The Robot and the Man is the fourth in Martin Greenberg’s Adventures in Science Fiction Series (ASFS) of anthologies. Nine stories from Campbell’s Astounding surrounded one entry from Galaxy.
As with Men Against the Stars, the stories are arranged approximately chronologically so when combined they appear to tell a continuous story, here of the robot from the first thinking machine to the far distant future where robots have outlived their human makers.
To do so, Greenberg tampered a bit with the texts, as several reviewers noted. Mark Reinsberg in Imagination wrote that, “The editor has altered the stories to fit the chronicle, a doubtful practice which deprives the collection of variety without improving the tales themselves.” John S. Harris of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, contrarily, thought that it made them “possess an unusual amount of continuity.”
Interestingly, not a single one of these stories made it onto the cover of the magazine in their original publication. I offer the text-free cover of the Galaxy Science Fiction with Bernard Wolfe’s story instead.
The Contents page maintained Gnome’s usual practice of crediting stories to the name it was originally published under, hiding that John S. Browning is Robert Moore Williams, who therefore has two stories in the anthology. A. E. van Vogt’s name is spelled vanVogt in the ToC and on his story, but is correct on the spine, the rear flap, and back cover.
Greenberg’s “Foreward” has a very unlikely memory mistake.
In recent times the Voder robot exhibited at the World’s Fair of 1939 in New York was more recognizable, in crude outline at least, as the fictional type of mechanical man.
The Voder was a speech synthesizer made by AT&T’s Bell Labs. Westinghouse’s Elektro was the famous seven-foot-tall humanoid robot at the 1939 Fair. They are not interchangeable.
No embossing appears on the spine backing, for the first time in the ASFS volumes.
Contents and original publication
• “Foreward,” Martin Greenberg (original to this volume).
• story introductions, unsigned, probably David Kyle.
• “Mechanical Answer,” John D. MacDonald (Astounding Science Fiction, May 1948 as “The Mechanical Answer”).
• “Self-Portrait,” Bernard Wolfe (Galaxy Science Fiction, November 1951).
• “Deadlock,” Lewis Padgett [pseud. of Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore] (Astounding Science Fiction, August 1942).
• “Robinc,” H. H. Holmes [pseud. of Anthony Boucher] (Astounding Science Fiction, September 1943).
• “Burning Bright,” John S. Browning [pseud. of Robert Moore Williams] (Astounding Science Fiction, July 1948).
• “Final Command,” A. E. Van Vogt (Astounding Science Fiction, November 1949).
• “Though Dreamers Die,” Lester del Rey (Astounding Science Fiction, February 1944).
• “Rust,” Joseph E. Kelleam (Astounding Science-Fiction, October 1939).
• “Robot’s Return,” Robert Moore Williams (Astounding Science-Fiction, September 1938).
• “Into Thy Hands,” Lester del Rey (Astounding Science Fiction, August 1945).
Sam Moskowitz, Science Fiction Plus, October 1953
The great refinement which science-fiction has brought to the robot is the act of humanizing them – telling stories from the standpoint of the robot as well as by human narrators. … All in all it is a gratifying volume.
The Robot and the Man, Edited by Martin Greenberg, Adventures in Science Fiction Series 4, 1953, copyright registration 15Mar53, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number not given [retroactively 53-9363], title #29, back panel #22, 251 pages, $2.95. 5000 copies printed. Hardback, tan cloth with dark brown cloth-backed spine and silver lettering. Jacket Design by Ric Binkley. “FIRST EDITION” on copyright page. Manufactured in the U.S.A. Country Life Press, Printers. Back panel: 30 titles. Gnome Press address is given as 80 East 11th St., N. Y. 3.