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Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Good News from the Vatican" by Robert Silverberg

The next pope is a robot. Why did Carr, del Rey, and LeGuin think this an important story? It was probably the then recent Vatican II that many saw as the beginning of many changes within how religion--at Roman Catholicism--was interpreted. Without historical context, the story loses some of its power. Another lens to read the story would be through race relations with the fear of robots running operations. Nonetheless, despite allusions, metaphor and theme, sometimes a robot is just a robot. It is often more useful to read at a literal level before advancing to other topics and heading off into misinterpretations.
  • Universe 1, ed. Terry Carr, Ace 1971
  • Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year, ed. Lester del Rey, E.P. Dutton 1972
  • Nebula Award Stories 7, ed. Lloyd Biggle, Jr., Harper & Row 1973
  • Unfamiliar Territory, Scribner’s 1973
  • Social Problems Through Science Fiction, ed. Martin H. Greenberg, John W. Milstead, Joseph D. Olander & Patricia S. Warrick, St. Martin’s 1975
  • The New Awareness, ed. Patricia S. Warrick & Martin H. Greenberg, Delacorte 1975
  • The Best of Robert Silverberg, Pocket 1976 The Best from Universe, ed. Terry Carr, Doubleday 1984
  • Beyond the Safe Zone, Donald I. Fine 1986
  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. IV, ed. Terry Carr, Avon 1986
  • The Norton Book of Science Fiction, ed. Ursula K. Le Guin & Brian Attebery, Norton 1993

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