The Robots of Dawn (Robot, #3)

By Isaac Asimov

Rating: 3 stars

Plainclothesman Elijah Baley is back in space, sent by Earth at the request of Aurora, the oldest and most powerful of the Spacer worlds, to investigate the ‘murder’ of a humanoid robot. At stake is not just his own career, but the entire future of Earth and the future Galactic Empire.

It was in this book that Asimov starts sowing the seeds to start connecting his Galactic Empire/Foundation books with his Robot series, with one of the characters explicitly talking about psychohistory in a chain that would end with Foundation and Earth. However, I don’t think that the story itself was particularly satisfying. Like the other Elijah Baley books, this is a whodunnit, the twist this time being that the victim is a robot rather than a human, but it didn’t feel like it had the self-assuredness of the earlier books and the writing felt a bit clunkier too. It didn’t help that sex was an important part of the plot but I’m not sure how comfortable Dr Asimov was with writing about it, since he did so in a fairly clunky, clinical manner, although this may have been more reflecting the society that he was describing than any flaw in the writing.

Nevertheless, while it was an interesting book, it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as some of the other Baley books or of Asimov’s other prodigious output.

Book details

Publisher: Granada
Year of publication: 1983

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