Sunday, May 16, 2021

Review of "Tom Swift and His Giant Robot," by Victor Appleton II

 Review of

Tom Swift and His Giant Robot, by Victor Appleton II

Five out of five stars

Excellent mid-fifties science fiction for adolescents

 The Tom Swift books of the second iteration “authored” by Victor Appleton II inspired an entire generation of scientists and engineers. The two teenage main characters were role models for many readers to fantasize their roles in creating new scientific and technical marvels. Most of the devices were logical extensions of the technical development of the time and this book is no exception.

 The robots that Tom Swift Junior is building in this book are designed to work in dangerous environments, specifically nuclear reactors. This book was written in 1954 and the first commercial nuclear reactor was commissioned in 1956, so that concept was a logical look ahead. The protagonist is a bit of a mad scientist, thereby checking another box in the genre.

 The action is largely routine and typical of the TSJ books, nothing is a surprise or original. Since this book was written in 1954 and the comic book legend Stan Lee was already active in writing stories for Atlas Comics, it is possible that the use of that name for a robot in the book is not coincidental. Whatever, the reason, it was an appropriate name assignment.

 This is a book that is fun to read, both as a look back at adolescent science fiction of the fifties and as an examination of how science fiction writers applied current trends into intelligent and logical extrapolations.

No comments:

Post a Comment