Isaac Asimov 1983
Asimov completed this book much later than the first two in the series. Knowing this, and curious to see if his writing style had changed, I would say that it is more descriptive (the book is indeed much longer) but altogether stays very much true to the voice of the other works.
This book is a triumphant tale for earthmen, the general progress of humanity, and productive compromise. The murder mystery itself causes much consternation to both Elijah Baley and the reader, but it comes with many discoveries about the case that prevent throwing down the book in disgust. Baley again delves into a foreign culture, this time with less encouragement and much more pressure, and finds that the Aurorans are not as perfect as they think suppose to be. Continue reading
Posted in B+, Science Fiction
Tagged Aurora, Dr. Fastolfe, Elijah Baley, Giskard, Gladia, Isaac Asimov, Lije, R. Daneel Olivaw, Solaria, Spacers
Isaac Asimov 1953
But now, Earthmen are so coddled, so enwombed in their imprisoning caves of steel, that they are caught forever. Caves of Steel, Del Rey page 120
summary Mankind has continued to boom in population and has entrenched itself in highly efficient Cities, so efficient that the slightest imbalance or disaster would be fatal. Space travel did allow the colonization of 50 Outer Worlds, but that was hundreds of years ago. The emigrants’ descendants, Spacers, are much different now and thoroughly disliked by Earthmen. The Spacers are powerful, and the murder of one of their researchers calls for an investigation between Spacetown and the City, as well as investigators from both cultures. Lije Baley must work with a Spacer robot (robots, a group hated even more than Spacers) to solve the case, with his job, his family’s status, and Earth’s relationship with Spacers depending on it. Surprises are in store for Baley as he learns the truth about Earth and races to save his life and the future of humankind.
At first Baley’s false guesses about the murderer, done in dramatic fashion, struck me as sudden, bordering on hasty, but they ultimately serve to divulge new clues that fit into the end solution. It is also surprising how things work out between Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw. The novel becomes less about the conflict between human labor and robot replacement than about the agendas of Spacers, Medievalists, politicians and romanticists.
Asimov creates a futuristic world (well-woven into storyline) with intriguing technologies and a very interesting look at how the human psyche may evolve and cope with a densely packed and controlled environment, but with much more brevity and positivity than a future such as Aldous Huxley envisioned. For a murder mystery, I liked the ending; Baley on his toes, working off of evidence he suspects is there. The cerebroanalytic analysis, however, is just too convenient. And no error? Quite an advanced robot.