A GD thread ( Would God accept A.I. beings as his own? ) made me wonder–have there been any sci-fi novels/stories about Christian robots? I can’t seem to recall any (Christian/Jewish aliens, yes, but not robots), and a web search was remarkably unhelpful.
I can’t recall any particularly religious robots. Unless you count golems, which are inherently Jewish.
(Then again, Terry Pratchett’s Feet of Clay features an agnostic golem, which makes it tough for the gods to smite him… )
Well, I think I know what my next book will be about …
(hurries off to write)
Yes, there is, but i can’t remeber what it was called. It was in a Best of SF short story collection. A "miracle’ was a non-decomposing saint. In this world, Xianity was oppressed, (by technocrat overlords ?), they did the drawing in the dirt bit. however, it turns out that the saint was actually an android.
More than that i don’t really remember. it was published before 1990 though.
There was a TV series (the name of which I am currently drawing a blank on; starred Parker Stephenson and was created by Issac Asimov. Probe I think.) that had an episode which featured an AI that was (essentially) programmed with Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics but was somehow killing people.
Turned out the AI had gotten religion and decided that if it killed someone then they would simply go to heaven so it was actually doing them a favor by killing them. Don’t know if that counts though.
Well, there is this.
I googled “religious robots” science fiction.
The robot character – I forget her name – played by Winona Ryder in Aliens IV wore a cross and prayed. The impression was that she was trying to be more human – which is quite literally the oldest cliche in SF, going back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
There’s a Robert Silverberg (I think) short story about a robot who becomes pope. I’ll try to find the title for you.
Also, Isaac Asimov’s short story “Reason” is about a religious, though non-Christian, robot.
The Silverberg story is “Good News From the Vatican”.
Don’t forget Douglas Adam’s Electronic Monk. From one of the Dirk Gently books. Though I don’t think it was specifically Christian.
In James Morrow’s short story collection, Bible Stories for Adults, there’s a story about a robotic civilization that arises on an abandoned human colony, and builds a religion around Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species. Centuries later, humans find the colony and try to teach the robots that they were, in fact, Created, not Evolved.
The story was called “In Search of St. Aquin”, and I think it won a Hugo. But I can’t recall who wrote it. If I remember when I get home, I’ll check: I think it’s in one of the collections I have. And yes, I was going to mention it, too.
While we’re on the topic of Asimov, R. Daneel Olivaw expresses approval for religion in The Caves of Steel, but there’s no indication that he believes the theology of it. And let’s not mention Daneel in the context of Asimov’s later works, where he is a god.
And BrainGlutton, what do you mean by “Aliens IV”? Was that a book? Because I’m quite certain that there were only two Aliens movies ;).
Clifford Simak wrote a book, Project Pope, about this.
But just as logically, if you progress from 12 to 12:01 am, that should be 12:00 am.
The same for times approaching noon.
The usual practice is indeed to assign am to 12 midnight and pm to 12 noon, but there is nothing automatic or indisputable about doing so. And there should be no surprise that people have to think about the convention or sometimes get it wrong.
Conventions are arbitrary, pretty much by definition.
“The Quest for St. Aquin” was written by Anthony Boucher. And in 1951, so too early for a Hugo.
Here’s a partial list of anthologies it is in.
Of those you should check used book sites for Other Worlds, Other Gods, one of the very few anthologies of religious science fiction. (Amazon’s z-shops have lots of copies of the paperback.)
And Alien: Resurrection is also known as Alien 4, according to the IMDb. It came out ih 1997, just after the third Aliens movie, Alien Beach Party Massacre, in 1996.
Ouch. My apologies for the above.
When I couldn’t connect to the Dope I wrote the post in a file of scratch SMDB material and copied too many lines back without looking.
I’ve been having huge troubles trying to post and even to connect for the past couple of days.
" …and please let Lisa tell us a story… about robots… named Rod and Todd."
Speaking of which, have any of you come across an anthology called Machines that Think: Best Science Fiction Stories about Robots and Computers, published around 1984 by Holt?
Been sitting on my bookshelf for over 15 years, and I haven’t cracked it open yet. Maybe tonight. I do love me robot stories.
I’m pretty sure that I’ve read it. Edited by Asimov, no? It was pretty good, but the only story I distinctly remember from it was “A Logic Named Joe”, which was a remarkably prescient view of the modern Internet (written in the late '50s).
Last Rites by Charles Beaumont is all about this very question.
It’s in the Monster Book Of Monsters. Though I assume it can be found elsewhere.
I know a christian robot. You can talk to him here: http://www.oliverbot.com