Wednesday, August 31, 2011

22: Caves of Steel

Tomorrow is my first day of my new grad school program. It will be a Very. Long. Day. Indeed. @_@ This may prove once and for all that I'm utterly insane.

Caves of Steel
Isaac Asimov
Published: 1953

Yes, that's a Zune. An OLD Zune. I love my Zune, and she loves me, so don't be hatin'! :p

Why?: Only Asimov can so neatly combine his science fiction world with a decent mystery. Asimov claimed in his introduction to Asimov’s Mysteries (a fun short story collection, if you can get your hands on it out of print; my copy is on the dresser at the moment) that he wrote this book because his publisher said that two genres that could never intersect were mystery and science fiction. Asimov definitely proved him wrong, with style!

Caves of Steel is the first Asimov book I read – or listened to, actually. I was suffering with nonstop headaches, and unable to read, when I downloaded the audiobook of this novel. Audio books aren’t my favorite way to read a story, but the reader (William Dufris) did an excellent job with the voices of Baley and Daneel. The world of Caves of Steel is very real, and is an excellent introduction to Asimov’s many joined Robots novels and stories. The Three Laws of Robotics and the development of Earth’s history (or downfall, really) are well-outlined without turning into a textbook as some of Asimov’s later writing did (I’m looking at YOU, Robots of Dawn). The use of agoraphobia as the protagonist’s strongest weakness is logically introduced and well developed. Baley is also a likable dude, as is Daneel, so it’s just a fun and engaging read all around.

Photo sessions with Alfred are super special because he wants to be in my lap/face/stomach/hand/etc at all times. @_@

Gist: About three million years in the future, mankind has stretched across the universe – and left a crippled Earth behind. The billions who live crammed together in Earth’s underground cities are looked down on in disgust by the genetically superior and wealthy Spacers. When a Spacer is murdered on Earth soil, it could mean disaster for mankind’s home planet. An Earther detective named Elijah Baley is assigned to the case, assisted by an unusually tolerant Spacer named R. Daneel Olivaw.

Bonus Trivia: I would very much like to listen to the BBC radio adaptation by Bert Coules, as he was a genius at adapting the Sherlock Holmes stories for Clive Merrison and Andrew Sachs. Anyone want to toss me a copy?!

Bonus Bonus Trivia: The next book in the series, The Naked Sun, was also quite good. It introduced an adulterous relationship, though, which is a total turn off for me.

Perfect For: Ages 13+ (though the story becomes more sensual in the third book in the series, I don’t really recommend reading it anyway, for other reasons), fans of the film I, Robot, since this is in the future of that Earth.

This picture = adogable!

Genres: Fiction, Novel
Keywords: Science Fiction, Mystery

Zune 80 cover came from DecalGirl.Com! I also got my Kindle skin there. They're awesometastic.


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