By Stephen Goldin
A misplaced vintage of technology fiction.
Birk Aaland is a political outcast from Earth's tyranny, and has been dwelling for years on a planet inhabited exclusively by means of robots, ever for the reason that his send crashed here.
Now one other send has crashed, and there's back a unmarried survivor—a girl who's wanting to warn Earth of an alien invasion.
But Birk is completely proud of his present exile—until a accident intervenes, inflicting every one of them to re-examine their lives and their overall existence.
"The tale profits an emotionality that justifies calling Goldin an artist, no longer purely a writer." —Tom Easton, Analog Magazine
Originally released 1981 by means of Doubleday.
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Additional resources for A World Called Solitude
Arthur, once he heard Birk’s intended destination, begged to come along. The delta would require refueling in the city for the return trip, and even if Arthur remained with the vehicle he would be there to pilot the craft home if Birk’s emotional state was adversely affected by his experiences there. But Birk refused. This was something he had to face alone; Arthur’s presence would only serve as a distraction. He did, however, agree to let Arthur radio ahead and tell the robots of that city to accept Birk’s orders and refuel the delta while he was out on his crucial errand.
Birk wandered down the streets—his streets—with Arthur by his side. In all the other cities, Birk felt more like a curious tourist than a conqueror, but Alpha-Xi was his. He had rescued it from the darkness; he had ordered it rebuilt and restored to grandeur. Alpha-Xi was his, and the feeling was reflected in his walk. He strutted through the streets with small nods of his head to acknowledge the silent cheers of a grateful populace. One by one, he and Arthur visited the major points of the city.
Arthur had admitted he didn’t know the principle behind the Remembrance Booths, and Birk had been averse to tearing one apart to find out; all he knew was that they did work. Two different explanations came to mind, but he could prove neither. 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.
A World Called Solitude by Stephen Goldin