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Murray’s book reviews

I've always felt "The Day the Earth Stood Still" the superior effort. This story simply has too many clunks and jerks in it.

There is absolutely no need for Bates to have set his story in some vague, undescribed future where humans fill the solar system (but at the same time, only two spaceships have ever been built?? What the who now?) Nothing in the story requires a future setting and thus it only serves to distance the reader from the immediacy of the plot. Like the movie, he should have stuck to his own time and place and called a news photographer a "news photographer". "Picture man"...yeesh.

My second dissatisfaction comes from being a child of my era. Even in the late 1960's, the idea of a robot or machine intelligence being "The Master" wasn't that startling. Granted, the overlord machines (eg Colossus) were nasty and tyrannical. That leaves only the fact Gnut loved his servant-pet as the novel concept. And that idea fades with each decade of SF that goes by.

The third gripe is even more subjective and involves Bates' writing style. So I shan't bother you with that.