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Project Pope

Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Project Pope by Clifford D. Project Pope by Clifford D. On the remote planet End of Nothing, a colony of advanced robots has established project Vatican Best of all in this cast of charmers are some wonderfully Simakian robots: Paperback , pages. Published by New English Library London first published Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Project Pope , please sign up.

Lists with This Book. Not sure why it happens that the man Dr. Jason Tennyson and the woman Jill Roberts, journalist arrived on this planet just as the robots' Search for Knowledge and for a constructed Faith also arrived. But so it did, and so we learn about these robots who are interested in humans and in relitions, and about humans, and about a bunch of other truly alien aliens. The sexism is much more minor than one might expect. Social drinking is totally a thing, but there's no tobacco or drug use, and the s Not sure why it happens that the man Dr. Social drinking is totally a thing, but there's no tobacco or drug use, and the sex is totally off-stage.

The characters are better developed than expected, too, but in a subtle manner for the careful reader. There are 'loose ends' and unanswered questions, I think, but maybe I didn't read quite carefully enough. In fact, most of the book is quiet and so, if one has not been reading attentively, the drama near the end and the end itself may seem out-of-proportion and out-of-place I particularly liked puzzling out which characters we could take at face value and which were not all they seemed, not trustworthy Recommended if my comments make it seem interesting, or if you've wanted to read a bit more Simak Simak's books have such a gentle folksy voice, as if Prairie Home Companion decided to write science fiction.

In Project Pope a group of robots have started a research project Vatican to synthesize a single true religion, but over the centuries the research has grown in importance while the religious side has become, not exactly less important but less urgent. Then one of the human psychic researchers claims she has found heaven, threatening a schism between the more and less fervent factions Simak's books have such a gentle folksy voice, as if Prairie Home Companion decided to write science fiction. Then one of the human psychic researchers claims she has found heaven, threatening a schism between the more and less fervent factions of the robots.

It is a simple science fiction, showing the universe as strange and wonderful and that good-hearted people can come out on top without the need to murder thousands of aliens. Not a bad message. Jason Tennyson takes the first ship out and ends up at the end of nowhere—the planet End of Nothing. End of Nothing has one settlement: Vatican, a robot project to discover the one true faith, preferably one that will include robots. This is a typically nice Simak story, with friendly characters, who despite being friendly all have different motivations that cause conflict.

Stories like this or Way Station are a refreshing change of pace. There are also some neat ideas here. Just as humans find it difficult to lose a reverence for their own hypothetical creator, robots find it difficult to lose their reverence for their visible creator: Into all of this, one of the human researchers claims to have discovered heaven—the real deal, with golden stairs, ivory towers, and flying angels. And all the conflicts come out into the open. Wow, what an odd book! OK so if you get past the robot civilization who has set up a search for all knowledge using clones of humans who can transplant their consciousnesses across time and space, led by an evolving computer that aims to be the perfect religious and knowledge amassing computer the Pope and you wonder where the book is headed, suddenly in the last 50 pages: If you can get past THAT weirdness, then, well, congratulations, because the book then ends abruptly.

D As a Catholic, I enjoyed the philosophizing at the hands robotic hands of the robot cardinals, gardeners, butlers, and their all too few human companions. Simak, may you rest in peace. Hopefully you found on the other side what these robots and humans were searching for Heaven. This is a lovely book based on an amusing premise. Not much to say but that I loved it to bits when I read it.

And re-read it a couple of years later. Also, one of the few paperback SF books that I have retained in my library, carefully secured in a box with others in the garage from which I will someday extract it to read again. Definitely this should be on the required reading list for anyone majoring in Sci Fi. For some reason I just find this book darling.

36. Christopher Hale, The Pope Francis Project

Simak suffers from all of the weaknesses of his generation of SF writers. The characters are paper mache. There is a lumbering charge through the storytelling to reach the ideas as quickly as possible.


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His voice has a certain folksy Wisconsin charm to it, and when he's writing about robots in monks' vestments tending roses, there's a certain wacky beauty there that I find really pleasing. Jan 01, Jeff rated it liked it. Great premise and set-up, but the ending was sort of lousy. The book just sort of ended. Apr 29, Joe Rodeck rated it did not like it. A race of robots built by robots models its society on the old Vatican. Can robots have values? A sense of humor? But it's an opportunity wasted as all different kinds aliens start popping up and the plotless story seems to forget where it left off.

You end up with our heroes mixing it up with blobs and octopi from a fake Heaven. Very slow and frustrating going. How can you live on a planet all your life and have no idea who the other i A race of robots built by robots models its society on the old Vatican. How can you live on a planet all your life and have no idea who the other inhabitants are? May 17, Joe Santoro rated it liked it Shelves: I LOVE the cover.. The story revolves around to lost souls of sorts, one, Tennyson, a Doctor on the run from a political upheaval on his planet, the other, Jill, a reporter looking for the story of her life.

They both go to End of Nothing, a planet were a colony of robots and humans that are trying to find the one true religion.. Their city is call Vatican, but they're not necessarily Christian, but they did start out that way years ago. They also have people called listeners, who are some sort of telepaths who 'visit' other worlds, other times, even other galaxies, to get information.

