Robota Hardcover – Aug 15 2003
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This is not an ordinary sf novel, nor a graphic novel, nor a conventional illustrated novel. Chiang, design director for the most recent Star Wars films, paints like a scion of N. C. Wyeth, Vincent Di Fate, Maxfield Parrish, and Arthur Rackham. Muscular heroes and monsters, dramatic angles and deep foci, glowing color, and wraithlike figures of malevolence are everywhere in his visual complements to a story that he invented and then asked Card, one of the best and most honored contemporary sf and fantasy authors, to write down. That story--of a world that alien robots, once allies of the planet's human natives, are striving to purge of all carbon-based life, only to be thwarted by a "reborn" human champion--resembles the Star Wars saga in being a myth of restoration, of getting an old dream (liberty and cooperation?) back on track. Also like Star Wars, it succeeds by being neat looking more than interesting. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Doug Chiang is creative director of Industrial Light and Magic and was the design director for Star Wars Episode 1. He is the author of Star Wars Episode 1: The Portfolio. Orson Scott Card is a pre-eminent sci-fi author with over 100 titles published. His books include the award-winning Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Shadow Puppets, Lost Boys and Enchantment.
Top Customer Reviews
It tells the tale of how robots conquered our world, destroying civilization and turning mankind into slaves in a vast jungle. On the world called Robota, a robot called Kaantur-Set rules through a living corpse called Font Prime. But one day a mysterious man with no memory arrives with a sentient monkey, encountering the "cubed" beasts and outlaw humans. And a revolution is formed against the robots...
Card should leave robot fiction in the realm of Asimov. Some authors can make robots seem real, through tiny nuances; Card doesn't have the subtlety to do that, and so his robots -- with the exception of the weird Elyseo -- are flat and completely unsatisfactory as a threat.
To make things worse, this seems like half a story rather than a complete one. All the REALLY interesting stuff, such as the jewel, "cubing" (turning animals into sentient creatures), the alien Olm, Font Prime's preservation, the destruction of our civilization and retaking of Robota, are mentioned but never dealt with. Which is a shame, because the actual novel is rushed and rather boring. The climactic battle sputters out before it really starts.
Caps is absolutely insufferable. He's merely dull when he has amnesia, but when he turns into a robot-human prophet he's impossible to like. Beryl is a warrior Barbie. Kaantur-Set is a cut-out villain, whose constant screeching makes him/her hard to take seriously. Only Elyseo (weird robot) and Rend (weird monkey) have any worthwhile personality.
The saving grace is Chiang's artwork.Read more ›
|Length: 0:30 Mins|
This is more of a picture book than an art book. Orson Scott Card filled in the role as the writer for the story.
The story's about the battle between robots and humans on a world called Robota. In this world, humans were made slaves to the robots. One day, a mysterious young man appeared and started a revolution against the robots. That's the premise of the story.
If there's anything I learned from story artists from Pixar, a good story must have twist and turns often. Give readers something and then take it away, making them want more. Show readers the characters are fighting for a cause. It is in these two areas that the story fail to engage me. I just can't relate to
I've seen lots of concept paintings done by Doug Chiang on Star Wars. While the paintings inside this book are impressive, they are lacking in the story element. Except for a few, there's rarely any action in the panels. They are merely concept art. Nothing wrong with that except that there's a story going along. There's no communication between any characters.
There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
...and that's precisely where the book fails. The writing is absolutely AWFUL! It feels like Orson Scott Card phoned this one in, or had his 10 year old nephew write it. I'm aware that the book may be intended for younger readers, but I just couldn't get over how perfunctory and uninteresting the writing was. Not that the story was that interesting either. The worst part was the back cover, which was plastered with quotes from the likes of George Lucas, James Cameron and Robert Zemeckis, praising the book and saying they'd like to see a big-screen adaptation. This REALLY made me lose a lot of respect for these guys, as they're obviously friends of Chiang's, and feel obligated to do the guy a favour. $100 says they never even read the book.
I really can't recommend this book. There are SOME nice images, but you've seen it all before if you own the 'ART OF STAR WARS' books. After all the hype, I really expected more.
Most recent customer reviews
I don't know what the fuss is about. This book is a story with pictures, with more prose than imagery. The artwork is okay, but it's nothing spectacular. Read morePublished on June 11 2004 by chris romano
While the story here is pretty simple and wouldn't normally be considered a great sci-fi epic, it is still a cool concept and really well-written. Read morePublished on April 13 2004 by Chip Hunter
I was looking forward to this title and had heard good things about it. But I was disappointed as I felt I should be reading it aloud to a five year old instead of for myself. Read morePublished on March 15 2004
Although familiar with Orson Scott Card, I had never heard of Doug Chiang or "Robota" prior to picking it up off the shelf in the book store. Read morePublished on March 13 2004 by Matthew Morin
Chiang is a competent and creative designer of fantastic worlds and creatures. Card, as we know from his past novels such as Ender's Game and Lost Boys, is a skilled spinner of... Read morePublished on Dec 18 2003 by This Girl
I am not your typical Sci-Fi enthuist and was unfamiliar with the work of Card or Chiang until this book. However, through this collaborative piece these guys have won my respect! Read morePublished on Nov. 20 2003 by Dayna
This book is totally incredible and unique! I've never read a book like this before. Chiang's artwork is unbelievable and Card's prose is a joy to read. Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2003
Absolutely stunning, five-star paintings wasted on a very poor story. Excellently produced book.Published on Oct. 22 2003 by Manuel Mendes de Carvalho
Incredible and thought provoking.
Robota is a very refreshing take on some common sci-fi themes. Read more