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Killer Thing, The : af Kate Wilhelm

Killer Thing, The : (udgave 2011)

af Kate Wilhelm

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1684129,779 (3.73)5
Titel:Killer Thing, The :
Forfattere:Kate Wilhelm
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Nøgleord:Science Fiction

Work Information

The Killer Thing af Kate Wilhelm


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This 1976 story illustrates the SciFi side of the '60s counter-culture and is sadly needed even more today. The plot is simple: a super powerful robot is forced to conclude that mankind is the enemy and has to be destroyed. The undercurrent theme is that man has become so arrogant that any culture other than his is, by definition, deficient and needs to me "fixed", whether any of the aboriginal peoples agree or not. This is a retelling of the "white man's burden" with the dominant culture being so powerful that it doesn't need to give any energy/attention to nay-sayers. Fortunately there are the Outsiders, who serve as the 'deus ex machina' to finally save the day--but who actually play a small role in the story. It turns out that the dominant World Government culture of Earth has a secret weapon that can eliminate the "deus"...unless a new cultural hero arrives to destroy the ultimate weapon. This is not a compelling story, nor a must-read; but it is a set of good solid interweaving themes, told in a convincing style, that remind us of the lessons we thought we had learned so many years ago; but seem to be forgetting in the 20-teens: might does NOT make right! ( )
  majackson | Mar 3, 2019 |
Okay, I admit I bought this novel – at this year’s Eastercon – because of the dreadful cover art. Comparisons with, and references to, The Martian proved inevitable, although the book itself is set on some random alien desert world. Humanity has spread out among the stars and pretty much conquered everyone it meets, most of whom also happen to be human, but nice and fluffy and progressive compared to Earth’s bigoted, racist and sexist conquerors. On one such world, the protagonist of The Killing Thing, Tracey, visits an open-cast mine and sees an experimental mining robot. It kills its inventor, and is taken by Earth’s military establishment for study. On Venus. Where it escapes. And now Tracey is the sole survivor of a ship that tracked the killer robot to the random alien desert world, and he’s stuck on its surface in a lifeboat with limited fuel and supplies, and must hold out until rescue arrives, while the robot hunts him down and tries to kill him. If it weren’t for the background material – most of which is, quite frankly, offensive – The Killing Thing would be padded out beyond boredom. As it is, it still reads like a short story bloated beyond its natural length. I’d had a quite high opinion of Wilhelm’s fiction based on previous stuff by her I’d read, but that opinion took a bit of a beating reading The Killing Thing. When I restart SF Mistressworks – soon, I hope – then I’ll bung a more comprehensive review of this book up there. For now: not a good work from a usually good writer. ( )
  iansales | Aug 2, 2017 |
I was browsing at a local used book store when this one caught my eye. On a desolate planet, an overmatched but spunky young space soldier battles a killer robot, with the future of humanity at stake…by Kate Wilhelm? Really?

This book initially offers the trappings of a militaristic golden age “man conquers the universe” story (complete with habitable Venus), but it doesn’t take long to see hints that all is not right in this universe. Our strong and loyal and determined protagonist is haunted by more than a machine run amok: dark dreams and flashbacks to events that would have been presented as heroic in an earlier era of science fiction, but here are initially ambiguous, and then gradually less and less ambiguously eviscerated through a penetrating ethical lens. Before long The Killer Thing has become quite obviously an indictment of "might makes right" and the Vietnam War and American Imperialism.

In the end The Killer Thing feels similar to, but subtler than Joanna Russ's We Who Are About To…., a searing feminist novel that mercilessly crushes science fiction trope after science fiction trope. The characterization here isn’t particularly deep, and some aspects of the setting seem not particularly well thought through, but for some readers the message will resonate as much today as it did in 1967. ( )
1 stem clong | Mar 17, 2011 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Wilhelm, Kateprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Lehr, Paul, 1930-1998.Omslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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