- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Voyager - GB (5 April 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0008277788
- ISBN-13: 978-0008277789
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 322 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Robots Of Dawn Paperback – 5 Apr 2018
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‘Isaac Asimov was one of the great explainers of the age…It will never be known how many practicing scientists today, in how many countries, owe their initial inspiration to a book, article, or short story by Isaac Asimov’
‘Asimov displayed one of the most dynamic imaginations in science fiction’
‘Asimov’s career was one of the most formidable in science fiction’
About the Author
Isaac Asimov was born in 1920 in Russia and was brought to the USA by his parents three years later. He grew up in Brooklyn and attended Columbia University. After a short spell in the army, he gained a doctorate and worked in academia and chemical research.
Asimov's career as a science fiction writer began in 1939 with the short story 'Marooned Off Vesta'. Thereafter he became a regular contributor to the leading SF magazines of the day. Asimov wrote hundreds of short stories and novels, including the iconic I, Robot and Foundation. He won the Hugo Award four times and the Nebula Award once.
Apart from his world-famous science fiction, Asimov also wrote highly successful detective mystery stories, a four-volume History of North America, a two-volume Guide to the Bible, a biographical dictionary, encyclopedias, and textbooks, as well as two volumes of autobiography.
Asimov died in 1992 at the age of 72.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
If you like science fiction and mysteries, start with The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun and follow up with this one. While it can be read as a stand-alone, some richness is lost.
In 'Dawn', Asimov imagined Baley as a middle-aged man, most comfortable when surrounded by people and the teeming city. He works hard for the measly privileges given to a civil servant. If he could get over his fear of outdoors, maybe he could emigrate to a new world; Earth is experiencing high unemployment. So, visiting the leading Spacer world of Aurora might lead to opportunities. The space flight is uninspired but once there, we are given decent character descriptions and scenes are detailed. The single POV writing drags at times, repeating some emotions, puzzling over inane details of Spacer society, meals, and robot actions.
The plot is split among Baley's search for perpetrator, relationship with several suspects, and his foibles (including storms). After a vehicle breakdown, he is walking for help in the dark:
'And then he remembered that lightning might hit trees and might kill people. He could not remember that he had ever read a description of how it felt to be hit by lightning or if there were any measures to prevent it. He knew of no one on Earth who had been hit by lightning....
His teeth were chattering and he was trembling.
Another flash. Not a bad one. For a moment, he caught a glimpse of his surroundings.
Trees! A number of them. He was in a grove of trees. Were many trees more dangerous than one tree where lightning was concerned?
He didn't know.
Would it help if he didn't actually touch a tree?
He didn't know that, either. Death by lightning simply wasn't a factor in the Cities and the historical novels (and sometimes histories) that mentioned it never went into detail.
He looked up at the dark sky and felt the wetness coming down. He wiped at his wet eyes with his wet hands.
He stumbled onward, trying to step high. At one point, he splashed through a narrow stream of water, sliding over the pebbles underlying it.
How strange! It made him no wetter than he was. ' (p. 352)
Like a good mystery tale, there are twists until the very end. Baley offers advice for several characters to take. This time, Asimov writes a sweet romantic interlude.
The real impact of this book is to discuss the programming of humanoid robots, impersonal video conferencing, and especially, the need for humans to move population off Earth and settle new worlds. He interrogates people who knew the robot's owner, interacted with it, and the man who designed it. In between, he battles his fear of the outdoors, of strange technology, and nature, learning to depend on robots for information and partnership.
Published long after the first two books, this links to the future Empire and sets the stage of Foundation series. In the future, Human settlements will grow into that empire and robotic design lead to Psychohistory. And Daneel Olivaw will appear again....
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