Customer Reviews


50 Reviews
5 star:
 (26)
4 star:
 (14)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science and Sex Do Mix
The good doctor, over his lifetime, wrote more books than many people read in their lifetimes. Many were excellent explanations of various aspects of science written in language that a layman could understand. Some were good analyses of literature, such as Shakespeare and the Bible. But it is his science fiction works, from his vision of a Foundation to Robots imbued with...
Published on 1 Sep 2009 by Patrick Shepherd

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars THe Gods Themselves
Not Asimov's best work but glimpses of his genius shone through although rather slow moving at times and plot jumped about
Published 17 months ago by TED NEWFIELD


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science and Sex Do Mix, 1 Sep 2009
By 
Patrick Shepherd "hyperpat" (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Gods Themselves (Paperback)
The good doctor, over his lifetime, wrote more books than many people read in their lifetimes. Many were excellent explanations of various aspects of science written in language that a layman could understand. Some were good analyses of literature, such as Shakespeare and the Bible. But it is his science fiction works, from his vision of a Foundation to Robots imbued with Three Laws, that guarantee him a place in the hearts of fans of the genre, and a fame that spreads well beyond its boundaries.

This book was something of a departure for him, not being related to any of his other SF works, but still shows his sure hand at plotting and his deft melding of real science with a literally out-of-this-world idea. The story is told in three completely different segments, related only by the commonality of the scientific idea that drives this book, the Electron Pump, a device that can, apparently, deliver infinite free energy by trading material with a universe that operates on slightly different physical laws than our own.

The first segment is a beautiful glimpse into the sometimes not-so-nice world of the academic researcher, into who gets credit (not necessarily the deserving one) for an idea, how animosities begin and are nurtured, about the crassness of public policy being determined by those who do not and cannot understand the basics of the science that delivers the technological goodies.

The second segment is the part that makes this book deserving of its Hugo Award. Shifting from our universe to the para-universe that initiated the transfer that began the Electron Pump, Asimov invents a truly alien race that is at once believable and violently different from our own. Here we meet Odeen, Tritt, and Dua, who each form one part of tri-sexed whole. Each of these beings becomes a real person, from Tritt, the stolid, stubborn parent, Odeen as the absent minded thinker, and most especially Dua as the feeling, capricious, different one. Part of what makes this section so seductive is that Asimov has not just stated that this was tri-sexed species, but shows just how such an arrangement could work, and then throws in something I don't think I saw elsewhere till some of Ursala K. LeGuin's stories - just what constitutes the no-no's, the 'dirty' aspects of their sex lives. And these aspects, when viewed in terms of the whole life cycle of this species, make sense! A truly remarkable achievement, and I wish he had written more about this remarkable universe and its inhabitants.

The third section returns to our universe, and deals with how free investigation into reality guided by leaps of intuition can overcome even two separate hide-bound organizations, and naturally leads to the resolution of the problems introduced in the earlier sections. This section is not quite as strong as the other two, but does definitely develop one of Asimov's points: the characteristics of the universe we live in are determined by several seemingly random constants, from the strength of quark-quark interactions to the speed of light, and changing any of them would result in very radically different universes.

A strong novel, with some excellent characterization within each section, and based on a solid bedrock of real science. This is possibly the best stand-alone fiction work that he wrote, and should be placed on your shelves right next the Foundation and Robot series.

--- Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Asimov's best novel, 23 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I have been a fan of Asimov's fiction as well as his science essays since childhood. I've read his Foundation novels, Robot novels, and various unrelated fiction and factual material. While most of his works have usually appealed to me, I can say with little reservation that "The Gods Themselves" is my favorite Asimov novel - and certainly earns a prominent spot in my personal "Top 10".
One of the things I like about this novel is the way the Friedrich von Schiller quotation "Against stupidity, the [very] Gods themselves contend in vain" is worked into the story. The three phrases that make up this quote - "Against Stupidity...", "...The Gods Themselves...", and "...Contend In Vain?" are used as chapter titles - and, what's more, these titles are quite appropos to the theme of each chapter.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the novel is the second chapter, which portrays a most unusual, and wholly believable and consistent alien race. Science fiction authors often struggle with the difficulty of portraying an alien race that is different enough from humans to be believable as aliens, yet similar enough to make their motives and culture graspable by a human reader. Asimov succeeds brilliantly in this task, something I can say for only a few other SF titles.
At the risk of sounding PC, I was also pleased that Asimov introduced a strong female supporting character, something not usually found in most of his works. The "Selene" character introduced in the third chapter is reminescent of the strong female leads found in many Heinlien novels.
Any fan of Asimov's works - or, for that matter, any fan of good science fiction should add this book to their essential collection. There is a good reason why this novel was awarded both the Hugo and Nebula awards after it's initial publication. Unlike many modern winners of these awards, "The Gods Themselves" is both a good AND entertaining story. It's clever and stylish enough to appeal to the "artsy" types that issue such awards, while being entertaining enough to appeal to the meat-and-potatoes reader.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Great Sci-fi read, 5 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Gods Themselves (Nemesis Bantam Spectra Book) (Kindle Edition)
As a fan of Asimov I was quite pleased to find a book that I had not yet read. It is rather good. There is a fantastic few chapters describing how an alien race acts and thinks from there prospective and then how they interact with our world. I would have liked to have read more about them which is why I did not give a full five stars. But an excellent sci- fi read all the same.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars The gods themselves, 27 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Gods Themselves (Nemesis Bantam Spectra Book) (Kindle Edition)
It was ok. It seemed to be three books combined into one and the section about the parapeople I skipped because it was boring. The characters were twee and the writing about the sexual situation on the moon was silly considering the book was written in 1972. Also there was too much info-dump.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars If you like Asimov this is a good yarn, 24 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Gods Themselves (Nemesis Bantam Spectra Book) (Kindle Edition)
Basically three intertwined stories, however the middle one could have been much shorter and would still have got the point across. But overall it was a good story told withs Asimovs detail for science.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars confused, 24 Nov 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Gods Themselves (Nemesis Bantam Spectra Book) (Kindle Edition)
Disjointed and confusing
A hard read.
After a difficult start goes into two different stories that never really take off or fulfill.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating ideas, 22 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Gods Themselves (Nemesis Bantam Spectra Book) (Kindle Edition)
It's the second time I've read this and I still enjoyed it. It contains some thought provoking ideas and the narrative flows well.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars THe Gods Themselves, 14 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Gods Themselves (Nemesis Bantam Spectra Book) (Kindle Edition)
Not Asimov's best work but glimpses of his genius shone through although rather slow moving at times and plot jumped about
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A parable from the 70s for the modern climate debate, 13 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Gods Themselves (Nemesis Bantam Spectra Book) (Kindle Edition)
A tale of world destruction and scepticism that resonates strongly with the current climate-change debate.

I enjoyed this novel in three-parts but felt somewhat let down by the final stages of the third book where I felts the final solution was being over-elaborated.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Asimov's best, 11 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Gods Themselves (Paperback)
Isaac Asimov was often better at short story length, but here he shows himself to be a master of the novel.
A wonderful tale of an alien species, in a different dimension, and its interactions with our own.
Thoroughly deserved the awards it won.
Loved it!
P.S. Deserves five stars for the title alone ;)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews