Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time
by William F. Wu

Book covers and blurbs for this series follow below.

Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time became the first series set in Dr. Asimov's universe to appear after his death. Bill was asked to write all six volumes of the paperback series, packaged by Byron Preiss Visual Publications. iBooks is re-releasing this series starting in December of 2004.

"My contract called for writing a series aimed at young readers," Bill says. "That was especially inviting to me, because I've loved history since I was a kid, and this was a chance to write adventures I would have enjoyed reading when I was twelve years old. And parents should know that this series is acceptable for their kids. The violence is mild and there are no four-letter words or sexual content.

"The books are labeled as science fiction, not Young Adult, so no one would know that by looking at them. Occasionally I've had people -- grownups -- ask me why the stories and language are rather simple and straight-forward. Of course, the reason is that they were written for young readers."

Briefly, the premise of the series is that six experimental robots have fled into the past to escape being dismantled. In each volume, a specially designed Hunter robot and three humans journey into the past to locate and bring back the fugitive robots to prevent them from changing history. In the process, of course, they have to avoid changing history themselves.

Naturally, all the robots are bound by Asimovís famous Three Laws of Robotics, which are:

The First Law of Robotics:
"A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."

The Second Law of Robotics:
"A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law."

The Third Law of Robotics:
"A robot must protect his own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws."

In each adventure, the ensemble of humans and Hunter, their robot leader, must solve the puzzle of finding and returning the fugitive robots by judging how and when they may act, based on the Three Laws of Robotics.

The times and places in history where the adventures take place are:

  • Predator: The Late Cretaceous era, when dinosaurs roamed.
  • Marauder: The 1600s, when the buccaneers sailed the Caribbean Sea.
  • Warrior: The first century A.D., when the Roman Empire was expanding.
  • Dictator: World War II, as the German army approaches Moscow.
  • Emperor: The 1200s, when Kublai Khan ruled as emperor of China.
  • Invader: The fifth century A.D., when the man who would give rise to the legend of King Arthur defended England.

Bill says, "If you can find them, I hope you'll enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them."

Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time
(Six volume series)

by William F. Wu

In the robot universe created by Isaac Asimov, a humanoid robot named Hunter leads a human team to search the past for six rogue robots before they change the course of history -- or explode with nuclear force in the present!

The first such series in Asimov's universe to appear after his death, written by William F. Wu in the tradition of Asimov's original robot short stories to be acceptable for any age group. Paperback.

Predator Book Cover
Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time
by William F. Wu

Vol. 1: Predator

Mojave Center Governor, an experimental gestalt robot who runs an entire city, realizes he is about to experience total failure. The Third Law of Robotics requires that he protect his own existence -- so he divides into six component robots and each flees back in time.

However, if they remain in the past, their actions may change history forever. If they survive through time into the present, they explode with nuclear force, killing millions. They must be brought home through the same time travel device they originally used to leave their own time.

A new robot named Hunter assembles a team of humans and journeys to the age of dinosaurs to find the first component robot, MC 1, before his actions in the Late Cretaceous alter the course of Earth's zoology long before the evolution of humans -- unaware that MC Governor's creator, Dr. Wayne Nystrom, has preceded them with plans of his own.

"If future volumes of this series are all well done and action-packed as this one, they will be well worth waiting for." Steve Pagel, Sense of Wonder: B. Dalton's Science Fiction, Fantasy and Role Playing Newsletter.

Marauder Book Cover
Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time
by William F. Wu

Vol. 2: Marauder

Hunter takes roboticist Jane Maynard, assistant Steve Chang, and historian Rita Chavez in pursuit of MC 2 to Port Royal, Jamaica, in the time of the buccaneers -- and Rita, deciding to stay in this time, takes off on her own. The team has to face buccaneers in Port Royal, sail with pirates as they prey on a ship, and figure out who among them might be a humanoid robot in disguise.

