The Humanoids and The Humanoid Touch
I wrote the following 20 years ago, and there's a spoiler for the first book:
The Humanoids 1948
The Humanoid Touch 1980
by Jack Williamson
The Humanoids are black, sleek, manshaped robots, created by a wellmeaning scientist, "to serve, and guard men from harm". Sounds nice, doesn't it? Well, not everyone sees it that way, since they don't let humans continue with anything that's remotely risky.
"We dismantled the observatory. We can't allow you to work there among the heavy objects."
"Your wife was unhappy, so we gave her Euphoride." The drug admittedly makes people happy, but also into mental children, with almost no attention span nor memory.
When they'll finally take over all of human space, there will naturally be an end to progress and adventure.
Predictably, there is opposition to the seemingly allpowerful robots. Chiefly it consists of a small band of people with telurgical (psi) powers. As these people are dangerous, and so threaten the Prime Directive, they are hunted fiercly.
After many near calls, they almost manage to stop or modify the humanoids. However, it is for the best, since machines can't be evil, the Humanoids actually learn psychology and cures those who wouldn't accept them and makes them happy, and the galaxy isn't risking war any more, and they all live happily ever after.
32 YEARS LATER:
On the double planets Kai and Malali, which are very remote from the rest of the galaxy, lives humans who have escaped from the Humanoids a thousand years ago. Quality of life cannot be said to be good on Kai as it was ravaged by war centuries ago. On Malali live mutated humans, who aren't affected by Bloodrot, a disease that efficiently kills. A similar disease, Rockrust, destroys almost all metals quickly, making machinery near-impossible on that planet.
On Kai, there is political infighting, since many believe there are no Humanoids. But one day they arrive, question is it a good or bad thing? Will the book end similarily to the earlier one?
These books are certainly very interesting to read, but I'll have to say that Williamson's style of writing isn't my favourite.