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The Robots of Dawn (1983)

by Isaac Asimov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Isaac Asimov's Robot Series (6), Foundation Expanded Universe (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,954841,314 (3.88)62
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.
  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. 20
    I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (longway)
  3. 10
    The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (longway)
  4. 10
    The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov (longway)

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» See also 62 mentions

English (80)  Italian (2)  French (1)  Slovak (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
Asimov's writing comes across as too formal and full of exposition. But damn, the man had some insights to share, and they're quite interesting. His idea of humans on other planets forming massively diverse cultures that value individualism is fascinating. These people's views towards sex - both formal and casual - could very well be applied to the cultures we have today. His views towards gender in workplaces (among others) are also quite progressive.

What I found more intriguing is Baley's attitude towards the outside. Having lived in a climate-controlled "hive city" all his life, the Outside (with a capital O) is a dangerous, wild, unpredictable place. While I'd initially found his reactions over the top, I came to understand just how people might react to the outside like that, even now since so many of us are stuck at home in lockdown. The comfort and safety of home is nothing to scoff at.

The robot characters were compelling, too, especially Giskard, who happens to be the star of the show (spoilers). Daneel felt more like a cardboard cutout, though he's supposed to be secondary in the story.

The whodunit part of the narrative is surprisingly well done. However, the end feels like a deus ex machina that I didn't enjoy. Well, you can't win everything.

If you can get over the formality and exposition-filled language, this book is an enjoyable read, especially considering just how ahead of its time the ideas were. ( )
  bdgamer | Sep 10, 2021 |
3 stars: Enjoyed parts of it

From the back cover: A millenium 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 New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together.

Detective Elijah Baley 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. Danell 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.


As with the other Robot books, I enjoyed the mystery elements and I enjoyed the creative ways to use the robot laws in the story. This particular chapter brought us to characters that were present in the last mystery (Caves of Steel) and the creator of the positronic robots (Star Trek lifted this entire premise for Data / Dr. Soong). However, it went too far afield, it should have been edited and shorter. More critical and why I only gave it 3 stars, is its just so repeatedly sexist, culminating in a clearly Asimov male fantasy utterly unbelievable and offputting sex scene. I've enjoyed this series, but with this, I shun off Asimov for the rest of my life. I always have that same impression - he simply doesn't age well at all. ( )
  PokPok | Sep 6, 2021 |
The 4th book in Asimovs Robot series. Somewhat awkward in it's sexuality, but a decent detective tale on its own. Less technical than the other books in the robot series. ( )
  adamfortuna | May 28, 2021 |
In The Robots of Dawn—the Robot series's third installment—Elijah Baley is again sent off-world to solve a murder (or roboticide since the deceased is a humaniform robot named Jander Panell). This time it's to the planet of Aurora. Once again, he finds himself paired with his robot partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, but this time, Daneel is accompanied by another robot named Giskard. These three engage in mental gymnastics when discussing the difference between the human brain and the positronic robot brain. The result is never dull and quite humorous. Mr. Baley also runs into the beautiful Gladia again, and they take their friendship to a new level. The book questions how best to expand settlements on other planets. Should humans brave the unknown and risk everything to travel to other worlds, or should robots be used to pave the way—leaving the humans to stagnate behind walls of safety and protocols? After Elijah survives his first thunderstorm outside in the open, he returns to earth ready to rally for the former. ( )
  PaulaGalvan | Jan 26, 2021 |
The book is the third book about Detective Baley but written something like 30 years after the first two. It's not as good as the older books. Where the old books were compact and experimenting with ideas, this book is more of a filler, and it's not only filling a gap in the novel chain, it's also filling many pages without getting much to happen.

If you have already read books like foundation trilogy and novels/short stories about the galactic empire, then you will notice that the author uses this book to introduce many terms and hint at what is going to come (though written 20-30 years earlier).

The story, well, it's similar to earlier books in that Baley once again is solo handling a delicate space murder. This time he finds himself at Aurora (after being at Earth and Solaria before) and the big picture is that Aurora is needed for Earth expansion but is rather wanting to do the colonization themselves. ( )
  bratell | Dec 25, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isaac Asimovprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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