Isaac Asimov’s Robot City: Perihelion

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I haven’t previously been impressed with Wu’s work, but this book is the best of the Robot City series. The other books suffer from feeling juvenile, whereas this book tells a story without being badly written and boring. Its a shame that you have to wade through the others in the series to get to this one. Interestingly, this book assures me that there another six in the series. They don’t sound like the Robot and Aliens series, as these extra books are meant to more fully explain the origin of Robot City. However, as best as I can tell these additional books were never produced. Wikipedia, Amazon and LibraryThing all have no record of these books existing.

Perihelion Book Cover Perihelion
William F. Wu

Derec, an amnesia victim, learns the secret of his true identity and must face Dr. Avery, the deranged scientist who controls Robot City

Battlefields Beyond Tomorrow

I read this anthology as a child, but when I found a copy on ebay that was cheap I couldn’t resist. This is a collection of short stories focusing on what war might be like in the future. It’s a good read, although a couple of the stories are out of place compared with the others.

  • Superiority (Arthur C Clarke)
  • Single Combat (Joe Green)
  • Committee of the Whole (Frank Herbert)
  • Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card): a classic, and in some ways I prefer the short story. I’ve read the extended series of novels a few years ago, but they’re probably worth revisiting at some point.
  • Hero (Joe E. Haldeman), later became The Forever War.
  • The Survivor (Walter F. Moudy): I have strong memories of this story from reading this anthology as a child. This is still a good story.
  • The Last Objective (Paul Carter)
  • What Do You Want Me to Do to Prove Im Human Stop (Fred Saberhagen): a Berserker story, also known as “Inhuman Error”.
  • Hangman (David Drake): this one is included in Volume 1 of the Complete Hammers Slammers.
  • The Night of the Trolls (Keith Laumer): this was a really good story about Bolos — good enough to send me out to buy some more Bolo books, which I will now have to add to my reading queue. This story was later expanded into The Stars Must Wait, which I didn’t think was nearly as good as the short story.
  • The Nuptial Flight of the Warbirds (Algis Budrys): this story was out of place with the rest of the collection, poorly written, and not very entertaining. I particularly didn’t like how it changed plot flow literally mid sentence without warning. I had to read that page three times to work out what was happening.
  • Mirror, Mirror (Alan E. Nourse)
  • The Miracle Workers (Jack Vance)
  • Memorial (Theodore Sturgeon)
  • Shark (Edward Bryant)
  • …Not a Prison Make (Joseph P. Martino): the ending came to suddenly in this story, but gosh its a good ending.
  • Hawk Among the Sparrows (Dean McLaughlin): this story reminds me strongly of the Axis of time stories from John Birmingham. This short story of course came first, and is a lot simpler in its examination of issues surrounding modern military hardware “falling through time” into previous wars.
  • No War, or Battle’s Sound (Harry Harrison)
  • The Defenders (Philip K. Dick)
  • In the Name of the Father (Edward P. Hughes)
  • On the Shadow of a Phosphor Screen (William F. Wu): this one didn’t really do anything for me — the premise that major corporations would be willing to solve disputes based on the outcome of war games seems very weak to me.
  • The Specter General (Theodore R. Cogswell): this story is awesome. Loved it.
  • Fixed Price War (Charles Sheffield)
  • The Long Watch (Robert A. Heinlein)
  • The Machine that Won the War (Isaac Asimov): included in Robot Dreams, as discussed in my list of Asimov Robot Stories.

[isbn: 0517641054]
[award: nebula_novella nominee 1968 (Hawk Among the Sparrows); nebula_short_story nominee1973 (Shark); locus_short_story nominee 1978 (Ender’s Game)]

Isaac Asimov’s Robot City: Cyborg

This is the third book in the Robot City series, which is based in Asimov’s Foundation universe. This one follows Odyssey and Suspicion, and is a pretty good book. Its also a very fast read.

The robot-wandering-the-city subplot is very reminiscent of Caliban, which is yet another Asimov spinoff. The plot lines are different enough that it doesn’t feel like a rehash, but there are certainly strikingly similar elements.

I liked this book.

Cyborg Book Cover Cyborg
William F. Wu

Cyborg: Isaac Asimov's Robot City, Book 3, by Wu, William F.