A World Called Solitude by Stephen Goldin

By Stephen Goldin

A misplaced vintage of technological know-how fiction.

Birk Aaland is a political outcast from Earth's tyranny, and has been dwelling for years on a planet inhabited completely by means of robots, ever in view that his send crashed here.
Now one other send has crashed, and there's back a unmarried survivor—a lady who's desirous to warn Earth of an alien invasion.
But Birk is completely proud of his present exile—until a coincidence intervenes, inflicting each one of them to reconsider their lives and their overall existence.

"The tale profits an emotionality that justifies calling Goldin an artist, now not basically a writer." —Tom Easton, Analog Magazine

Originally released 1981 by means of Doubleday.

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One was that a drug was somehow introduced into the subject’s body, inducing the desired hallucinations and making the experience so completely believable that the subject came away convinced it had all been real. The other was that the subject’s mind was telepathically scanned for sufficient information, then some sort of robot was fashioned based on the subject’s memory. Both theories had their flaws. Birk couldn’t believe in a drug that would work identically on both the Makers’ minds and that of a human; the two races were sufficiently different to make such a hallucinogen unlikely.

Alpha-Xi, as perhaps nowhere else on the planet, personified the death and decay that was this world. He would have given up on the project right then were it not for Arthur’s insistence that the city could be restored. Their first task was to replace the power units and bring Alpha-Xi back to life. Despite the centuries of decay and neglect, the city reacted to the reinstatement of power better than Birk expected. Many circuits had been broken or eaten through by time and the gnawers, but lights sprang to life nonetheless all over the city, dispelling the pall of darkness.

She was in a hospital. There was no disguising the institutional nature of the place. The pale, sterile walls and the sharp smell of disinfectant were the same everywhere. Well, it only makes sense that I’m in a hospital after that crash, she thought. I should count myself lucky it’s not a mortuary. There were machines, robots, scampering around her bed. She had seen robots before, of course, but never in these particular shapes and certainly never so many in one place. Robots were still too expensive to use so prodigiously.

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