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Isaac Asimov's Inferno by Roger MacBride…
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In a Universe protected by the Three Laws of Robotics, humans are safe. The Second Law states, a robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. When a key politician is murdered, suspicion falls on Caliban... the only robot without guilt or conscience, with no need to obey or to respect humanity... a robot without the Three Laws. But the stakes go deeper than one man's life. Caliban... ( )
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  Tutter | Feb 25, 2015 |
Inferno is the second Asimov universe book written by Roger MacBride Allen. Much like Asimov's Robots and Empire and Caliban, its what I will call an "issue book". In Robots and Empire the issue at hand was that having a long life results in risk adversity and therefore the stagnation of society as a whole. In Caliban the issue was the over protection of humans by robots, and the ultimately corrupting nature of living in a society built on slavery (even of machines), as well as stagnation caused by the risk adversity of the robots themselves. In this second Allen book, the issue is the exploitation of the "new law" robots who ultimately become the new slaves in return for a chance at freedom later. This exploitation is a criminal offence, so of course they end up with a society in which pretty much everyone has dirty hands of some form.

Overall this was a good read, and probably a better book than Inferno. I certainly found it easier to read and more enjoyable. I read the majority of the book on a single set of flights between the US and Australia because it was such a good read.

Its interesting that the Amazon reviews for this book are mostly negative, and I can see the point they're trying to make. There are certainly opportunities for Prospero's psychology and the overall political situation created by the massive disruption of the society to be explored more. Additionally, the murder mystery is resolved very rapidly at the end of the book after crawling progress during the majority of the book. Then again, that's just like Caves of Steel and Naked Sun, which both are resolved rapidly at the end of the book and gloss over issues which aren't core to the story. I guess you can chose to tell a story many different ways, and just because Allen didn't chose to tell it the way that the Amazon reviewers thought he should doesn't make his choice incorrect.

http://www.stillhq.com/book/Roger_MacBride_Allen/Inferno.html ( )
  mikal | Nov 15, 2008 |
See Caliban.
  IdeasWIN | Aug 10, 2008 |
While I found Caliban decent, this is where the story gets even better: the mystery and the writing in general seem to have been kicked up a notch for the second volume of the trilogy. Alvar Kresh isn't a particularly complex lead character, but he's as effective likeable a protagonist as his dramatic opposite, Elijah Baley, was. Just as Baley went up against a world with robots, Kresh must discover a world without one, and the result is an excellent exploration of the universe of Asimov's robots that uses the Three Laws (and the New Laws) quite well. Oh, and R. Donald is just the coolest.
  Stevil2001 | Mar 5, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441000231, Paperback)

Continuing the adventures of Caliban, a new novel finds the only robot without a conscience suspected of murder, but the question remains as to whether or not he is capable of leading the new, lawless robots in a rebellion that threatens humanity.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:07 -0400)

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Based on the late Isaac Asimov's idea of building a safeguard into robots to prevent their becoming a threat to humanity, Asimov proposed a book about a robot without the safeguard. Caliban was the result. Now the adventures of Caliban continue in an electrifying new novel wherein Caliban is challenging a robot's place in society.… (more)

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