Beach laying apparently does not devote itself to thinking about appropriate posts for one’s scifi/fantasy/writing blog, so I have appealed to the internet at large for a topic, and the internet has asked for robots.

And I realized I have never actually talked about robots here before. We’ve talked about a lot of different scifi topics–aliensinterstellar traveltime travelutopias/dystopias, etc.–but no robots. And robots are a scifi staple. Everything from Lost in Space to the Jetsons to even Data in Star Trek the Next Generation has robots.

So why the omission?

It wasn’t a conscious decision, Squiders. It’s just…I don’t really like robots.

I mean, I like them okay. I love Data. And the Iron Giant. And…um. Those ones that scientists make that look like animals. And the ones that act with group consciousness. There’s a lot of cool real science happening with robots, and I love seeing what we can get them to do now.

But as a scifi trope? Not my favorite. I think it may be because robots in scifi tend to fall into a couple of basic categories: giant mechanical warriors, servants, androids (whether evil or not, often posing as humans). The first? I’ve never been able to get into Mechs. Servants can be done well, especially when looking into deeper questions, such as what constitutes sentience, but a lot of times they’re just cool toys. Androids are neat and all, but tend also to be limited in their portrayals.

Cyborgs? Cyborgs I like. But it does depend on the story and the set-up.

Care to try and change my mind, Squiders? Which robotic portrayals am I missing? Which ones do you like the best? Recommend me books, movies, TV shows, comics, games, etc.

One response to this post.

  1. I like robots, but more for their ability to make one reflect on what it is to be human and to be self-aware than anything else. I was very impressed with Madeline Ashby’s “vN,” about a robot whose failsafe (preventing her from harming humans) fails.


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