Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Robots of Dawn (SF Book)

Roboticide. Planetary Customs. Humaniform Robots. Sexual Mores. The Fate of the Earth. Intellectual Property. Galactic Expansion. Politics. 

The Robots of Dawn is the third book in Isaac Asimov’s Robot series. Like the previous books, it is part science fiction and part detective novel. While there is some science, much of the book is focused on the cultural differences between Earth and Aurora, a Spacer world. What surprised me about the novel was how much of the story focused on a romantic relationship. I had not remembered that in the Foundation Series novels. I especially enjoyed the plot twist at the end of the novel.

Briefly, once again Elijah Baley is called upon to investigate a murder. One of only two humaniform robots ever created is found dead on Aurora. Allegedly, the only one who had the ability to commit the crime was Dr. Han Fastolfe, which has potentially catastrophic implications. Fastolfe is a supporter of allowing Earth to expand in the galaxy. His opponents want to keep Earth isolated and instead colonize the galaxy themselves using humaniform robots. Once again Baley partners with Daneel and encounters Gladia, who we first met in The Naked Sun. In order to solve the murder and save Earth, Baley must understand the culture of Aurora and overcome his own fears.

Asimov does a nice job of creating a world and then exploring the implications. I can easily get lost in Asimov’s books. The Robot series and the Foundation series tie together. While reading The Robots of Dawn, I found my mind wandering to different books in both series. The novel is a worthy addition to the combined series.

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