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The Caves of Steel (R. Daneel Olivaw, Book…

The Caves of Steel (R. Daneel Olivaw, Book 1) (original 1954; edition 1991)

by Isaac Asimov

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5,39885805 (3.95)2 / 176
Title:The Caves of Steel (R. Daneel Olivaw, Book 1)
Authors:Isaac Asimov
Info:Spectra (1991), Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
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The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (1954)


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English (80)  Italian (2)  French (1)  Slovak (1)  All (84)
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
Asimov was one of the giants of Science Fiction and of the so-called big three (Clarke and Heinlein being the other two), I have always found him the most readable. He's a great writer and makes the story zip along while cramming in BIg Ideas by the truckload.

The Caves of Steel, one of his best novels, is a science fiction detective story featuring two of Asimov's most enduring characters - Elijah Baley, erstwhile New York policeman and family man, and R Daneel Olivaw, the robot he becomes partnered with. The story forms part of Asimov's 'Future History' timeline, which also includes his Foundation books, Empire novels and other Robot stories, but the book can be read as a stand alone novel in its own right.

Set in the far future where humanity is split into two factions, the men of Earth who live in vast domed cities and shun the use of robots, and the Spacers, those who colonised other planets and who advocate the full integration of robots into society. Baley and Daneel are put together to investigate the murder of a prominent Spacer in Spacetown, which is attached, but separate to, New York. Asimov creates a great picture of a society that distrusts the Spacers and their robots, but also one of a planet struggling under vast population growth, at breaking point. The City dwellers exist on processed foods, live in strict hierarchies and cramped conditions. Humanity stands at a crossroads.

Baley is distrustful of his new robot partner, the humaniform Daneel, and resents the partnership. But they prove an effective double act as they try to unscramble the web of deceit surrounding the murder. There are other agendas in play too, which give the story an extra dimension and which keep you guessing until almost the end. Asimov constructs a clever whodunnit as well as a a believable SF story, which is no mean feat.

As I said, the book can be read as a stand alone novel, but is also a great entry point into Asimov's future universe. It is one of SF's classics. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote David.Manns | Nov 28, 2016 |
This is a re-read of Asimov's first full length robot novel from the early 50s. These early robot (and the Foundation) novels are so much part of my youth that I find it hard to review them objectively. This sets out the classic dilemmas of the relationship between humans and robots that look too human for comfort. It's also the beginning of a classic SF duo of Elijah Bailey and R (Robot) Daneel Olivaw, an entity that turns out to have a crucial role to play in Asimov's fictional universe. Classic stuff. ( )
  john257hopper | Jun 12, 2016 |
The mix of Agatha Christie plotting, wholesome American nuclear family, and rather depressing futurism is fairly enjoyable. Surprisingly light in tone, given the situation on earth. Asimov was being a real optimist. ( )
  themulhern | Apr 21, 2016 |
No natural light, the caves protect us...until murder (a thinly-disguised variation on brutal reality) steps in...asimov likes to make his robots look better than his humans. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
In the Caves of Steel, Asimov creates a world where colonization of the galaxy has occurred and robots (equipped with the Three Laws of Robotics) have been integrated into the societies on other worlds. On Earth, however, people have been resistant to robots that threaten to take their jobs and leave them without the status needed to live comfortably in the over populated Cities. Elijah "Lije" Baley, a New York police detective, is assigned a case where a spacer (a citizen from another world) is murdered. He is told he has to work with a robot as a partner. Elijah must solve the mystery and prove that a human mind is necessary in his job, or he could lose it to a robot.

I really enjoyed reading this fun science fiction mystery. Asimov managed to produce an enjoyable story that examined many issues that still resonate today - workers being displaced by technology or others who are willing to do the same job for less pay, overpopulation and limited resources, and fear of the unknown giving rise to prejudice and hate. The mystery kept my mind working, the reveal was unanticipated and yet made perfect sense in retrospect. I am definitely planning to read the next robot novel. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 17, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isaac Asimovprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my wife GERTRUDE and My Son DAVID
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Lije Baley had just reached his desk when he became aware of R. Sammy watching him expectantly.
Lije Baley acababa de sentarse a su mesa cuando se dio cuenta de que R. Sammy lo estaba mirando con expectación.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553293400, Mass Market Paperback)

A millennium into the future two advancements have altered the course of human history:  the colonization of the galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain.  Isaac Asimov's Robot novels chronicle the unlikely partnership between a New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together.  Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, New York City police detective Elijah Baley had little love for either the arrogant Spacers or their robotic companions.  But when a prominent Spacer is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Baley is ordered to the Outer Worlds to help track down the killer.  The relationship between Life and his Spacer superiors, who distrusted all Earthmen, was strained from the start.  Then he learned that they had assigned him a partner:  R. Daneel Olivaw.  Worst of all was that the "R" stood for robot--and his positronic partner was made in the image and likeness of the murder victim!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:24 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Fearing a violent confrontation between Earthmen and Spacers, Detective Baley and his new partner, a robot made in the image of the victim, investigate the murder of a Spacetown scientist.

(summary from another edition)

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