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Mason, Robert

(1942-    ) US author who became known for Chickenhawk (1983), a memoir of his stint as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He is of sf interest for the Solo sequence, which begins with Weapon (1989). Ostensibly a Technothriller, and filmed as such as Solo (1996) directed by Norberto Barba, it avoids the more restrictive implications of that term by concentrating on an AI; Solo, the Robot referred to in the title, learns more about being human in his Android body than about being a superior killing machine, though he is vividly aware that his "skin" is only skin-deep. This humaneness is unsatisfactory to the American military, under whose suasion Nimrod, a "twin" weapon conditioned to be ruthless, is developed. In Solo (1992), the empathetic Solo must eliminate the killer, doing so at the cost of its own body, becoming a Brain in a Box. An apparent generic closeness of these novels to the films The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) was noted in reviews, but there is in fact little resemblance between either film and Weapon. Unfortunately, Mason then fell silent as a novelist. [JC]

Robert Caverly Mason

born Plainfield, New Jersey: 20 March 1942





Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 18:47 pm on 7 July 2022.