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The Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov
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4,679571,012 (3.88)47
Member:BetaSWON
Title:The Robots of Dawn
Authors:Isaac Asimov
Info:Spectra (1994), Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Laura Perenic
Rating:***
Tags:adult, science fiction

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The Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov (1983)

  1. 70
    Nightfall by Isaac Asimov (LE.Draqonoviicht)
    LE.Draqonoviicht: Both books do a great job, in their own ways, of taking the reader to places / alter-realities where whet is 'common-form'. for us, is not the standard for those who live where these books will take you.
  2. 10
    The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov (longway)
  3. 10
    I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (longway)
  4. 00
    The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (longway)
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Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Mixes the sci-fi and mystery genres. A fun tale on a weird planet. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Another enjoyable read from the Robots series. Though it is a new planet it continues to contain Asimov's belief in progress through technology and the American Dream. ( )
  kale.dyer | Jan 26, 2016 |
Some of the issues raised in this novel were years ahead of their time. A good read. So far, my favorite among the three Robots books. ( )
  dirac | Jan 25, 2016 |
Deja vu. Robots of Dawn, #3 in the series, is so much like The Naked Sun, #2 in the series, I thought that I might have picked the wrong book, all over again. C'mon Asimov...what are you trying to say? The characters on this planet are so similar to the characters on the previous planet; one of them is even the same person. It insulted my senses. OK, this book has a lot of sex discussion in it. Perhaps, that's the author's intent...where is Earth headed? And, there's a twist at the end that's intriguing. Those things saved this book from death by 1 star. ( )
  buffalogr | Jan 7, 2016 |
“I cannot say what I feel in any human sense, Partner Elijah. I can say, however, that the sight of you seems to make my thoughts flow more easily, and the gravitational pull on my body seems to assault my senses with lesser insistence."

Ahh.. good old R. Daneel Olivaw, how I have missed you.

It has been decades since I read anything by Isaac Asimov. When I started reading sci-fi in my teens Asimov was the go-to author for new readers. I was not quite ready for Heinlein or Clarke but Asimov’s [b:The Foundation Trilogy|46654|The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, #1-3)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1316412178s/46654.jpg|41350] and his robot stories and novels were just the thing to start a life long devotion to the genre. Of course I went on to read many other sf authors and for some reason I completely missed Asimov’s later works from 1980 onward. So I have no idea how his return to the Foundation universe went, and of course I have not read
The Robots of Dawn.

This later robot novel from 1984 is a belated sequel to [b:The Caves of Steel|41811|The Caves of Steel (Robot, #1)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1335782224s/41811.jpg|140376] and [b:The Naked Sun|30016|The Naked Sun (Robot, #2)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1335782263s/30016.jpg|1583154], two beloved whodunit robot novels from the 50s. So once again ace detective Elijah Baley of that dreadful plebeian planet called Earth is called upon solve a seemingly impossible murder on another planet (human occupied). The difference is this time it is a “roboticide” where a “humaniform” robot is murdered rendered permanently inoperative (I love Asimov’s neologism, nothing to figure out). Also back is the excellent R. Daneel Olivaw, the first humaniform and really almost human robot, and introducing Giskard, another friendly and loyal robot who unlike Daneel is “robot in form” with glowing eyes.

As with the aforementioned Elijah Baley books the good doctor used a crime fiction template for this novel. I think the style here is more reminiscent of [a:P.D. James|344522|P.D. James|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1245013536p2/344522.jpg] than [a:Agatha Christie|123715|Agatha Christie|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1321738793p2/123715.jpg], with slower pace and a lot of dialogue. The science fiction aspect of it is not neglected however, Asimov’s world building and attention to details is legendary. He did not disappoint here with his depiction of a future human colony planet. Even the toilets are interesting, I can just imagine some very relaxing time there. As a slothful potato couch I would love to live in Aurora where tons of robots are at the beg and call of everybody.

While Asimov’s straightforward, smooth and friendly prose style brings back memories of my early days as a sci-fi reader, the differences are quite startling. For a start this book is very dialogue heavy. There are pages and pages of just two characters discussing robotics, politics and whatnot from all possible angles. It does drag the book’s momentum and at times and I found it to be occasionally tiring to read, not tiresome but tiring. Baley just grinds and grinds away at the suspects hoping they will let slip something that will incriminate them like some kind of futuristic Columbo. These grilling sessions are not actually awful, they are quite well written but they do seem to be interminable after a while. I am surprised the suspects do not simply confess to everything just to shut him up.

Another thing that surprised me is the discussion of sex and even the inclusion of a mildly erotic scene. This is not a complaint however, it is just very different from the Asimov of my teen years. This is a much more adult book than Asimov's Golden Age classics. There are even some philosophical passages like "Are there Laws of Humanics as there are Laws of Robotics? How many Laws of Humanics might there be and how can they be expressed mathematically?"

Interestingly some of the technology seems a little dated in these days of wireless internet. The robots actually speak to each other verbally rather than communicating via wi-fi or something similar. Navigation is also done by preloaded maps rather than some kind of GPS. The robots even drive vehicles rather than having AI built into them for completely hand-free driving. This is not a criticism of Asimov however, he was a scientist, not a fortune teller. I just find it interesting how the future is turning out in actuality in comparison to Asimov’s speculation.

One thing I particularly like about Asimov’s robots above other authors’ depiction of AI characters is the robotness of them. Their “somewhat stilted way with the language” as Asimov described, and their adherence to and interpretations of The Three Laws of Robotics . Nowadays sci-fi authors tend to portray robots (or AI) as speaking exactly like people normally do. Yes, I can imagine this being the case with very advanced AI, but Asimov’s robots have the sense of otherness that makes them somehow more believable. Fans of Asimov’s robot books will be delighted by the references to Susan Calvin and one of the most memorable stories from [b:I, Robot|41804|I, Robot (Robot, #0.1)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388321463s/41804.jpg|1796026], and the reference to The Bicentennial Man. A tenuous link to the Foundation series is also introduced through the initial development of psychohistory. If you ever wondered why there are no robots in [b:The Foundation Trilogy|46654|The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, #1-3)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1316412178s/46654.jpg|41350] the answer is given here.

In spite of my quibbles with some of the pacing I really enjoyed this book, and coming back to Asimov after all these years. Now I feel an urge to reread the original Foundation Trilogy plus the subsequent Foundation volumes from the 80s. Also a reread of the old Elijah Baley novels and robot short stories. With all that in my TBR I’d be lucky to squeeze in books by anybody else. ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isaac Asimovprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lippi, GiuseppeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabaté, HernánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zinoni, DelioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Minsky, Marvin
Engelberger, Joseph F.
Dedicated to Marvin Minsky and Joseph F. Engelberger, who epitomize (respectively) the theory and practice of robotics.
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Elijah Baley found himself in the shade of the tree and muttered to himself, "I knew it. I'm sweating."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553299492, Mass Market Paperback)

A millennium into the future two advances 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.

Detective Elijah Baiey is called to the Spacer world Aurora to solve a bizarre case of roboticide. The prime suspect is a gifted roboticist who had the means, the motive, and the opportunity to commit the crime. There's only one catch: Baley and his positronic partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, must prove the man innocent. For in a case of political intrigue and love between woman and robot gone tragically wrong, there's more at stake than simple justice. This time Baley's career, his life, and Earth's right to pioneer the Galaxy lie in the delicate balance. 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:26 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Detective Elijah Bailey and his robot partner R. Daneel Olivaw are sent to the Spacer world of Aurora to solve a bizarre case of roboticide.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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