Adam Link - Robot by Eando Binder
(Paperback Library, 1965)
Reviewed by Robert W. Bly, founder, ScienceFictionPrediction.com
Isaac Asimov, who is known for writing great robot stories, says of Adam Link - Robot: "The robot-with-emotion story has rarely been so well-handled."
A popular SF writer in his time but largely forgotten today, Binder's was best known for his Adam Link stories, featuring a super-strong, intelligent, emotional, benevolent, moral robot named Adam Link.
This novel, written in an unadorned pulp style, tells the story of Adam's creation and his trials and tribulations.
Much like Andrew Martin in Asimov's "Bicentennial Man," Adam wants to be a free being who is recognized as a man and citizen of the world - goals he achieves by the end of the novel.
Andrew Martin has a positronic brain. Adam Link has an "iridium-sponge" brain of similar construction and functionality.
One big difference is that, governed by Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, Andrew is incapable of disobeying, harming, or killing human beings.
Adam is not similarly constrained. He has free will and can do what he pleases. However, he makes a moral decision and pledges not to kill humans, even though in some instances their evil actions anger him sufficiently to make him want to do so. He can and does hurt bad guys when the situation calls for it.
And like the Hangman in Roger Zelazny's "Home is the Hangman," Adam Link is falsely accused and then cleared of murder, and eventually decides to leave Earth and explore the stars.
In "The Bride of Frankenstein," Victor Frankenstein builds a bride for his monster. In "Adam Link - Robot," Adam is called a Frankenstein by the press. The scientist who built him his dead, but Adam understands his own technology, and so builds himself a bride. Of course, he names her Eve.
"Adam Link - Robot" is not a great or highly memorable SF novel. It is a straightforward adventure story told in the first person by an interesting protagonist: Adam Link, the world's first intelligent robot.
"Adam Link" is entertaining and a quick read. For those reasons, I recommend it. But I also recommend "Adam Link" for those interested in the science fictional evolution of the concept of intelligent robots - an idea that has continued to hold SF writers and fans in its grip for over half a century.