When HARLIE Was One
Cover of first trade edition
|Cover artist||Jacques Wyrs|
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Followed by||When Harlie Was One Release 2.0|
When HARLIE Was One is a 1972 science fiction novel by David Gerrold. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1972 and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1973. The novel, a "fix-up" of previously published short stories, was published as an original paperback by Ballantine Books in 1972, with an accompanying Science Fiction Book Club release. A revised version, subtitled "Release 2.0", was published in 1988 by Bantam Books.
Central to the story is an artificial intelligence named H.A.R.L.I.E., also referred to by the proper name "HARLIE"—an acronym for Human Analog Replication, Lethetic Intelligence Engine (originally Human Analog Robot Life Input Equivalents).
HARLIE's story revolves around his relationship with David Auberson, the psychologist who is responsible for guiding HARLIE from childhood into adulthood. It is also the story of HARLIE's fight against being turned off, and the philosophical question whether or not HARLIE is human; for that matter, what it means to be human.
When HARLIE Was One contains one of the first fictional representations of a computer virus (after Gregory Benford), and one of the first uses of the term "virus" to describe a program that infects another computer.
In other media
- The HARLIE intelligence engine appears in a number of Gerrold's other works, including the Star Wolf series, where it is routinely installed as the administrating AI of Terran warships.
- HARLIE also appears in The Dingilliad series, Jumping Off the Planet, Bouncing Off the Moon, and Leaping to the Stars.
- HARLIE shows up again in A Method For Madness, the fifth book of The War Against the Chtorr.