bup's Reviews > The Runaway Robot

The Runaway Robot by Lester del Rey
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's review
Jan 16, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, ya, genres-i-hate
Read in January, 1976

What's not to love in revisiting a story where a kid and a robot stow away on a space freighter? Isn't that the most straight-ahead premise for a book for boys ever? I wasn't expecting much, except some nostalgia from a book I read originally in (4th?) grade.

Although this won't come back in print, I'm sure, it's kind of fun to look at the parts of this kids' sci-fi that still stand up, and aren't embarrassing from a 2012 POV. Moons of Jupiter are inhabited, but not Jupiter. The moon Gannymede, where people farm weird fungi, is tidally locked with Jupiter dominating the sky. Mars is inhabited, but has a very thin atmosphere, requires (lightweight) space suits when outside 'the domes,' and has terrible sandstorms.

On the other hand, the 'bad' stuff is campy enough that it's fun. There are sentient species from Venus, Mars, Mercury, and Pluto. Ah, yes. Also there are visiphones, with visiphone books and human operators to help you look up visiphone numbers. And paper tickets bought in person for space travel. Like I say, campy enough to be fun.

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