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A story of two halves.
on 13 June 2011
This is most definitely a story of two halves. The first half has survived the years since its publication in 1943 really rather well.
Opening with a description of an interstellar storm of epic proportions where matter and anti-matter collide and annihilate one another releasing enormous amounts of energy in the process. This description was made possible at the time of writing by the relatively recent discovery of the positron and the excitement that the possibility of anti-matter produced even made it into the science fiction of the day, even though the word antimatter is not actually used in the story.
Against the backdrop of this storm a huge intergalactic battleship capable of subduing entire civilisations has just found a race of robots - robots who have hidden themselves away for a very long time and have no intention of being brought back under the control of humanity.
The second half of this story explores the relationship between a robot man and a human woman and was probably considered enlightened and perhaps even slightly risqué at the time, but unfortunately the fact that some things even needed to be said really does make the ideas being expressed feel dated and old fashioned.
The Kindle presentation is pretty good throughout, and there is even a decent pulp style cover picture.
Overall - 3 stars: Even though the second half of the story has not aged that well, this is still classic pulp science fiction from a master storyteller and I enjoyed most of the forty minutes or so it took me to read the story.