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Robots of Dawn [Mass Market Paperback]

Isaac Asimov
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1989
A puzzling case of roboticide sends New York Detective Elijah Baley on an intense search for a murderer. Armed with his own instincts, his quirky logic, and the immutable Three Laws of Robotics, Baley is determined to solve the case. But can anything prepare a simple Earthman for the psychological complexities of a world where a beautiful woman can easily have fallen in love with an all-too-human robot...?


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (Mm); Reprint edition (July 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345315715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345315717
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.9 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,840,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover


Plainclothesman Elijah Baley must travel to the planet Aurora to investigate the murder of Robot Jander. He would rather not. His last trip off-Earth on police business resulted in a TV drama being made of the case – as a result of which even his son Bentley suspects Elijah had an affair with Gladia Delmarre, the murder suspect whom he proved innocent. Not only does Gladia now live on Aurora, the murdered robot belonged to her … and was her lover!

Elijah is teamed once more with Robot Daneel, and they are joined by another interesting robot, Giskard. The investigation should benefit from a secret and unique ability possessed by Robot Giskard. But Elijah is disturbed by his presence, sensing perhaps that Giskard’s positronic brainpaths function to a hidden agenda. What Giskard knows but Elijah does not is that the future of mankind in space hangs on the outcome of this investigation …

“Compelling, well-crafted … a good old fashioned mystery”


• A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
• A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law
• A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Isaac Asimov was the Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America, the founder of robot ethics, the world’s most prolific author of fiction and non-fiction. The Good Doctor’s fiction has been enjoyed by millions for more than half a century.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best 15 Nov 1998
By A Customer
I was 17 when I first read this book and by then I had read quite a few books by the good Doctor. This bowled me over. From the increasing intensity of its characters, storyline and arguments this book drew me. This is the third book of a generally overlooked classic Asimov series - the Lije Baley and R.Daneel Olivaw stories. The first, The Caves of Steel was an excellent book. The second, The Naked Sun was equally good, but this one was and continues to be the most memorable book I have ever read.
The basic premise is of a time when the human race has split into two factions: the agoraphobic Earthers who live in vast underground cities aka Caves of Steel; and the Spacers, descended from earlier explorers, now settled on other worlds. As the Earthers begin to shake of the shackles of their agoraphobia and seek to reach for the stars once again, so the Spacers have become attached to their new worlds with little desire to continue their explorations. To some Spacers the thought of the diseased Earthers regaining a foothold in space is just too much. They must rveise their own exploration plans and that requires the use of humaniform robots, robots which look and act like humans, extremely sophisticated machines. Only one man, a Spacer, has the expertise to construct such robots and he stands accused of the "murder" of the prototype. He alone has the skill to have destroyed its mind, he has the motive, being a supporter of the Earther's new desire to explore. He enlists the aid of Earther detective Lije Baley and early prototype humaniform robot Daneel Olivaw to prove his innocence. What follows is a well crafted and brilliantly written SF mystery novel of the highest order. If you must read one Asimov then read this one.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant sequel to THE NAKED SUN 19 May 2003
This was written much later than the original two robot novels, the three Empire novels, and the Foundation trilogy. It and the following book, ROBOTS AND EMPIRE, link the first two robot books with the Empire series and leads up to Foundation.
There are a couple of points easy to miss here. First, psychohistory is first suggested by Dr. Fastolfe, and then advanced by the two robots. Secondly, while there is a mystery involved here, the emphasis is on the future of space exploration and who is going to be in it. The original pioneers into space have become spoiled by their reliance on their robots and no longer have the spirit of adventure necessary to continue further exploration, and yet they are fearful of the idea of generally despised Earth people colonizing planets.
So much indeed is at stake here. For full enjoyment, I suggest reading first the Susan Calvin stories and also "The Bicentennial Man" which are in Asimov's THE COMPLETE ROBOT, and then THE CAVES OF STEEL and THE NAKED SUN, the first two Elijah Bailey & R. Daneel Olivaw novels. And be prepared for this book to be more centered on mankind's future venturing into space than in the mystery element.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
'Robots of Dawn' is the last of the Elijah Bayley and R. Daneel Olivaw detective mysteries and by far the best. Asimov brilliantly counterpoises the hopes and ambitions of powerful, brilliant, flawed men and women of the planet Aurora (or Dawn), faithful, constant robots striving to do nothing but please their masters and the hapless intuitive blundering of an Earth detective plucked against his will to solve an unsolvable crime upon which rides the future of mankind. You should read 'Caves of Steel' and 'Naked Sun' before 'Robots of Dawn' as the context they provide will enhance the enjoyment of this book and they are good in their own right. After 'Robots of Dawn' you will not be able to resist its sequel 'Robots and Empire' which is even better and finalises the early part of Asimovs 'history of the future'.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Asimov the best 22 Oct 2013
By Rue
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I do not read Pure Sci Fi books too often mainly Koontz/Herbert/King but, when told to get the Asimov series, I made the leap and found I could not put them down and ended up reading one after the other. These are excellent books and keep you interested all the way through the lifetime of the foundation series. I would recommed these to anyone who likes to read well written and gripping books. I have tried other since but no other author can keep me interested as Asimov did. I suppose it is dependent upon individual tastes and these are my cup of tea. Seller was excellent providing great service and delivery.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wordy? 9 Aug 2013
By myronuk
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have found that the later books by Azimov are much 'wordier' that his earlier works. This comment to this book and others, including the additional Foundation books (not the first trilogy). Possibly this is either because the publishers required a minimum number of words or that Azimov became more philosophical. However, this book is still worth reading, if only for completeness.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read 27 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the last chapter of the three books involving Detective Baley and his off world adventures. Once you've read the other you just have to read this and its weel worth it..I'm about a third through the book .
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