investigate. In the meantime Ariel is asked to look into the possibility of cyborg survivors getting the right to vote.

One of my main disappointments with this book is that the plot lines don’t seem to pick up in pace until about the last quarter of the book. Irvine doesn’t seem to demonstrate the knack for complexity and pacing that Tiedemann did during the last trilogy. Besides these things the book was overall an enjoyable read. If I could pick out one good thing it would be that the plot lines switch back and forth often enough so that you aren’t stuck wondering what is happening in the other one for too long.

***Spoiler discussion for this novel & Robots and Empire****
I think the biggest question I have so far from Mirage up to this book is; what are Daneel and Giskard doing at this point? Are they aware of this society of robots which is being led by Bogard and Hofton? It is obvious that in this series the Zeroth law has been determined independently before Giskard and Daneel do at the end of Robots and Empire. The same conclusion is reached: isolate the spacers and allow the settlers to populate the galaxy. I am still wondering what will keep the aliens from Robots and Aliens isolated from the Settler expansion. Despite these nagging questions I think that all of these books so far have been an enjoyable read.

1 thought on “Have Robot, Will Travel by Alexander C. Irvine”

  1. I really enjoyed this book! I thought it was interesting how cyborgs were trying to get the same rights as humans but the humans would rather kill them all than allow that. At the same time other robots were trying to redefine what a human is…the storyline was intriguing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please prove you are a human * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Post

Prelude to Foundation by Isaac AsimovPrelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Prelude to Foundation book cover

Roughly twelve thousand years have passed since the founding of the Galactic Empire. Almost the whole galaxy has been explored and populated accounting for 25 million inhabited worlds, most of which have at least 1 billion people each. Trantor is the ruling world of the Galactic Empire. It is covered completely with domed cities that go far under ground except for just 250 square kilometers which made up the Imperial palace grounds. Hari Seldon, a mathematician from Helicon, has traveled Trantor to give a presentation on his new theory called psychohistory. While psychohistory could ‘theoretically’ help predict future events, Hari is interested in it only as a theory and feels that it could never become practical. (more…)

Isaac Asimov’s Robots and Aliens Book 1: Changeling by Stephen LeighIsaac Asimov’s Robots and Aliens Book 1: Changeling by Stephen Leigh

Robots and Aliens Volume 1 book cover

One thing I like about this book is there is a nice eight page synopsis of the whole Robot City series. Even after just reading the series, it was a nice refresher for the events leading up to Robots and Aliens. This new series involves Asimov’s challenge to the authors to describe what might happen if robots encountered an alien species. How would they treat them? How would the Three Laws apply?

I particularly enjoyed this first book because it addresses one of the main questions I had regarding the Three Laws of Robotics. What does the key phrase “human being” actually mean? Throughout Asimov’s books and it is explained that the laws aren’t as simple as the English translation. They are complicated sets of positronic potentials that govern every action of a robot.

In Changeling, Stephen Leigh describes a robot model that is given a very simple definition of “intelligent life form” as an equivalent. This idea seems to work very well in this book and after several chapters we see how this experiment intersects with the Robot City plotlines. Also, we get to see Derec use the powers he was given to control Robot City. One thing that did bug me a little bit was how little of the main plotlines was advanced.

The Currents of Space by Isaac AsimovThe Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov

The Currents of Space book cover

It is obvious after the first few chapters that this novel is on a whole different level than “The Stars, Like Dust.” There are more characters, deeper development, and various plot lines are explained through flashbacks. It seemed like Asimov spent a lot more time on this book than the last one. It is just a tad bit longer at 230 pages in my paperback copy, but quite bit more happens. There is still the medieval feel with Sark ruling Florinia and the various class struggles that go with that. (more…)