Seen as a precursor to works such as Huxley's Brave New World, this true classic of the dystopian genre remains all too resonant in today's political climate
Determined to liberate the mass-produced but highly intelligent robots forged in the machinery of Rossum's island factory, Helena Glory arrives in a blaze of righteousness only to find herself perplexed and set aback by the robots' seeming humanity but absolute lack of sentience. To further complicate matters, she soon deserts her strident campaigning and falls in love with Domin, the factory's general manager. Their life together appears to become comfortable, but all is not as it seems?the tide is turning against the humans, and it's only a matter of time before chaos breaks out on the island. Drawing huge international attention following its original publication in 1921, Rossum's Universal Robots was a strikingly prescient meditation on the themes of humanity and subjugation that were to dominate the 20th century. This work is also famed as being the first ever use of the word ''robot.''