Friday, April 3, 2015

The Caves of Steel

Today's Book Recommendation is The Caves of Steel by Issac Asimov.

Set a in the future, about a millennium later, there are two advancements that have revolutionized the world. The colonization of the galaxy and the creation of a device know as the positronic brain. In this new world we are introduced to an unlikely partnership. A New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together to solve the murder of a prominent Spacer (the people who live on the Outer World colonies).

For the majority of people left on earth they have very little love for their Spacer compatriots or the robotic companions that they have created. Its a two way street as the Spacers have little love or trust for the Earthmen. Now Detective Elijah Baley must find the killer while working with his new partner R. Daneel Olivaw. The R stands for Robot. What makes the situation even more complicated is Baley's new partner is made in the image and likeness of a the murder victim.

I am pretty sure that this novel alongside the short story I, Robot was the inspiration for the film of the same name starring Will Smith. While I had certainly read some of Asimov's short stories in my writing and literature classes in college I had never read one of his novels before. The story is compelling and covers all angles of prejudice, environmental worries, and has the typical beats of a good murder mystery. While at times the pacing of the novel can be a little slow the developments of the characters, both Baley and Daneel, keeps you reading.

In terms of the environment its a little scary how in tune Asimov was into future problems. His characters are earth face a lack of resources and the threat of over population. It's a shame that Asimov wasn't able to foresee a solution to such issues beyond leaving earth to colonize other planets. After all this is the only planet with chocolate.

While I would suggest starting with his short stories first this novel is a good selection for Asimov fans and newbies a like. I will have to let you know how the second book is.

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