HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Robots of Dawn (1983)

by Isaac Asimov

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,7991011,376 (3.88)67
Classic Literature. Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML: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.
… (more)
  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)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 67 mentions

English (94)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Slovak (1)  French (1)  All languages (100)
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
I enjoyed it very much, but I would have preferred that the resolution of the murder would not have involved the particular skill that it did. That seemed a little farfetched to me. ( )
  zjakkelien | Jan 2, 2024 |
2.5 stars

The Robots of Dawn is the third volume in the Robot series by Isaac Asimov. It was published in 1983 some twenty six years after The Naked Sun was (The Naked Sun was published in 1957). The Robots of Dawn completes a trilogy of detective novels set a thousand years in the future in which an Earth police detective, Elijah Baley, works with a humaniform robot, R. Daneel Olivaw, to solve bizarre murders. The Robots of Dawn reunites readers with sleuth Elijah Baley and his humanlike robot-sidekick, R. Daneel. Earthman Baley is summoned to the Spacer world Aurora, where a Daneel-lookalike robot, Jander, has been mysteriously brain-killed in an act of roboticide.

The Robots of Dawn takes places on Aurora, the first world colonized from Earth, making it one of the most powerful spacer worlds. The reason Baley is sent to Aurora is to crack the case of the roboticide in order to free the name of the chief Earth supporter and robot inventor (Han Fastolfe) on Aurora who stands accused of killing Jander. The only problem is Fastolfe is the only person who possesses the skill to have “killed” Jander. Meanwhile, Kelden Amadiro, Fastolfe's chief political rival and head of the Robotics Institute, wants to see Aurora alone colonize the Galaxy, by means of humaniform robots which at present only Fastolfe can build. So Baley gets busy investigating and During the course of the investigation, Baley discovers that Gladia, a woman Baley met on Solaria in The Naked Sun, was in a relationship with R. Jander. Could she have something to do with the murder?

This is my least favorite book in the Robot series by Asimov, for a few reasons. First, the dialogue is just endless and often kind of droll. If you want to learn how to solve crimes by constantly talking to people read this book. Secondly, the female voices – such as Gladia – while technically interesting, are still a bit clumsy and this made more so by Asimov’s noble attempt to bring his female characters into the era of the sexual revolution and feminism. (While I’ll admit some of the discussion about Jander and Gladia’s relationship posed interesting philosophical questions about personhood, I found most of the sexual discussions to be cringe worthy). Gladia certainly is more three-dimensional in this novel as she carries the secret of a relationship with Jander but, Jehoshaphat! I’m convinced that Asimov just can’t write dialogue between a man and a woman effectively. Asimov is far better at writing the chemistry and dynamics between a man and robots and a man and other men than he is with a man and a woman. I also think Asimov spent way too much time focusing on Gladia and Baley and Gladia’s sexual issues. This book also really lacks stakes: there are no real villains or life-and-death issues. This book really is about maintaining Earth’s presence on the spacer worlds and is in many ways, one giant set up for the Foundation series. Thirdly, this novel is substantially longer than his earlier novels in this series and it suffers for it.

With my critique out of the way, I will say that the mystery solution took me somewhat by surprise this time (although the real villain is totally predictable). There are a lot of connections between his other books here, looking backward into previous robot books and forward into the Foundation series. In fact, the solution does sort of tie into the Foundation series.

Sadly, Asimov's The Robots of Dawn doesn't stand up to the previous two entries. The "B" plot focusing on Gladia and Jander is the least interesting aspect of the story (I'm more interested in the political ramifications of what the Robotics Institute is trying to accomplish). This book is a bit overstuffed. Obsessing over the sexual customs of the "spacer worlds" was just a bit over the top for me. I wanted more politics and less psychology. That being said this book about humans and robots and the Earth’s influence in the stars is still full of (mostly) well thought-out sociological, psychological and philosophical aspects. And of course it was still fun to team up with our fallible Earth police detective, Elijah Baley, , and his partner, R. Daneel Olivaw for another ride. I just wish it wasn't so bumpy.
( )
  ryantlaferney87 | Dec 8, 2023 |
Vasilia looked at Daneel with bitter curiosity. "Partner Elijah? Is that what you call him?"

"Yes, Dr. Vasilia. My choice in this matter-the Earthman over you-arises not only out of Dr. Fastolfe's instructions, but because the Earthman and I are partners in this investigation and because-" Daneel paused as though puzzled by what he was about to say, and then said it anyway, "-we are friends."

Vasilia said, "Friends? An Earthman and a humaniform robot? Well, there is a match. Neither quite human."

Baley said, sharply, "Nevertheless bound by friendship. Do not, for your own sake, test the force of our-" Now it was he who paused and, as though to his own surprise, completed the sentence impossibly, "-love."


You know something's gone off the rails when I have to start a review of a story about robots with a content warning for multiple incest mentions. This is a book where Asimov suddenly cares deeply about sex and romance, while showing approximately zero understanding of what love and intimacy mean. Aurora is a society where sex is apparently much freer than on Earth and yet Asimov shows very little understanding of what such a concept would look like, or how it could be fulfilling. In this book Bailey's superhero act somehow breached my suspension of disbelief, not when he saves the universe, but when he heroically introduces how great lifelong monogamy and "courtship" are - and "courtship" in this case appears to mean ignoring people's clearly stated rejection and trying over and over again - to Auroran society.

