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I don’t know how you, dear reader (or, dare I hope: readers!), go about accessing and assimilating the frightening amount of information that is fired at us every second of our existence, but one the key tools I use to augment my reading is the podcast. I listen to all manner of topics – comics discussion, SF discussion, politics, humour, science, audio fiction, football (that’s proper football, where the ball is spherical and the players don’t pick it up) and quite a few others.

Being a digital publisher, I’m obviously keen to keep up with what’s happening in the world of technology, and one of my main sources of information in this area is Click, the BBC technology podcast formerly known as Digital Planet.  It’s a nice overview of the state of play, and keeps the discussion at an accessible level – something I appreciate as I listen to most of my podcasts on the way to the station in the morning (when my brain has not yet come on-line); if I hear something especially interesting I can always follow it up later in more detail.

Occasionally, I fall a little behind in my listening and find myself playing catch-up, which is how I come to be listening to the 29th January edition of Click in the second week of February. I thought this particular episode might be of interest to SF Gateway readers as the topic at hand is . . . robots! It’s an interesting, if slightly surface-level, discussion about robots and our reaction to them, featuring – among other items – a robot stand-up comedian, a robot made of Lego and a nice section on Karel Capek‘s seminal play RUR, or Rossum’s Universal Robots (which, of course, recently took its rightful place in Gollancz‘s SF Masterworks list).

You can download the episode here, but you’ll need to be quick – the episode will only be available for another couple of weeks (although you’ll almost certainly still be able to find it on iTunes). I leave you with the wisdom of Data the robot stand-up comedian:

Why did the robot cross the road?

Because its programmer was a chicken.


I’ll get me coat . . .