A short story, robots, Jupiter?


Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2007
I am trying to recall the title of a story, I'm virtually certain it was a short story. I don't recall how long ago it was but it could have been 15 years or so now. I have a feeling that the story could be quite a bit older than that.

A group of robots (possibly three?) are sent to one of the planets in our solar system to meet the natives. I am pretty sure it was Jupiter they went to. The natives attempt to destroy them, I think mention is made of a heat ray, which the robots record as pleasantly warm (I have a feeling that it reached 20oC but this could be false memory). When this does not work the natives show the robot how superior their technology is including an extremely powerful force shield. The natives say something along the lines of 'see how powerful the forcefield is much stronger than the one on your ship.' To which the robots reply that their ship does not have a force field. When the natives ask how it survives the pressure differences in space the robots reply that there is no diffrence between internal and external pressure on their ship, it is open to the vacuum.
At this the natives surrender and pledge peace witht the robot's planet (Earth).

As the robots leave for home a conversation between the two explains that the robots have not told the natives that they are only robots and so the natives think they are the native life forms of Earth. As they are immune to the natives weapons and the rigours of space the natives have given up, thinking that all earthlings are like this and thus unbeatable.

Any help would be appreciated.
"Victory Unintentional" (1942), by Isaac Asimov. It is the sequel, by the way, to a non-robot story, "Not Final!" (1941), which posed the problem in the first place, we having made contact with the Jovians via a hyperwave radio, which went amicably until they realized we were not Jovians, at which time (being completely xenophobic) they determined to wipe out the human race. "Not Final!" can be found in The Early Asimov, while "Victory Unintentional" can be found in The Rest of the Robots and The Complete Robot. The contrast between the handling of the two stories is striking, as the first is a grim piece, the second quite humorous (though of course the underlying situation remains as grim....)
Thanks for the help. I appreciate the extra information as well. I hadn't realised that it was a sequel. I'll have to keep an eye out for "Not Final!".

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