" In this universe the night was falling; the shadows were lengthening towards an east that would not know another dawn. But elsewhere the stars were still young and the light of morning lingered; and along the path he once had followed, Man would one day go again"

Arthur C. Clarke Against the Fall of Night

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Robots and us

My wife recently subscribed to the Disney Channel (this is not an ad). We had planned to do this in the fall, mainly to see The Mandalorian. Since we are staying home, we decided to get it now. We have enjoyed Bedknobs and BroomsticksMickey Thru the Mirror, Frozen one and two, we liked two best. Both Wreck-It Ralphs, we liked one best. We watched James Mason in Journey to the Center of the Earth. and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It was interesting that Mason's crazed killer Nemo is more sympathetic than his incredibly pompous and entitled professor. Friday, we watched The Mandalorian episode two, Cosmos episode two, the domestication of dogs and one of my favourite movies, Wall.E. When the scene comes on where Wall.E is fussily rearranging his many tchotchkes I turned to my wife and said that is me. This lineup made me think of robots, a subject I had been discussing with Doug during a Skype call earlier this week. Our discussion focused on the science fiction trope of humanoid robots and how, when commercial robots appeared, they were programable arms for welding and painting in factories, not Asimov's R. Daneel Olivaw or Simak's Richard Daniel. The Mandalorian reminded me that it was in the Star Wars universe that I became accustomed to robots in all sizes and shapes, even if some seem impractical or unnecessary. So I went to the shelves and looked for robots. I avoided scary robots, choosing instead depictions of robots who seem not only humanoid in shape but in character. Just like my hero Wall.E. 

Robots like roses just like me, 
actually the gardener in Project Pope is not at all nice.

They have dogs, 

and their taste in literature seem similar to mine. 

In art they might prefer the Bob Ross school, but that is fine. 

Their childhood pursuits seem somewhat familiar. 

Sometimes they get their own back,

and on occasion they must confront reminders of their own mortality. 
Stay well, stay safe.


Most are by the incomparable Mel Hunter for more on Mel see The Lonely Robot post at Ralph E. Vaughan's wonderful blog Book Scribbles.

Project Pope cover by Rowena Morrill

"Aesop" cover by Alejandro

Adam Link (t) may be by Jack Gaughan  (b) Jack Gaughan

If, October 1957 is also by Mel Hunter

Astounding, October 1955 cover by Emesh

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.