Mailing List

Friday, July 2, 2021

The Planet of the Robot Slaves (Bill, The Galactic Hero, #2)The Planet of the Robot Slaves by Harry Harrison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, maybe this isn't quite the scathing satire that the first one was, and it doesn't really hold up on a re-read (after many, many years,) but if you're looking for less social-issue satire and a direct lampoon of the then-modern SF tropes, like skewering McCaffrey's dragons, or making fun of ooold classics like John Carter of Mars, or even throwing in a little arena action leading right to King Arthur to round out your chuckle-meter (or the groan one), then this is still a light-hearted adventure with plenty of old-style easter eggs to point and snicker at.

Obviously, it's better if you know the SF field of the day.

But does it hold up now?

Yes, with that pretty big caveat: It makes fun of the sexism of the day, has a grand time calling every military type stupid, and none of it is very sophisticated. It is, however, self-aware and subversive with its own points. (The sexism underscored its opposite, as did the times where the military was quite smart, and the apparent sophistication, when scratched, became fairly subtle. But first, we had to enjoy it enough to get there.)

Frankly? I don't think it would hold up well today. You'd almost have to be a scholar of the field to eke out an appreciation for it. But for its time, it wasn't bad.

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment