I may be mere days away from committing the first organized state of electrons to file (colloquially known as “words to paper”) on my next novel, which will explore the concepts of relationships and identity between human beings and robots. And considering how long I’ve gone since my last major writing project, I find that as I get closer to the commitment point, I’m getting more stoked about it.
Robots have been a favorite subject of mine for years, but I’ve written so little about them… partially because so many others have said so much about them already, in literature and other media. My second novel was about a robot’s attempt to find a place for itself in the world, and its influence on the life of a human who inadvertently comes into contact with it (but don’t go looking for it: I’ve pulled it from circulation with the hope of doing a rewrite on it sometime). It was short, nothing groundbreaking, but it had the virtue of being original in its premise and approach, and I was proud of how it came out. (I really should do that rewrite.)
Robots have always been special subjects in literature, unique hybrids of machines, humans and alchemy (at first… later, computers replaced alchemy), providing an iconic method in which to examine the relationship between all of those elements. They have been treated, at equal times, as toasters, masters, slaves, aliens and gods. And the relationships between robots and humans have been just as vast, ranging from tool, to trusted friend, to mortal enemy. They may be the single more incredible invention Man has ever conceived, and the only one whose potential may surpass that of any living being. I mean, how amazing is that?
It’s no wonder I can’t wait to dive into that pool again. My new novel will also be told from the point of view of a human, and will feature some elements that are rarely seen in robot stories… but I don’t want to give any more of it away. Suffice to say, I plan to have fun with this one, and everyone might be pleasantly surprised with it when it’s done.