I watched Wall-E for the first time earlier this week, and it made me feel all kinds of things, in the usual way of Pixar films. But it also got me thinking about how, even though I’m really not much of a Sci-Fi person, I really, really love robots (and cyborgs and androids and their ilk), and often, when I do read Sci-Fi, the robot characters end up being my favourites. So, for your enjoyment, here are a few of my favourite fictional robot (and others) stories!
1) The Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve. A steampunk adventure story, set in a future where huge cities wander around, churning up the ground and eating each other. I mentioned Shrike quite recently in my Top 5 Anti-Heroes post, but he’s definitely worth mentioning a second time. Shrike is a creature called a Stalker; part machine and part corpse, but (to a certain degree) retaining his personality from his previous life.
2) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. This is a series of fairytale retellings, set in a future where Earth is on the brink of war with the Moon. The main character, Cinder, is a cyborg (a human with several cybernetic limbs, and a control panel in her brain), and she also has an adorably quirky android friend called Iko.
3) Shade’s Children by Garth Nix. Another futuristic novel, but this time a dystopian! Shade’s Children is set in a world where children are raised in facilities, and once they reach a certain age, they’re taken away so their brains and muscles can be harvested to make monsters. The robot character in this one is perhaps not really a robot: Shade himself, who takes in runaway children and protects them, is actually a scientist who downloaded his personality into a computer in order to survive in this world-without-adults.