Results of the John W. Campbell Award in the year 1984.
The Citadel of the Autarch brings The Book of the New Sun to its harrowing conclusion, as Severian clashes in a final reckoning with the dread Autarch, fulfilling an ancient prophecy that will forever alter the realm known as Urth.
In this book the author has written a stunning lament about the beastliness in man and the violence in nature, about the darkness of hope abandoned and the blood-price of hope regained. The power of his novel is its informed irony for what has been, and its measured fury for what may yet be. It is bewitching work of profound and prophetic vision.
Something has gone very seriously wrong with Tik-Tok’s “asimov circuits.” They should keep him on the straight and narrow, following Asimov’s first law of robotics: A robot shall not injure a human being, or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm. But, that’s not what’s happening. Although every thing looks fine from the surface, and Tik-Tok maintains the outward appearance of a mild-mannered robot, his agenda is murderously different. And, it’s not just because of his artistic tendencies and sympathy for the robot rights movement, either.
This witty chronicle of one abnormal machine-man, and his dealings with an assortment of deranged and maniacal humans, truly showcases the satirical genius of John Sladek.