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Your email address will not be published.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

I, Robot by Isaac AsimovI, Robot by Isaac Asimov

I-Robot Book Cover

    The Three Laws of Robotics

  1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

First things first, the Hollywood movie I, Robot (also reviewed) with Will Smith has only has a few things in common with this book of short stories. Keep in mind that the NAME was licensed to the movie studio after the script was already written. Scenes were adjusted to include the Three Laws, Susan Calvin, and Alfred Lanning. That is about where the similarities between the book and the movie end. There might be a few concepts stripped from some of the stories, but by no means is the film “based” on the book. To give the movie makers credit, they only say “inspired” by in the opening.

I, Robot is a collection of short stories by Isaac Asimov. Keep in mind these stories were mainly written in the 1940s then published together in 1950. These stories describe the basics of the Three Laws of Robotics and what can go wrong with them. Asimov uses the Three Laws as a literary device to create puzzling situations. Several of these stories involve Susan Calvin, the top robo-psychologist for the only robot manufacturing company, US Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc. If anyone is interested in reading the Robot Novel series, this book kind of acts as a nice introduction to the basic concepts. As a matter of fact, anyone with any interest in Sci-Fi should read this book. I consider it required reading.

The Stars, Like Dust by Isaac AsimovThe Stars, Like Dust by Isaac Asimov

The Stars, Like Dust book cover

Timeline discussion:
Here are a couple quotes — “Atomic warfare had done its worst to Earth. Most of it was hopelessly radioactive and useless.” and “The radioactivity of the soil was a vast sea of iridescent blue, sparkling in strange festoons that spelled out the manner in which the nuclear bombs had once landed, a full generation before the force-field defense against nuclear explosions had been developed, so that no other world could commit suicide in just that fashion again.” — The Stars, Like Dust (more…)