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Submitted on
January 7, 2013
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Prospero by CalSparrow Prospero by CalSparrow
This is Prospero from the Caliban trilogy which is a spin-off of Asimov's universe written by Roger MacBride Allen. The books themselves are not the most amazing, but they aren't bad, and I LOVE his robot characters. There are four mainish robots and I like all of them (but I'm not sure I will draw all of them). Prospero and Kaelor are my favorites, but Donald and Caliban are cool too! So if you like Asimov robots, you should probably check out the series; although the writing is more cumbersome than Asimov's, the ideas, characters, and plots are not too far removed.

And as for Prospero, he's part of a series of New Law robots (they aren't positronic). They have the laws, but they are different. Basically, still having preceding rules superseding the next ones, 1. A robot must not injure a human. 2. a robot must cooperate with humans, 3. robot must protect its own existence, 4, robot must like pursue some interests or something, basically its to keep them from standing around doing nothing just cause they dont have any specific orders.

And Prospero is the leader of the New Laws, which were created by this one roboticist, but most of the people on the settler world don't trust them at all so they are treated poorly. And as for himself, Prospero tries championing the cause of the New Laws, but he's unable to really process all of the maddening things a social justice leader must encounter and deal with so he kinda goes crazy, particularly on the leader of the group most against the New Laws (who was a slimeball to boot). And I felt really bad about his whole story arc...

There isn't much in the way of physical description of him, beyond that he's shiny and black, and has orange eyes... he's supposed to be like. not as lithe as I drew him, but he always seemed to channel a panther to me, so I tried to follow that sense in designing him.

And NOW, instead of rambling incessently about him, I shall simply leave here an excerpt.

But first, here's the link on tumblr in case you wish to reblog: [link]


Prospero regarded his companion for a moment before he replied. "The need for discretion," he said. "Yes, I have heard that answer before. But I am far from sure that I know it is the true answer."
"And what purpose would it serve for me to like to you?" Caliban asked. For a Three-Law robot, the very idea of lying would be difficult to imagine, but Caliban was a No Law robot, and, in theory at least, just as able to lie as any human.
"Perhaps you would have no purpose in lying," Prospero said, looking back toward Fredda. "But others might well have reasons to deceive you."
"You are not at your most tactful today," said Fredda. "And I must confess I don't see why our perfectly true answers should not satisfy you. Nor can I see what motive I would have for lying to you and Caliban."
"I might add that I do not understand your motive for offending our principal benefactor," said Caliban.
Prospero hesitated, and looked from one of them to the other. "My apologies," he said at last. "There are times when my understanding of human psychology fails me, even when I am attempting to learn more. I was attempting to gauge your emotional reaction to such an accusation, Dr. Leving."
"I would have to believe in the sincerity of the accusation before I could have much of a reaction to it," said Fredda.
"Yes," said Prospero. "Of course."
But if Fredda Leving was sure of anything at that moment, she was sure that Prospero had not given her all of the story--and perhaps had not given her any of the true story. But what motive would Prospero have for playing such a strange game? It was rare indeed when she felt completely sure that she understood Prospero. She had long known he was one of her less stable creations. But he was the undisputed leader of the New Law robots. She had no real choice but to deal with him.
"In any event," said Caliban, "it is time for us both to be leaving. I have no doubt, Dr. Leving, that we shall all meet again soon."
"I look forward to it," said Fredda.
The jet-black robot regarded first Fredda, and then Caliban. "Very well," he said. "We will depart. But I doubt that I will be the first or last robot to observe that the more I know about humans, the less I understand them."
Fredda Leving sighed wearily. There were times when it was frustrating in the extreme listening to Three-Law robots holding forth on the subject of human behavior. Prospero and the other New Laws were even worse. At least Three-Law robots were not judgmental. Prospero had an opinion about everything.
Fredda could almost imagine him as the last priest of some long-forgotten human religion, always ready to debate any intricate point of theology, so long as it was of no interest or important to anyone at all. There were times Caliban was no better. She had designed and built both of these robots by herself. Surely she could have designed their brains so they didn't spend their days logic-chopping. But it was too late now. "Whatever you think of my reasons for doing so," she said, "I must ask you again to leave, by the back way. Our next appointment is in three days, is it not?"
"Yes," said Prospero. "We have several other appointments that will take up the intervening time."
"Fine then. Return in three days, in the afternoon, and we will conclude our business."
Caliban nodded his head toward her, in what was almost a bow. "Very well," he said in a most courteous tone. "We will see you at that time."
Prospero took no interest in courtesy. He simply turned, opened the door, and left the room, leaving all the farewells to his companion. Caliban had to hurry just to keep up with him.
Fredda watched them go, and found herself once again wondering about Prospero. She did not understand what went on behind those glowing eyes. There was something not quite right about a robot that--that secretive. She shook her head as she crossed the room. Not much point in worrying about it now. She sealed the door shut behind them and scrambled the keypad. Only she and Caliban and Prospero knew the door's keypad combination.
And there were times she thought seriously about taking at least one name off that list.

--excerpt from Utopia by Roger MacBride Allen
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gosteev Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014
Just finished reading Caliban trilogy...your vision of Prospero is very similar to mine. Great art! And his eyes...we (people) want to believe that robots can have some kind of emotions with all their complicated structure. The reality is that they are machines. Programmed, controlled machines. 

But ... who really knows?
EZENT Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
i never knew a robot could be sad but you conveyed it perfectly... you started off with a great concept and sprinted with it. you have bold sharp lines...very well drawn the best part about this piece is the color scheme it really sets the mood for what you were trying to accomplish, it works very well...standind ovationClap Clap Clap 
CalSparrow Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Student General Artist
thank you so much!
Kasterborous Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013
"I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed."

... Sorry, couldn't resist! :D
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