I remember a book from the 1980s set in the future. The main character was a boy traveling to see a relative (uncle? grandfather?), but you didn't actually have to travel anymore....Instead, his consciousness was transferred into a robot that looked just like him at his relative's place. The only way you could tell the difference between human and robot was this zipper like scar on the back or back of the neck??

I could have sworn this book was mentioned in Reading Rainbow.

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    Hi, Linziday! See our guide to help improve your question. Aug 7, 2019 at 4:22
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    Faint memories, was it more a novella length? I seem to recall a story like that in an anthology
    – Danny Mc G
    Aug 7, 2019 at 19:26
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    It could have been novella length, but I'm almost positive it wasn't in an anthology unless it was reprinted there. I remember my grade school teacher reading it to the class as a book. I also thought it was on Reading Rainbow from one of the book report kids?
    – Linziday
    Aug 7, 2019 at 23:30

1 Answer 1


As previously asked and answered, this is 1978's "My Trip to Alpha 1," part of Alfred Slote's "Robot Buddy" Series.

As you note, long-distance travel is performed through instantaneous consciousness transfer into robot bodies; the "scar" is the slot for the memory chip. Not sure if there was a Reading Rainbow connection.

Another notable feature of books in the series that people seem to remember is that the robots walk without bending their knees, and that at one point, the human protagonist who's mastered that walk gets mistaken for a robot.

  • Yes!!!!! That looks like it. Thank you!! I have been looking for this for years. (I can't believe someone else was too :)
    – Linziday
    Aug 10, 2019 at 2:17
  • @Linziday Cool, if you click to accept the answer, it'll show as answered for anyone else who sees this question.
    – Joelogon
    Aug 20, 2019 at 12:47

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