Meanwhile, roboticist Dr. Wayne Nystrom uses his knowledge of the Three Laws of Robotics to neutralize Hunter so he can take MC 2 first. Dr. Nystrom also makes a deal with a pirate captain to get some help. Without Hunter or Rita with them, Steve and Jane have to handle themselves alone when they meet Captain Henry Morgan.

Warrior Book Cover
Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time
by William F. Wu

Vol. 3: Warrior

Hunter and his regular team members, roboticist Jane Maynard and general assistant Steve Chang, are joined by historian Gene Titus in Roman Germany where a rebellion will decide whether Germany regains its independence or remains part of the Roman Empire indefinitely. If MC 3 successfully obeys the First Law of Robotics and saves Roman Legions from a German ambush, the long-term fate of Europe will be changed forever.

Dr. Nystrom, using his understanding of robot logic and the imperatives of the Three Laws, has persuaded a humanoid robot named Ishihara from his own time to help him get MC 3 first.

Hunter's team searches through the wild forests of Germany among barbaric German tribes for both MC 3 and their nemesis, Dr. Nystrom, before the Battle of Teutoburger Wald, tracking MC 3 through the woods, hunting a wild boar, and befriending a doomed Roman Tribune whose life they dare not save.

Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time
by William F. Wu

Vol. 4: Dictator

December, 1941: Hunter knows that MC 4 will appear in the area of Moscow just before the great battle between the invading German army and the Soviet Red Army defending the city. The battle will be the first Soviet victory in World War II, unless MC 4 somehow interferes, driven by the First Law not to let humans come to harm.

Hunter, Steve, Jane, and their new historian Judy Taub must avoid trouble with the Soviet secret police and move back and forth between the two poised armies in search of MC 4. Meanwhile, Dr. Nystrom and Ishihara enlist the aid of German officers in their search for the rogue component robot. Jane joins a corps of Russian women desperately digging anti-tank trenches as the cold winter grows worse.

As the Red Army begins its counter-attack, Hunter's team and Dr. Nystrom and his assistant converge on MC 4 at the same time.

Emperor Book Cover
Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time
by William F. Wu

Vol. 5: Emperor

When Beijing, China, vanishes under a mysterious mushroom cloud, Hunter knows where to seek MC 5. He takes his team back to the court of Kublai Khan in the time of Marco Polo's famous journey to Cathay. This time, their historian is Marcia Lew, a knowledgeable but pedantic authority on Kublai Khan's rule whom Steve can barely tolerate. They must not only capture MC 5 and return him to their own time through their time-travel device to prevent him from exploding, but also prevent him from reaching the ear of the benevolent Emperor -- and persuading him to make changes in his rule that could alter the course of history.

Their search takes them to the Great Wall of China north of Beijing, where they meet with rough and rowdy Mongol guards in the service of the Emperor.

When the team meets with Marco Polo, they must also make sure that they reveal nothing new that he can include in the book that will someday make his name virtually immortal.

During their efforts, Dr. Nystrom kidnaps Jane and takes her to another time!

Invader Book Cover
Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time
by William F. Wu

Vol. 6: Invader

Now Hunter, Steve, and a new historian named Harriet Lane must worry about Jane's welfare as they travel to southern Britain to seek MC 6 in A.D. 459 -- in the time when a man named Artorius led his British Celts in war against the invading Saxons. Artorius, the real man upon whom the Arthurian legend would be based in succeeding centuries, leads a troop of cavalry -- but now, in early spring, he is not prepared for war.

To search for MC 6 and some sign of Dr. Nystrom and his captive, Jane, Hunter's team splits up. Harriet befriends the woman named Gwenhyvaer, who someday hopes to marry Artorius. When the Saxons march early to catch Artorius unprepared, Hunter and Steve volunteer to ride with the troops going out to meet them in the belief that MC 6 will show up where humans are in danger. With Jane still held captive, Dr. Nystrom and Ishihara follow their line of march.

Ultimately, they all converge at the site of battle!




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Last Modified: January 23, 2005
Modified by: LJL

Copyright William F. Wu 1999, 2000-8. All Rights Reserved.