Saturday, August 22, 2009


By Jack Williamson

After the monumental scope of The Humanoids what more could be said about the star-spanning empire of robotic benevolence? Quite a bit actually. In The Humanoid Touch the focus is less on the Humanoids than their looming threat.

If the original novel was a parable of ‘50s America under the cloud of Nuclear Armageddon, then the sequel takes a hard look at the world of the ‘80s. The protagonist lives in a society founded on equality yet riven by class. They proclaim freedom, yet ruthlessly exploit their less-developed neighboring planet. Williamson tackles the Reagan era, neo-colonialism, and environmental degradation. While Williamson wears his New Deal liberalism on his sleeve, he avoids being overly preachy. Like the original, there is no easy escape from the trap humanity finds itself in. man may aspire to free his society, but freeing himself is much harder.

-Dave Hardy

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