3. We, Robot: Skywalker's Hand, Blade Runners, Iron Man, Slutbots, and How Fiction Became Fact
By Mark Stephen Meadows ($19.95, Lyons Press)
If you grew up like I did on a steady diet of "The Jetsons," "The Six Million Dollar Man," "Star Wars," and "The Terminator," then you've been wondering when all your robot fantasies might become true. But unlike personal jet packs (never happened) and hover craft (another back-of-comic-book pipe dream), cyborgs, androids, and avatars are real. With wit and insight, Mark Stephen Meadows separates science fiction from actual fact, navigating the ethically sketchy territory of domestic robots and autonomous military robots, artificial hands, and artificial emotions. "We, Robot" raises the crucial questions that robot-makers largely ignore. In doing so, Meadows shows us that in our quest to create more and more life-like robots, we've become more robotic ourselves.