Isaac Asimov’s Robot City Book 1: Odyssey by Michael P. Kube-McDowell
Isaac Asimov’s Robot CityIsaac Asimov started writing about robots with positronic brains in the 1930’s. By the 1960’s, they were a staple of science fiction, along with the three robotic laws. With this series, he endorsed new science fiction writers to write about his robotic world. He invented basic concepts for the stories, presented some challenges, then let the author take it and make it his (or her?) own.
This is the first book of the series (published in 1987). Kube-McDowell took a lone man, Derec, who finds himself stranded on an asteroid populated by robots. He has amnesia and cannot remember who he is. These robots try to protect him. Yet they are also involved in an intense search. When their asteroid is attacked by aliens, they try to protect him and continue their search for an important object.
Soon Derec is instead captured by aliens unfamiliar to him. They want robots. They want the object the robots were hunting. And the captain of the ship enjoys inflicting pain. Derec finds his situation more confusing, terrifying and painful. He needs to find an ally, escape, and find out who he is. He hasn’t yet realized how important the robots will be in his future.
OK, this wasn’t what I was expecting when I grabbed it off the used book store shelf. It’s not bad. It doesn’t compel me to find the next book in the series, though. Nothing is concluded, but some interesting scenarios are being set up. The Robot City looks to be fascinating – a city of sentient machines that don’t normally interact with humans. There is an Introduction by Asimov explaining and setting up the series of novels.
Now Robot City is combined with the second novel in the series by Mike Mcquay. I read the original edition.