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Rossum Universal Robots (RUR) - New Edition of the Book that Inspired Terminator, I Robot Released
In May 2010, US scientists succeeded in creating the first self-replicating synthetic life. In 1920, Karel Capek predicted this exact scenario in his prescient Rossum Universal Robots (RUR). A New English Language Edition Just Published in his honor.
"Capek's play is immortal for that one word it contributed, 'Robot', not only to English but, through English, to all the languages." Isaac Asimov
Predating Huxely’s Brave New World by two decades, Rossum Universal Robots claims the same footing in history as the earliest masterpiece that depicts the decline of Homo Sapiens and their replacement by the Post Humans.
The Robots described in Čapek's play are not robots in the popularly understood, modern sense of a "mechanical device that sometimes resembles a human." They are not metallic or mechanical, but rather biological entities that may be mistaken for humans.
A comic scene at the beginning of the play shows Helena arguing with her future husband, Harry Domain, because she cannot believe his secretary is a robotess:
DOMAIN: Sulla, let Miss Glory have a look at you.
HELENA: Pleased to meet you. It must be very hard for you out here, cut off from the rest of the world.
SULLA: I do not know the rest of the world Miss Glory. Please sit down.
HELENA: Where are you from?
SULLA: From here, the factory
HELENA: Oh, you were born here.
SULLA: Yes I was made here.
DOMAIN: (laughing) Sulla isn't a person, Miss Glory, she's a robot.
HELENA: Oh, please forgive me ...
Karel Čapek was the most famous author in the Czech Republic in the first half of the 20th century. His work widely translated and still inspires story tellers and movie directors the world over.