To look at it another way, why is the "love" relationship between a woman and a robot so heavily foregrounded? There's a strong set up of parallels and matches between Gladlia and Bailey. So when Gladlia finds their perfect match is a robot... and it just so happens that the "twin" of that robot is Bailey's "partner" Daneel... suddenly the already noticeable homoerotic tinge to their relationship comes into focus. This is the sort of thing that has been obvious to at this point generations of shippers but I think a lot of sci-fi fans would write off as "reading too much into it". But it's not just the declarations of love but the entire structure of the plot that demands a Bailey/Daneel romance to be noticed.

What you'd assume is the main "plot" about the robots is surprisingly thin. The book strings you along with a mystery at the start: a robot has been killed in a way that indicates a fiendish "talking to death". Only one person could possibly have done it, and Bailey's job is to somehow defend him. Despite tons of dialogue harping on this basic concept, the actual resolution to this is a major anti-climax - in the last couple of pages we discover something which breaks all the rules of a good mystery novel: one of the roboticist's robots is both a mind reader and a mind controller and he did it... to get Bailey to Aurora. So he could study his mind. Even his expository dialogue doesn't really fully explain what's going on but either way introducing a mind controller in a mystery novel is a piss take because it removes all the meaning from the rest of the book.. Even outside of its failure as a mystery, it just fundamentally doesn't make sense as a plot - it's never really clear WHY everything hinges on the "murder" of a robot and who did it. Indeed, the wrap-up on it makes it even more confusing - the rival roboticist becomes "guilty" when it's revealed he'd been interviewing the dead humaniform robot. But it's made clear at the same time that "killing" a robot wouldn't have been a crime anyway because the main roboticist owned the robot and Aurora doesn't see robots as anything other than property. So why is the prospect of him killing the robot enough to make a large bloc not back his plans for Earthmen colonising planets? And why would the rival roboticist talking to the humaniform robot be enough to swing people against him? Is it an accusation of industrial espionage? It's very weird ( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
This third Lije Baley robot novel mystery was written three decades(!) after the first two, "The Caves of Steel" and "The Naked Sun" during the last decade of the Good Doctor's life when he sought to interconnect his major science fiction works written over the course of his writing career (i.e., his robot, galactic empire, and award-winning Foundation stories and novels) into his own "Future History" series like that of many of his peers, notably Robert Heinlein.

Earth police investigator Lije Baley is again called upon to solve a murder of a member of the Spacer worlds, but this time the victim is one of the only two humaniform robots in existence -- and nothing less than the survival of all humanity is at risk.

This story is more complex and far longer than the two previous robot novels -- and, perhaps, suffers for it. In addition to, and entwined with, the central narrative of a murder mystery,
is political intrigue and romance, each with extensive philosophical considerations (including, uncharacteristically, of Asimov's prior fiction, of sex -- fidelity/infidelity, casual sex, consent and age of consent, auto/roboto-human sexual relations, etc.). To his credit, Asimov compares and contrasts the differences to the "accepted" sexual mores of his, and mostly our, modern American culture with the different mores he depicts on the two Spacer worlds that his protagonist encounters in the previous and, in greater detail, this novel, without being overtly judgmental -- but, in Lije's relationship with the beautiful Gladia (the accused murderess he "saves" in the prior novel), at times, the story seems uncomfortably like fantasy wish fulfilment.

The inclusion of references to the Good Doctor's other works has mixed results. Those to chronologically ocurring works like robotocist Susan Calvin of the Asimov collection "I, Robot," and to Andrew Martin of his "The Bicentennial Man" are internally consistent with the plot, the first proving to be quite relevant to the story. However, the inclusion of the term and definition of "psychohistory," that is central to Asimov's Foundation novels that, per the Good Doctor's Future History, are set many millennia in the future is jarringly anachronistic -- despite the tenuous suggestion spread across these later-in-life-written linking novels that it is the robots that all along that have been secretly guiding/manipulating humanity to ensure our survival in accordance with the 1st and (as I recall from the next and final "robot" novel "Robots and Empire") 0th Laws of Robotics.

As has been noted by many reviewers and students of Asimov, his prose style for plot advancement is primarily extended dialog between his characters with relatively sparse scenes of actual action. It is something the reader either dislikes or accepts as "Asimov's" way and forgives him the many moments of long exposition and, at times, info dumping.

While my preference would have been for a tighter (and shorter) told tale, the story does work as a whodunit with pleasing misdirection, a secondary illuminating reveal sustained by (admittedly subtle) foreshadowing clues, and a bittersweet yet inspiring emotional conclusion. ( )
  Dr_Bob | Oct 22, 2023 |
Dit is met recht een klassieker. Heerlijk boek. Iedereen die ook maar een beetje interesse heeft in sf zou deze serie moeten lezen. ( )
  weaver-of-dreams | Aug 1, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asimov, IsaacAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kanai, KiyoshiCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lippi, GiuseppeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sabaté, HernánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zinoni, DelioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
Dedicated to Marvin Minsky and
Joseph F. Engelberger, who epitomize
(respectively) the theory and practice
of robotics
First words
Elijah Baley found himself in the shade of the tree and muttered to himself, "I knew it. I'm sweating."
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Classic Literature. Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML: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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.88)
0.5 3
1 8
1.5 5
2 59
2.5 18
3 255
3.5 71
4 523
4.5 34
5 311

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 204,178,213 books! | Top bar: Always visible