The information is fed into the Pope, a super computer, to analyze and find the ultimate truth. Sounds like a great premise, right? They start with a conflict The conflict comes to a head when one of the Listeners things she finds Heaven, but then is thrown out when she tries to go back. Sadly, the interesting philosphy that's promised never really gets discussed much.. That is where almost all of this story takes place.

It is also at the far edge of the Milky Way, thus its name. There are numerous mentions of "Old Earth" throughout the book, but nobody in the story seems to actually have been there. End of Nothing's main feature is Vatican, which seems to be a remote spin-off of the Roman Vatican. While humans are present, most of the society is actually made up of robots.

However, the robots are subject to human emotions and, thus, human fr End of Nothing. However, the robots are subject to human emotions and, thus, human frailties. The main character, Jason Tennyson, is a doctor with a possibly checkered past, although that never catches up with him. While he does fall in love with the historian Jill Roberts, fortunately Simak does not turn this novel into a love story, and basically works it into the overall structure of the book. Thomas Decker, a loner, is a mysterious character whose past is only partially told. And then there is Ecuyer, who welcomes Tennyson to the complex and asks him to be the physician.

The only other regular human who appears is a ship captain at the very beginning. The rest are robots or other alien creatures. Simak seems to throw some water on organized religion, although not excessively. In Vatican's quest to locate Heaven, Simak posits that many people perhaps cling to a naive view of what Heaven may actually be. He does this through one of the Listeners, an old frail woman named Mary. Aaron King has a simple New Year's resolution: The next day, the dead begin to rise A Helena Brandywine Adventure.

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Helena felt out of control. Will she escape, become a victim? Product details File Size: December 1, Sold by: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention simak robots science faith heaven religion robot planet humans ideas seek vatican fiction remote knowledge search imaginative tale human truth. There was a problem filtering reviews right now.


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Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I bought this book when I was a kid because I liked the cover.

Project Pope by Clifford D. Simak

I never finished it. Decades later, I understand why. Unlike a lot of other science fiction writers, Simak isn't especially concerned with plot or even character--at least not here. Yes, there are both in Project Pope, but the book is more about religion, spirituality, and our need to believe in something bigger than ourselves. So, while there's some action here, there are also plenty of big, abstract ideas to take in. Admittedly, it's not a perfect novel, and frankly, it drags at times, but if you're looking for a break from the tried-and-true space opera, it's well worth a read.

I discovered that Audible narration is often inexpensive on older sci-fi books so I listen to books during my commute. I'd never read this author before, but his books are incredible at pulling you into an unusual and unique story. I bought the first couple trepidatiously since they sounded so weird, but now I've bought almost every one with narration and have listened to most multiple times. While they were written decades ago, they don't seem as dated as some others in the genre that include obsolete as of technology in a futuristic world.

Please add narration to more of his titles! Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase. Some interesting observations are made about Christianity without bashing it. Maps out how a faith can develop over time. Shows how quickly people or robots start gravitating toward like-minded groups and start working against other groups with whom they disagree. Quite often people believe what they want to believe even if evidence around them contradicts it; contradictions are just ignored.

Puts a good spotlight on the seeking of truth and what that means to the seekers; do you decide on what truth is first and find evidence supporting it or do you take in all facts and let truth develop from the facts? Overall, I really enjoyed this book and discovered a classic author I didn't know much about. I read a lot of Simak when I was young 65 years ago. I had not read this one. I started reading Project Pope which I had somehow missed in the past for nostalgia. I finished it because it is very good and thoughtful science fiction, with lots of thought provoking and innovative ideas mixed with the strange scenes of different planets and universes.

I am off to find more Simak to read.


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I'd read City and was enthralled with the story. I went ahead and purchased a whack of his Simak books. As I read the others, i became a lot less enthusiastic. The covers didn't draw me in Project Pope was no different in that respect. And Destiny Doll was OK too. A common thread through his books are a return to a simpler time, living close to the land.

Humans are an adjunct to the project in the Listeners, who travel telepathically to other worlds gathering information and in the townsfolk, largely unmentioned, but who form the laity of sorts. The main protagonist is Jason Tennyson, a physician fleeing from trumped charges from another world, who finds a sanctuary and a peace in the community, much of it in taking long walks and communing with the mountains in the distance.

The factions of Vatican are set against each other when a Listener claims to have visited the literal Heaven. Does the Vatican turn inward, cut off the Listeners, and seek 'faith' instead of outward and science? One person found this helpful. Simak wrote some memorable novels and short stories. The plot is long on talk and short on action, which would be acceptable if the dialogue were more substantial. However, the psychic explorations of the galaxy by sensitives, and the reflections of the robots in their enclave, don't yield any clear discoveries about reality to make plodding through the tale ultimately rewarding.

I thought much was promised but not delivered. Also watch out for collections of short stories with "Immigrant," and "Beachhead" in them: In my view, a SciFi masterpiece. I have read this many times. The purchase was to replace a lost copy. A race of robots built by robots models its society on the old Vatican. Can robots have values? A sense of humor? But it's an opportunity wasted as all different kinds aliens start popping up and the plotless story seems to forget where it left off.

You end up with our heroes mixing it up with blobs and octopi from a fake Heaven. Very slow and frustrating going. How can you live on a planet all your life and have no idea who the other inhabitants are? See all 20 reviews.