Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2009 SF Experience-The Runaway Robot


As I started thinking about my experiences in SF for the 2009 SF Experience, the song "Reminiscing" by Little River Band played in my head. I always hear "soundtracks" when I am writing. I guess it is time to get out their greatest hits CD and listen to that song.

My first sf book was The Runaway Robot by Lester Del Rey. I was looking for something to buy from the Scholastic Book Club way back in 1970. I was in fifth grade and had not locked into one particular genre that captured my attention. For some reason the robot on the cover caught my eye. A friend of mine said he liked that book so I ordered it. Thinking back, I can not remember if I read it all in one evening or if it took 2 nights. One thing I do remember is I found a genre that I could call home. From that day on, I was devouring anything that resembled science fiction. I have thought about going back and re-reading that book today but I am afraid that it could never live up to my memories. Some things are better when they are left in the past. After reading this review at Starlight Fading I think I will try to track it down and read it again. Back then, not many stories featured the point of view of a robot. Rex the domestic robot starts to develop human feelings and goes in search of the boy he is separated from.

Until I started researching The Runaway Robot for this posting, I did not realize that Lester Del Rey only wrote the outline for the book. Records show that the book was written by Paul W. Fairman based on Del Rey's outline. I thank both authors for introducing me to science fiction.

Join me tomorrow for the Winston Science Fiction series.

5 comments:

Carl V. said...

I can certainly see why the cover would have attracted you in the fifth grade. It would have done so for me...and honestly if I saw a copy in a used bookstore now I would certainly pick it up. I've certainly seen various opinions from people about the merits of going back and rereading/reviewing things one liked in childhood. I seem to be somewhat in a minority in that I love to go revisit the science fiction books that made me love the genre (Brian Daley's Han Solo books, Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat books, A World Out of Time by Larry Niven...). They are every bit as enjoyable today as they were then, only they are also packed with wonderful memories of the first time I experienced them. I'm sure not everything from my past is something that would stand up today, but many of my favorite sci fi and fantasy reads are things I have carried with me through my adult years by reading them every so often.

Jim Black said...

Next time I see it I think I will pick it up.

Carl V. said...

I don't blame you Jim, I would too. :)

Theresa said...

Check out the ebay auction for this book.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130324053143&_trkparms=tab%3DSelling

Perry said...

Del Rey's "The Runaway Robot" along with "Young Visitor to Mars" by Richard Elam were my 1st two Sci Fi novels ... read during 4th Grade in 1970 ... these books opened the door to the wonders of Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, etc. and hooked me on the genre for the next 25 years!
Still have the battered copy of T.R.R. that I rescued from the school library's discard bin ...
A couple of other faves I remember from those long-ago days are "Trapped in Space" and "Tunnel Through Time" ...