While waiting to finish the novels I’m currently reading – and to write my reviews – I would like to share my old reviews already published on Goodreads and Librarything.
This time is about classic science fiction and one of its Big: Isaac Asimov.
I read a lot from this author, from the foundation cycle to the short stories, but the series I like the most to re-read is the Robot cycle with Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivav. Each of the three books is a mix of science fiction and crime, I also like the ideas about the Earth future with respect to the one of the other colonized worlds.
The caves of steel
Go, and sin no more
Asimov wrote a lot, and most of his reader remember the Foundation cycle (which is amazing). To me the best Asimov is the Robot cycle and this is its first novel. I like it because it speaks about Earth, where humans, bound in caves of steel, enormous cities organized like anthills, have fear to approach open spaces.
Opposite to earthmen the inhabitants of the outers worlds, living in planets with controlled birth rates and with an extended life expectation.
And then there are the Robots: mostly humanoids and in part human, as R. Daneel Olivav demonstrates.
The novel starts as with a crime but speaks also about the relationship between two opposite cultures; I suggest reading also the following novels to follow the evolution of the relationship between Elijah Baley and Daneel.
The naked sun
As already said I like a lot the robot cycle (even more than the Foundation one) because it still speaks about Earth.
While the first of the cycle described the life in the caves of steel this one is set in one of the outer colonies: Solaria.
The life on Solaria is opposite to the one on Earth, few inhabitants live on extended lands sorrounded with robots. While on Earth the contact with other people is the norm, on Solaria nobody has contact with other people.
The novel focuses on the contrast between the two cultures: Baley does not like the presence of robots and fears the naked sun and the open spaces, solarians instead are shocked because of the detective questions and about the idea to meet him face to face.
I like this series because, even if it does not follow the evolution of a whole population, it provides one character that grows during the whole series.
The robots of dawn
Baley this time has to investigate on Aurora – the most powerful of the outer worlds – to find the killer of the humanoid robot Jander. On Aurora he will meet old friends, Daneel among all, and Gladia, met on Solaria.
The investigation will bring the earth man to face his fears to the open and the terrestrial and Aurorian social convention.
One think I forgot about this novel is the focus on the how the sexuality is dealt in the various worlds.
In the end, evene if the Aurorian way of living are a central theme in the book, the novel is a patch between various Asimov cycles and allows a last meeting with Baley and Daneel to see if anything changed between them.
* The caves of steel by Isaac Asimov ★★★★★
* The naked sun by Isaac Asimov ★★★★★
* The robots of dawn by Isaac Asimov ★★★★☆
*I Read this book in English