A boy and his robot companion live in a large walled city. All the people in the city are adults and he is the only boy. Everyone knows and likes the boy as he is the only young person. The boy discovers that there are places outside the city like perhaps another forbidden city. With the help of his robot, he finds an abandoned railway and makes his way to the other city. I think I read this story about 1960.

  • 3
    This is almost 100% "City and the Stars", in that everyone is trapped in a city, and a boy finds a way out via an abandoned railway, joins up with a robot, discovers other places outside the city. Was written in the right time period as well.
    – Moo
    Apr 5, 2015 at 16:05
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    Agree with Moo. The other alternative would be the early version of this novel which was "Against the Fall of Night".
    – beichst
    Apr 5, 2015 at 19:49
  • @Moo I agree, it's The City and the Stars or possibly Against the Fall of Night. Why don't you write up your answer as an answer?
    – user14111
    Apr 6, 2015 at 8:21
  • possibly the same as scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/195389/…
    – Otis
    Sep 29, 2018 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


This is almost certainly Arthur C. Clarke's novella Against the Fall of Night (1948), its expansion into a novel (1953) or the revision and expansion as The City and the Stars (1956).

The story follows Alvin, the last child born to a race of immortal humans (check). He lives in the walled city of Diaspar (check). He finds an abandoned railway-like transportation system from a time when humanity occupied more than one city (check). He uses it to travel to another city, Lys, which is also occupied by humans (check). The only real disparity with your description is the robot companion, which Alvin doesn't pick up until after he arrives in Lys, and which isn't involved in his finding the railway.

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