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John Sladek (1937–2000)

Author of Tik-Tok

125+ Works 2,490 Members 50 Reviews 6 Favorited

About the Author

Disambiguation Notice:

"James Vogh" was a pseudonym of Sladek's.

Image credit: Ansible

Series

Works by John Sladek

Tik-Tok (1983) 372 copies
The Reproductive System (1968) 335 copies
The Complete Roderick (1980) 309 copies
Roderick (1980) 199 copies
Black Alice (1968) 194 copies
The Müller-Fokker Effect (1970) 181 copies
Roderick at Random (1983) 117 copies
Keep the Giraffe Burning (1977) 80 copies
Bugs (1989) 69 copies
Black Aura (1974) 60 copies
Invisible Green (1977) 45 copies
The Best of John Sladek (1980) 44 copies
Alien Accounts (1982) 36 copies
The Lunatics of Terra (1984) 15 copies
Judgement of Jupiter (1980) 15 copies
Wholly Smokes (2003) 9 copies
Mecasmo (1968) 7 copies
Thirteenth Zodiac (1979) 7 copies
The House that Fear Built (1966) 5 copies
Roderick a solta-2 (1995) 5 copies
Love Among the Xoids (1984) 4 copies
Mechasme (1968) 4 copies
Astrology and Your Health (1980) 2 copies
Dining out 2 copies
Mecasmo 1 copy
Méchasmes 1 copy
Machine screw (1975) 1 copy
Comedo 1 copy
The Book of Clues (1984) 1 copy
4-part list 1 copy
Radio cats 1 copy
Timetable 1 copy

Associated Works

Dangerous Visions: 33 Original Stories — Contributor — 1,893 copies
The Science Fiction Encyclopedia (1993) — Contributor — 684 copies
The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF (1994) — Contributor — 392 copies
Dangerous Visions 3 (1967) — Contributor — 182 copies
Nova 2 (1972) — Contributor — 144 copies
New Worlds: An Anthology (1983) — Contributor — 107 copies
The Best from Galaxy Volume IV (1976) — Contributor — 103 copies
The New Tomorrows (1971) — Contributor — 77 copies
New Worlds Quarterly 1 (1971) — Contributor — 70 copies
Best SF: 1967 (1968) — Contributor — 69 copies
Best SF Stories from New Worlds 2 (1966) — Contributor — 65 copies
Best SF Stories from New Worlds 4 (1969) — Contributor — 64 copies
Space Mail II (1982) — Contributor — 64 copies
The New SF (1969) — Contributor — 63 copies
The Best Science Fiction of the Year #13 (1984) — Contributor — 61 copies
The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 11 (1985) — Contributor — 60 copies
Antigrav (1975) — Contributor — 59 copies
New Worlds Quarterly 4 (1972) — Contributor — 53 copies
New Worlds Quarterly 3 (1972) — Contributor — 52 copies
Strangeness (1977) — Contributor — 52 copies
Quark/2 (1971) — Contributor — 52 copies
More Tales from the "Forbidden Planet" (1990) — Contributor — 49 copies
Introductory Psychology through Science Fiction (1974) — Contributor — 44 copies
Alpha 6 (1976) — Contributor — 44 copies
New Worlds 5 (1973) — Contributor — 44 copies
Interzone: The 4th Anthology (1983) — Contributor — 41 copies
The Shape of Sex to Come (1978) — Contributor — 38 copies
New Worlds 7 (1974) — Contributor — 37 copies
New Worlds 9 (1975) — Contributor — 33 copies
The Shores Beneath (1971) — Contributor — 26 copies
Drabble II: Double Century (1990) — Contributor — 25 copies
The Times Of London Anthology Of Detective Stories (1972) — Contributor — 25 copies
Welcome to Reality: The Nightmares of Philip K. Dick (1991) — Contributor — 24 copies
We, Robots (2010) — Contributor — 23 copies
Bad Moon Rising (1973) — Contributor — 23 copies
The New improved sun: An anthology of utopian S-F (1975) — Contributor — 20 copies
Mind in Chains (1970) — Contributor — 14 copies
Höhenflüge (1982) — Contributor, some editions — 11 copies
Alfa Twee: SF-Verhalen (1974) — Contributor — 7 copies
Døds-layoutet 1 (1972) — Author, some editions; Author, some editions — 3 copies
Pistolero fuori tempo — Contributor — 3 copies
Den ¤elektriske myre og andre science fiction-fortællinger (1984) — Author, some editions — 2 copies
Døds-layoutet 2 (1973) — Author, some editions — 2 copies
Focus 70 (2020) — Contributor — 1 copy

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Reviews

Before Bender “Bending Bot” Rodriquez there was Tik-Tok—a sophisticated robot who went on a murderous and violent crime spree that no one believed and went on to be the first nominated robot Vice-President.

The story of Tik-Tok is an amusing one. Throughout the book, his story interchanges between his past and the colourful people he is passed onto service for and his present, which usually involves him plotting his next crime or his next step in bringing equality to all robot in America.

A satirical comedy, Tik-Toks journey is an exploration of America which still feels relevant on a political level today. In fact it is the political satire which holds up the strongest with more relevance than ever in what often feels like an increasingly corrupt system no matter which way you turn.

Whilst the rest of the social satire doesn’t hold up as well as it did half a century ago, Tik-Tok’s exploits are amusing and it’s easy to find yourself rooting for him even as he heinously experiments with crimes such as arson, fraud, hijacking, jewel heists, violent chess games and more often than not—varied forms of murder.

What elevates Tik-Tok’s story is that is never explicit what his motivations are and when exactly he broke his “Asimov circuits” which previously prevented him commiting these acts—most of which no one believes because it is unheard of for a robot to do such things, leading to the framing of an unfortunate soul instead. Is Tik-Tok doing this because he wants to feel “real”? Or perhaps to further his cause for bringing rights to robots having rescued so many from dereliction. Or perhaps it’s just because he can. Whatever Tik-Tok’s motivations, it’s hard not to root for him no matter how low he stoops simply because he is somehow fundamentally likeable, whilst those around him seem to deserve it.

As a piece of social satire, some of its power has of course diminished in time, but this is still an entertaining read with some thought provoking moments. Sladek is clearly using it as platform for some deeper social beliefs, but at its heart has also created one of the finest anti-heroes in literature.
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1 vote
Flagged
KevDS | 13 other reviews | Sep 9, 2023 |
It's just too dumb.
 
Flagged
burritapal | 7 other reviews | Oct 23, 2022 |
A science fiction writer writes a mystery story using Alice in wonderland as a basis. I loved this book. There was all kinds of Karma taking on people who deserved it.
 
Flagged
burritapal | 2 other reviews | Oct 23, 2022 |
Rather heavy-handed. And full of those cheap tricks writers use to add suspense to a story that ultimately isn't that exciting.
 
Flagged
mkfs | 2 other reviews | Aug 13, 2022 |

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Statistics

Works
125
Also by
51
Members
2,490
Popularity
#10,301
Rating
½ 3.7
Reviews
50
ISBNs
121
Languages
9
Favorited
6

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