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Losing My Religion Week

Science fiction often skirts around religion and robot fiction even more so, but when the topic of religion does show up, it is often quite thought provoking. But where’s the science in the science fiction about religion? Some of the stories touch on how robots really work, while others illustrate social robot studies of how people react to robots. We start the week with a conversation with Ian Tregillis, author of the Alchemy Wars series (reviewed here) and a plasma physicist at Los Alamos, where the Catholic minority is trying to save robots, and their souls, from de facto slavery imposed by the Calvinist majority. Throughout the week look for reviews of short stories including the must-read Articles of Faith by Mike Resnick as well as ones by old masters, such as Roger Zelany's For a Breath I Tarry, and Robert Silverberg’s Good News from the Vatican. Speaking of Good News from the Vatican, it seems a running joke in older science fiction that it would be likelier to have a robot pope than an American pope (take that Jude Law in the HBO series The Young Pope!), so we will conclude the week with a review of Clifford D. Simak’s Project Pope. Spin up REM’s Losing My Religion, or revisit the astounding music video, for some mood music and decide whether these authors in the spotlight have either said too much or haven’t said enough about robots and religion.

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