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Project Pope

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  342 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The return of Simak's favorite themes--including esp, robots & religion--in a thoughtful, gentle, delightfully original treatment. On the remote planet End of Nothing, a colony of advanced robots has established project Vatican-17: the building of an infallible computerized pope whose accumulated wisdom will eventually create a truly universal religion. Gathering data...more
Unknown Binding, book club, 311 pages
Published March 1st 1981 by Del Rey (first published 1981)
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Simak's books have such a gentle folksy voice, as if Prairie Home Companion decided to write science fiction. In Project Pope a group of robots have started a research project Vatican-17 to synthesize a single true religion, but over the centuries the research has grown in importance while the religious side has become, not exactly less important but less urgent. Then one of the human psychic researchers claims she has found heaven, threatening a schism between the more and less fervent factions...more
Dec 28, 2007 Chadwick rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gentle suckers
For some reason I just find this book darling. Simak suffers from all of the weaknesses of his generation of SF writers. The characters are paper mache. There is a lumbering charge through the storytelling to reach the ideas as quickly as possible. His voice has a certain folksy Wisconsin charm to it, and when he's writing about robots in monks' vestments tending roses, there's a certain wacky beauty there that I find really pleasing.
Very Dr Who-ish. Great premise and set-up, but the ending was sort of lousy. The book just sort of ended.
Jan 23, 2008 Brian rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: overtired brainworkers
My science-addled brain cannot handle too much serious reading these days, but good scifi like this is okay. This is another case of "don't judge a book by its cover (or title)", which is especially true of speculative science fiction. This book offers some interesting speculation on the nature of religion and its relation to actual information. It is set about 1,000 or so years after sentient robots have decided to create a universal religion by gathering information and putting it into a super...more
With a title like Project Pope, I was expecting Simak to craft an intriguing science fiction tale. Certainly, in the end there are some very interesting aspects that the author broaches. However, I was quite disappointed that there wasn't a substantial, in-depth discussion on any religious principles. I thought that the book would cover how machines approach religion, and more adequately peruse questions like, "Do robots have a soul?" and "Are robots capable of love, and if not, can they truly p...more
David C. Mueller
This novel is set in the far future where sentient robots live an equals alongside their human creators. On an planet named End of Nothing near the edge of the galaxy, a joint human-robot society called Vatican-17 has striven for centuries to create an artificial intelligence with the knowledge, wisdom, and infallibility approaching that of a Deity. The story follows a human medical doctor arriving at End of Nothing to serve as Vatican-17's new physician. He encounters not only the computerized...more
Mark Edlund
Science Fiction
So what if robots started their own Vatican on another planet and discovered Heaven? An interesting, if a bit overblown, philosophical discussion. Not that visionary and no real resolution to the idea.
No Canadian references
Project Pope, while enjoyable, plods all the way to its final moments, which plods itself.
Robots are looking for the gods, or God, and have a computer to do the searching. A couple of humans bumble in, have some adventures, there’s some intrigue. Unfortunately, a good portion of the book is padding. Entertaining padding, but padding nevertheless.
Questo romanzo è ambientato in un pianeta ai confini della galassia, colonizzato da robot senzienti che vi hanno fondato Vatican-17, una loro personale rivisitazione di cristianesimo atta alla ricerca della verità ultima, piuttosto che a una fede cieca e immobile. Su questo pianeta, arrivano i nostri protagonisti, per ragioni diverse, ma si ritrovano irrimediabilmente affascinati dalla ricerca della verità perseguita dai robot...

Robot: Check
Esseri alieni NON antropomorfi: check
Esseri alieni an...more
A very gentle story with a nice, even pacing. No real antagonist but plenty of plot and conflict regardless.
This is a lovely book based on an amusing premise. Not much to say but that I loved it to bits when I read it. And re-read it a couple of years later. Also, one of the few paperback SF books that I have retained in my library, carefully secured in a box (with others in the garage) from which I will someday extract it to read again. Or maybe I'll see if it's out in EPUB yet. Definitely this should be on the required reading list for anyone majoring in Sci Fi.
Jim Hoff
Clifford D. Simak's tale about robots and a robot pope trying to find God is compelling. Set near the edge of the galaxy on a planet known as "The End of Nothing", it revolves around not only the robots, but also two human visitors who get caught up in events. I found it's large scale events and ideas very interesting.
This is a sweet and wacky classic intergalactic science fiction. A warm fuzzy read, really, with robots and people and aliens and religion. I loved the plot, though found the dialogue to be a tad hackneyed at times. Really thoroughly pleasant read though.
Found in a used book shop I was enthralled. Each chapter gets stranger and stranger. I remember saying "it can't get weirder" only to be proven wrong. A fun book to read!
Erik Graff
Feb 22, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Simak fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
While it's "delightful" like the Kirkus reviewer says, the lack of any very serious treatment of religious and/or philosophical themes was a disappointment.
Garden Gal
Jan 06, 2013 Garden Gal rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who have time to kill
Didn't really fulfill the premise it set out.

But looking at the concept as a parallel to writing process it almost works.
I typically liked the characters and their concepts, but I'm not as sure about the plot or this idea that there is one answer.
Not a slam bang action book but very thoughtful and with a lot of interesting philosophy. I enjoyed it.
Miroslav Mihov
Не е лоша, логично има малко повече религия и философия, но и достатъчно смахната фантастика.
Not as good as other Simak books but not a bad read.
Jan 13, 2009 Fishsanwitt marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
from Library Thing list
Berkley McLean
Berkley McLean marked it as to-read
Oct 20, 2014
Vic Russell
Vic Russell marked it as to-read
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"He was honored by fans with three Hugo awards and by colleagues with one Nebula award and was named the third Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) in 1977." (Wikipedia)

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