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Humanoids Series by Jack Williamson

The three books below make a lovely series worth your time. If, however, you only have a scant amount of time, the first one will suffice. It is quite short, a novelette really, but very good. The idea sprang from the atomic bombings of WWII but the theme isn’t about that. It’s about how technology we invent for good purposes can go wrong. How something done because we feel it was necessary, even useful, can be turned on its head.

In this case the technology is in the form of sleek, black, androids. What it explores is just what a robot could do with a directive to, “serve and obey and guard men from harm”. The prime directive of this creation is simple – make men happy.

For me the story dovetails nicely with any discussion on liberty, individual choice, individual sovereignty, and the misguided idea that one person knows better than another what is good for that person.

With Folded Hands

The Humanoids

The Humanoid Touch

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