Len Ellis


Proto-Robots:  Early Fictions

This anthology of mostly 19th century fiction collects all the first portrayals of robot precursors including automatons, steam men, cyborgs, androids and machine life and displays the full range of their relationships to their human creators, from helpful servants to murderers and rebels.  The selections are listed below.  Those marked with an asterisk are excerpts; all others are full texts. The on-demand printer would not permit me to include the first robot pornography, but you can read it here.
E. T. A. Hoffman, "The Sand-man" (1817)

Giacomo Leopardi, "An Announccement of Prizes" (1834)

Edgar Allan Poe, "The Man That Was Used Up" (1839)

Herman Melville, "The Bell-Tower" (1855)

Edward S. Ellis,
The Steam Man of the Prairies (1865)*

Samuel Butler,
The Book of the Machines (1872)*

Edward P. Mitchell, "The Ablest Man in the World" (1879)

Auguste Villiers d'Isle-Adam,
The Future Eve (1886)*

Cyrus Cole,
The Dummies Revolt (1890)*

M. L. Campbell, "The Automatic Maid-of-All-Work" (1893)

Ambrose Bierce, "Moxon's Master" (1899)

L. Frank Baum,
Ozma of Oz (1907)*

E. M. Forster, "The Machine Stops" (1909)
Website Builder