Friday, 8 May 2015

Fighting Robots

Poul Anderson, Starfarers (London, 1999).

"'The analogies to organic evolution are not exact,' Yu admitted. (p. 118)

I should think not. The robots under discussion function automatically and are programmed to manufacture their successors. There is no reason why natural selection among such robots with mutated programs would replicate either consciousness or bisexual reproduction as in Anderson's "Epilogue."

Attack by robotic predators is an unexpected occasion for two Envoy crew members to utilize their "'...military experience.'" (p. 109) The US, Europe and China fought the Space War through their proxies for control of territories in the Solar System. Europe withdrew from the hostilities and the US lost "...most of its interplanetary possessions..." (p. 46), thus generating the resentment expressed by the North Star Society. Brent saw some action in "...'observer' ships..." (p. 45) and Ruszek, ex-Peace Command, now working in space for Solmetals Consortium, got drawn in as a European civilian. The Space War would have to be a major part of any Kith history book.

We will be away from home and computers from Sunday to Friday.

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