Friday, October 4, 2013



Okay, it's Friday and my computer is barely speaking to the tubes and chutes of the Interweb, so I'm posting a video trailer for K3LOID, a short film by Big Lazy Robot about a robot uprising.  It looks to be great fun.

The robot uprising seems to be the default meme for robots.  The very first appearance of robots (well, actually artificial humans, which would make them androids; but this is where the word was invented; and anyway that fight has been long lost)  in R. U. R. by Karel Capek featured a robot rebellion, and almost a century later we're still playing out the same fantasy.

Robots were a mainstay of science fiction from their initial speculative invention, continued strong through the1970s and then dwindled to almost nothing in the 1980s as various pundits articulated the many irrefutable reasons why there would never be humanoid robots.  Followed in the 1990s by a swarm of Japanese patents for humanoid-ish robots that could do the many things it had just been established they never would.

You don't see a lot of written science fiction about robots nowadays  (film robots are a different story), I suspect mostly because so many of them already exist.  But I think they're going to make a comeback.  All that's needed is one major story with an original and compelling vision of what robots might become.

New writers should take note.


1 comment:

David Stone said...

It seems like at some point people decided that the idea of an artificial intelligence being embodied entirely in a machine is just too quaint. In most new stories these days it seems like androids are almost always mere peripherals used by AIs that exist in a informational network of some kind.

I think my favorite robot story is Gene Wolfe's "Eyebem", because the eponymous robot is so utterly pwned at the end. Take that post-humanist robots.